April 2nd, 2018
Bitcoin is a peer to peer digital currency that first made its first debut in the 2009. Currently, Bitcoin is considered to be the most popular and widely used digital currency in many places around the world. In different countries tax authorities, regulators, and enforcement agencies are beginning to explore all of the nuances of this digital currency. Among Bitcoin users, there is always a concern about where Bitcoin is legal and illegal. This answer depends on the location and the activity for which you are using Bitcoins.
Consumers have a greater ability to buy goods and services using digital currencies directly from online retail stores, more than ever before. Many popular businesses have started accepting this new mode of payment. This currency is now traded on exchanges and many companies have made investments in all virtual currency related ventures. All these activities portray well-established currency systems, but currently, there is no uniform international law covering the use of digital currencies.
Bitcoin is welcomed in most parts of the world, however, there are some countries where Bitcoin is illegal because of its decentralized nature, volatility, perceived threat to the present monetary system and is linked to illicit activities such as, money laundering and drug dealing. Some of the nations have banned this digital currency whereas some have tried to cut off all support from financial and banking systems necessary for its usage and trading.
This island nation has been practicing stringent capital controls as part of its monetary policies that were implemented after the global economic crisis of 2008. These policies seek to protect the outflow of Icelandic currency from the Island country. In the same protection policy, trading with digital currency is banned in this part of the globe, since cryptocurrency is not compatible with Iceland’s Foreign Exchange Act. Interestingly, a new digital currency named Aurora coin was launched in the country. The founder of this digital currency wished to create a possible alternative to present Iceland banking system.
From the very start, Vietnam State Bank and Government, maintained that Bitcoin is not a legitimate payment system. After few rounds of public rejoinders against the use of digital currency in this part, Vietnam made it illegal for both citizens and financial institutions to deal with Bitcoin. Authorities believe the cryptocurrency will increase criminal activities such as drugs deal, money laundering, and weapon smuggling.
The Bolivian Government and El Banco Central de Bolivia have banned the use of any digital currency and other cryptocurrencies in any part of their country.
Using alt-coin and Bitcoin as a form of payment, is illegal in Kyrgyzstan.
Bitcoin and all other digital currencies are banned in Ecuador due to a huge vote in the national assembly. However, authorities have expressed their plans to create their own cryptocurrency in the near future.
The legality of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Russia is still disputed. Russia’s Ministry of Finance is planning to pass a new law which will ban use or trading of bitcoin in this part.
China is also very strict with Bitcoin use and/or trade. All financial institutions and banks in this part of the world are prohibited from dealing or transacting in Bitcoin. Individuals however, can use Bitcoins among themselves. Bitcoin culture is flourishing in China, and it is considered to be one of the world’s largest Bitcoin market.
Bitcoin has only been around for nine years and countries will still have to wait some time to understand how it works. Many countries are regulating, restricting, or banning the use of cryptocurrencies, but many experts believe that in the future this will be lifted. The anonymous and decentralized nature of Bitcoin has challenged many governments on how to legalize Bitcoin, while still preventing all types of criminal transactions. There are also a few countries which are still analyzing the ways in which to regulate the cryptocurrency. On the whole, Bitcoin remains in a grey area as a technological leap that has left lawmakers far behind.