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Cryptocurrency Regulation tracker

Proelium Law LLP | The UK’s foremost legal authority on high-risk jurisdictions and specialist risk services

Proelium Law LLP combines its legal and investgative experience to provide clients with a extensive suite of capabilty in the world of crypto assets and cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency has been around for years, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, many countries are finally seeing the advantages of digital currencies. Regulatory reform of cryptocurrency legislation has occurred in many countries seeking to advance their economies by introducing crypto-friendly environment.

With this in mind, we have complied a list of each country and their current approach towards cryptocurrency. Whilst we will endeavour to keep this updated, the approach to cryptocurrency is controversial and ever changing. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or leave us a message through our online chat.

 

  • Banned – Cryptocurrency is banned in these countries
  • Hostile – Whilst cryptocurrency is not banned in these countries, the use of cryptocurrencies is restricted
  • Undecided – These countries have not yet decided their approach toward cryptocurrencies
  • Improving – These countries are improving in their approach to cryptocurrency
  • Leader – These countries are welcoming and are cryptocurrency-friendly

Click below to jump to countries and territories by letter: 

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

 

A
Afghanistan
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency is still controversial, it has no legal status
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation in place
Albania
Undecided

Algeria

Banned

  • Cryptocurrencies are illegal
  • The 2018 Financial law of Algeria prohibited the purchase, sale, use and possession of virtual currency[1]
  • Using cryptocurrency will result in punishment
Andorra

Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, although there is no specific legislation in place
  • The INAF regulatory body and financial supervisor of Andorra is closely monitoring the developments of cryptocurrency
Angola
Undecided

  • The status of cryptocurrency in Angola is controversial
  • There you are no specific laws on cryptocurrency in Angola yet
Antigua/ Barbuda

Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They regulated by the Digital Assets Business Bill 2020 which regulates companies that establish their operations on the island and provides protection for both exchanges and their customers
  • Fundraising projects are permitted to conduct ICOS
  • Member of ECCB Pilot which will test cryptocurrencies alongside national fiat
Argentina

Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are increasingly used but not classed as legal tender
  • The government has issued regulations regarding cryptocurrencies related to taxation and the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism[2]
Armenia

Improving

Australia

Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are treated as property and subject to Capital Gains Tax
  • Digital currencies must register with AUSTRAC and meet anti-money launder and counter-terrorism financing compliance and reporting obligations
Austria
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies have no legal status
  • Tighter restrictions were proposed mid-2018, but there are no fintech or cryptocurrency regulations that have been enacted as of yet
Azerbaijan

Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, although there is no specific legislation dealing with cryptocurrencies
  • The Central bank has advised caution when using cryptocurrency
  • A working group was established in 2018 to draft regulation, however, no progress has been made to date[4]
 

B

The Bahamas
Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are unregulated, however, the Central Bank has indicated that its 2017 regulations provide a framework for a system of national electronic payments services that are also applicable to cryptocurrencies
  • Actively promoting the blockchain industry
Bahrain

Improving

Bangladesh

Banned

Barbados
Undecided

  • A positive attitude by Central Bank of Barbados but no actions made
  • A Barbadian start-up in the blockchain space created a virtual currency that was pegged to the value of the Barbados dollar
Belarus
 Leader

Belgium

Improving

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, although there is no specific cryptocurrency legislation in place
  • The Belgian government is waiting for guidance from the EU
  • Government has warned investors about the risk of crypto fraud and lack of regulatory oversight
  • Belgium’s has Bitcoin taxes, at 33% on any cryptocurrency income
Belize

Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, although there is no specific regulation dealing with cryptocurrency
  • They are unregulated
Benin
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are unregulated
  • It was reported in 2018 that Benin joined a project to provide member countries with their own cryptocurrency[6]
Bhutan

Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency is legal, although there is no specific legislation dealing with cryptocurrency
  • They are unregulated
  • Bhutan launched its own cryptocurrency, Prizm, in 2019
Bolivia
Banned

  • The Government has labelled bitcoin a “pyramid scheme” and is subject to an absolute ban[7]
  • The Central Bank said that you cannot denominate prices in any currency that are not previously approved by a part of the Bolivian government; therefore, you cannot use cryptocurrency for anything[8]

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Banned

  • The Bosnian Central Bank has determined that the legal tender of the country is only the convertible mark.
  • They have banned the conversion of mark into crypto and vice versa[9]
Botswana

Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency is legal, although there is no legislation specific to cryptocurrency
  • Cryptocurrency is unregulated
Brazil

Hostile

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, although there is no specific legislation dealing with cryptocurrency
  • Exchanges are unregulated
  • Cryptocurrencies are not classified as financial assets and cannot be acquired by investment funds
Brunei
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • They are unregulated
Bulgaria
Improving

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are treated as financial assets
  • Income from selling them is taxed accordingly
Burkina Faso

Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, although there is no legislation specific to cryptocurrency
  • They are unregulated
Burundi

Banned

  • Burundi banned all trading of cryptocurrencies on its soil, saying it couldn’t offer digital money users protection in case of problems[10]
 

C

Cabo Verde
Undecided

  • They are not regulated
  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
Cambodia

Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, but only with a license
  • Three Cambodian government bodies jointly announced that the propagation, circulation, buying, selling, trading, and settlement of cryptocurrencies without obtaining a license are illegal activities
  • Cambodia announced a state cryptocurrency project in 2020[11]
Cameroon
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
  • Cameroon separatists announced their own cryptocurrency[12] in 2018[13]
Canada

Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies and digital exchanges are legal, although there is no specific cryptocurrency regulation
  • Cryptocurrencies are subject to the income tax act
  • Entities dealing in digital currencies are regulated under anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws
Canada

Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies and digital exchanges are legal, although there is no specific regulation dealing with cryptocurrencies
  • Cryptocurrencies are subject to the income tax act
  • Entities dealing in digital currencies are regulated under anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws
Central African Republic
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Chad
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Chile

Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • A Bill regulating cryptocurrencies and fintech was proposed in 2019[14]
  • Chile taxes any earnings on crypto-related investments[15]
China
Banned

  • In February 2018, the Chinese government announced it would block access to all domestic and foreign cryptocurrency exchanges
  • The Chinese government has banned ICOs
  • China developed its own cryptocurrency, the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP). It’s really a digital version of China’s official currency, the yuan.
Colombia
Undecided

  • The government of Colombia has approved a pilot program that calls companies to test crypto transactions within a new regulatory sandbox just passed by the country’s financial watchdog in 2020.
Comoros
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Congo, Republic of the
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Costa Rica

Hostile

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, although there is no legislation dealing with cryptocurrencies
  • They are not legal tender and not supported by the central bank or state
  • Costa Rican employees can legally receive part of their salary in cryptocurrency
Côte d’Ivoire
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
  • It was reported in 2018 to have joined a project to provide member countries with their own cryptocurrency[16]
Croatia
Improving

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • The Croatian Anti-Money Laundering Act (implementing the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive) sets out the new requirements to service providers with respect to virtual currencies.
Cuba
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
  • Cryptocurrency trading is increasingly popular
Cyprus
Improving

  • Cryptocurrency was deemed to not be legal tender in 2014
  • The Central Bank of Cyprus has warned about the risks of using them
  • They are not regulated
Czech Republic

Hostile

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, but there is no regulation
  • Virtual currency exchanges must identify customers
  • Mining operations are considered to be activities for business purposes and are liable to taxation.
  • Purchasing and subsequent selling of cryptocurrencies is also taxed at a rate of 15%[17]
 

D

Denmark
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies can be used but not classified as legal tender
  • Cryptocurrency purchased as an investment is tax-deductible, with profits subject to tax
  • Cryptocurrency is considered to be a capital property
Dijibouti
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Dominica
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Dominican Republic

Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, but there is no legislation dealing with cryptocurrency
  • They are not legal tender and not regulated
 

E

East Timor (Timor-Leste)
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Ecuador
Banned

  • Cryptocurrency is not a legal currency and is not authorised for use as a means of payment of goods and services
  • However, purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies through the internet is not prohibited
Egypt
Banned

  • Cryptocurrencies are illegal
  • The Central Bank asserted that commerce within the Arab Republic of Egypt is confined only to the official paper currencies approved by the Bank [18]
  • Bitcoin has been declared haram (prohibited under Islamic law)
El Salvador

Hostile

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, but there is no legislation dealing with this
  • They are not legal tender
  • ICOs are prohibited
  • There is no regulatory framework
Equatorial Guinea
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Eritrea
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Estonia
Leader

  • The exchange of cryptocurrency is a lawful business activity regulated by the Anti Money Launder Act and Terrorism Finance Act
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges must be authorised by the financial intelligence unit
  • Digital assets are classified as property for tax reasons
 

F

Fiji
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Finland
Leader

France
Leader

  • France is pushing for co-ordinated regulations on a European and international level
  • Digital currency exchanges must register with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF)
  • Profits from the sale of cryptocurrencies are taxable
 

G

Gabon
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
The Gambia
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Georgia

Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency is legal, although there is no legislation in place to support this
  • Cryptocurrency is not legal tender
Germany

Improving

  • Cryptocurrency is a legal means of payment
  • Germany is pushing for co-ordinated regulations on a European and international level
  • Digital currency exchanges must register with the Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and follow AML regulations
  • There is no tax on cryptocurrencies when used as a means of payment
Ghana

Hostile

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, but there is no legislation in place
  • They are not legal tender
  • The central bank had advised cryptocurrencies are not licensed and discourage their use
Greece
Undecided

  • The Greek government has not issued any specific cryptocurrency legislation
  • However, the Bank of Greece has joined other European regulators to warn the risk of cryptocurrencies
Grenada

Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, but there is no legislation in place
  • Member of the ECCB pilot, which will test cryptocurrencies alongside national fiat
Guatemala

Hostile

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, but there is no legislation that states this
  • They are not legal tender
  • The government strongly advises against the use of cryptocurrencies
Guinea
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Guinea-Bissau
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Guyana
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
 

H

Haiti
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Honduras
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are not legal tender
  • They are not regulated
Hungary
Undecided

  • There is no official regulation
  • Cryptocurrencies do not qualify as legal tender or cash equivalent
  • Tax applies to cryptocurrency mining and trading
Hong Kong
Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal, and many blockchain companies have moved to Hong Kong
  • Regulators in Hong Kong are engaging crypto companies to help promote innovation
  • Regulators are continuing to monitor cryptocurrency, while actively embracing distributed ledger technology
  • Proposed regulation may require cryptocurrency exchanges to operate in a regulatory sandbox
  • Retail speculators may have access to cryptocurrency exchanges restricted
 

I

Iceland
Banned

  • It is legal for Icelandic citizens to own and mine cryptocurrency
  • The Icelandic Central Bank said that it is prohibited to engage in foreign exchange trading with the electronic currency bitcoin, according to the Icelandic Foreign Exchange Act.
India
Hostile

  • Cryptocurrencies are not accepted as a means of payment
  • Digital currency exchanges are technically legal but face increasingly tight restrictions
  • In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India banned banks and regulated financial institutions from providing services to any person or business that deals with cryptocurrencies
Indonesia
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are treated as commodities
  • Use of cryptocurrencies as a payment tool is banned but futures trading of cryptocurrencies is permitted
  • Currently, it’s lightly regulated, but regulations surrounding cryptocurrency exchanges and taxation are expected soon
Iran
Hostile

  • In April 2018, the Central Bank of Iran banned all Iranian financial institutions from handling cryptocurrencies
  • The clampdown is designed to tackle money laundering[19]
  • Despite the ban, Iran is reportedly experimenting with a state-run cryptocurrency
Iraq

Banned

  • Cryptocurrencies are illegal
  • Traders who use cryptocurrency will be punished by penalties cited in the country’s anti-money laundering law[20].
Ireland
Undecided

  • Currently, no laws specifically regulate cryptocurrencies
  • Existing tax rules apply to cryptocurrency transactions
Israel
Improving

  • Virtual currencies are considered to be financial assets
  • Capital gains tax applies to virtual currency trades
  • Israeli lawmakers introduced draft legislation in September 2020
Italy
Improving

  • New regulations classifying the use of cryptocurrencies and concerning service providers related to digital currencies are being developed
 

J

Jamaica
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are not legal tender
  • The Central Bank has advised caution
Japan
Leader

  • Cryptocurrency is accepted as a legal form of payment
  • Digital currency exchanges are legal if registered with the Japanese Financial Services Agency
Jordan
Hostile

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • Banks and financial institutions are prohibited from dealing in cryptocurrencies
  • Citizens are warned against using cryptocurrencies
 

K

Kazakhstan
Leader

  • Kazakhstan aims to become a fintech and cryptocurrency hub
  • The nation’s president has called for global regulation of cryptocurrencies under UN oversight
Kenya
Undecided 

  • The Central Bank of Kenya has warned that cryptocurrency is risky and is not legal tender
  • Cryptocurrencies are not illegal
  • It’s currently unregulated, but the nation’s treasury secretary had been tasked with drafting cryptocurrency regulations in July 2018
Kiribati
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Korea, North
Unknown

  • North Korea has allegedly used cryptocurrency to skirt around sanctions.
  • The nature of cryptocurrency regulation is unknown
Korea, South
Improving

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal but are not legal tender
  • Anonymous trading is prohibited
  • Exchanges must register with the Financial Supervisory Service
  • Cryptocurrencies quickly became extremely popular and widely available in South Korea.
  • Regulators appear to be torn between wanting to clamp down tightly and recognising that cryptocurrency is now too ubiquitous to effectively do so
Kosovo
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are not legal tender
  • The central bank has issued a series of stern warnings against the use of cryptocurrencies
  • The central bank has established a working group to address virtual currencies
Kuwait
Hostile

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are not legal tender
  • Banks and financial organisations are prohibited from trading cryptocurrencies
  • Cryptocurrencies are not allowed to be accepted as a form of payment
Kyrgyzstan
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
 

L

Laos
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
  • The Central Bank of Laos has warned the public against the use, purchase or sale of digital currencies
Latvia
Improving

  • Cryptocurrency is accepted as an exchange instrument but it’s not legal tender
  • Virtual currency exchanges must meet monitoring requirements
Lebanon
Hostile

  • The Lebanese central bank has prohibited the use of cryptocurrencies by financial institutions but has not issued any guidance for private citizens
Lesotho
Hostile

  • The Bank warned of the risk associated with the use of cryptocurrencies
  • Neither legal tender nor considered foreign currency
  • Barred the operation of individuals and entities that promote investment in cryptocurrency, any and all investment advisors must be licensed.
Liberia
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Libya
Banned

  • The Central Bank of Libya announced that virtual currencies are illegal and that no legal protection will be afforded to anyone using or trading them
Lichtenstein
Improving

  • Cryptocurrency is legal
  • Lichtenstein’s parliament unanimously approved the Act on Tokens and Entities Providing Services Based on Trusted Technologies (TVTG), also known as the Blockchain Act. making it the first country to have comprehensive regulation of the token economy.
  • The act regulates client and asset protection
Luxembourg
Undecided

  • Luxembourg was one of the first countries to officially declare cryptocurrencies to be currencies in 2014 and was the first country to grant a payment institution licence to a bitcoin exchange in April 2016
  • However, the Financial Sector Monitoring Commission has warned about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies
  • There’s no legal framework that specifically deals with cryptocurrencies
 

M

Macedonia
Banned

  • Cryptocurrencies are illegal due to existing laws which prevent overseas investment
Madagascar
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Malawi
Banned

  • The Reserve Bank of Malawi said that cryptocurrency is illegal and the state does not recognise crypto investments in the country
Malaysia
Improving

  • Cryptocurrency trading is allowed but cryptocurrencies aren’t recognised as legal tender
  • New AML/CTF guidelines were introduced for digital currency exchanges in February 2018
Maldives
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency is not recognised as legal tender
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Mali
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Malta
Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal in Malta
  • Regulatory development is ongoing but friendly towards the industry
  • Malta wants to align itself as the “Blockchain Island”
  • Several established exchanges and businesses have moved from abroad to Malta, due to the friendly regulatory environment.
Marshall Islands
Improving

  • Cryptocurrency is legal
  • The Marshall Islands released their own digital currency, the Marshallese sovereign or SOV
  • They also passed a law making the SOV the new legal tender of the Marshall Islands
Mauritiana
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Mauritius

Improving

  • Cryptocurrency is legal, but not legal tender
  • The Financial Services Commission of Mauritius considers cryptocurrencies to be regulated as a Digital Asset under the Financial Services Act 2007[21]
Mexico

Improving

  • A cryptocurrency regulation bill was passed in March 2018[22]
  • Cryptocurrencies are considered commodities
  • Digital currency exchanges are under the oversight of the central bank
  • To combat money laundering, from September 2019, relevant transactions exceeding a certain amount must be reported to the government.
Micronesia, Federated States of
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Moldova
Undecided

  • The National Bank of Moldova says that as there is currently no framework regulating cryptocurrencies in the country
  • No authorisation is needed to provide crypto trading services
Monaco

Improving

Mongolia

Leader

  • Introduced cryptocurrency law which will go under the country’s national payment system bill
  • The Trade and Development Bank of Mongolia has partnered with blockchain firms to start offering cryptocurrency services
Montenegro
Improving

  • Friendly regulatory environment where crypto businesses don’t have special regulations, provisions or fees
  • Regulatory sandbox that allows you to test technologies and start fintech businesses before licensing
Morocco
Banned

  • The use of cryptocurrencies in Morocco can lead to penalties and fines
  • A translation from French puts it simply: “Transactions via virtual currencies constitute a breach of regulations, punishable by penalties and fines.” [24]

 

Mozambique
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are not regulated
  • The Central Bank advises caution
Myanmar (Burma)
Undecided

  • The only official statement was an announcement issued by the Central Bank of Myanmar in 2019, which affirms that it does not recognize any cryptocurrency as legal tender
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
 

N

Namibia
Banned

  • Cryptocurrencies are illegal
  • In September 2017 the Bank of Namibia issued a position paper on virtual currencies entitled wherein it declared cryptocurrency exchanges are not allowed and cryptocurrency cannot be accepted as payment for goods and services.[25]
  • Bank of Namibia does not currently recognise cryptocurrencies as a commodity, nor support the trading of cryptocurrencies on any financial market or currency exchange due to the fact that the Currency and Exchanges Act (Act 9 of 1933), read in conjunction with the Exchange Control Regulations of 1961, does not make provision for the establishment of cryptocurrencies’ exchanges or bureaus in Namibia.
Nauru
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Nepal
Banned

  • Cryptocurrencies are illegal
  • In early October 2017, a police team from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) arrested seven people for allegedly running bitcoin exchange business from various parts of the country[26].

 

Netherlands

Improving

  • Cryptocurrency is considered an item of barter, meaning it can be relatively freely exchanged and falls outside most existing regulations
  • There are no plans to ban cryptocurrency
  • AML regulations for exchanges were expected to be implemented by the end of 2019
New Zealand
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency is treated as property for tax purposes
  • New Zealand is working on implementing cryptocurrency regulations, but to date, it has only recommended caution for its citizens that plan on using it
Nicaragua
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Niger
Undecided

  • No legal status for cryptocurrencies
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
Nigeria
Hostile

  • In January 2017, Nigeria’s central bank outlawed bitcoin and digital currencies, but also openly pointed out that it can’t actually regulate cryptocurrency
  • Banks and financial institutions are prohibited from using, holding or transacting with cryptocurrencies
North Macdeonia
Banned

  • North Macedonia is the only European country where cryptocurrencies are illegal.
  • Investing in cryptocurrencies is also illegal in North Macedonia
Norway
Improving

  • Cryptocurrency is largely unregulated
  • Cryptocurrency is classed as an asset and subject to capital gains tax
 

O

Oman
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are not regulated
  • The Central Bank advises caution and personable responsibility
 

P

Pakistan
Banned

  • In April 2018, the State Bank of Pakistan banned investment in and trading of cryptocurrencies
  • April 2019, however, The Express Tribune, citing finance ministry sources, reported that the nation’s federal government decided to bring in Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) regulations following recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).[27]
  • In 2020, SadaPay obtained an (EMI) license from the State Bank of Pakistan to collaborate with to simplify digital payments in Pakistan.

 

Palau

Hostile

  • In 2019, Palau put a moratorium on all cryptocurrency activity until it can be regulated.
  • There have been no further developments
Panama
Improving

  • A draft law is in the works aimed at regulating the use of commercialization of digital currencies in the country.
Papua New Guinea
Undecided

  • Not legal tender
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
  • The Bank of Papua New Guinea has issued a warning on cryptocurrencies and technology
Paraguay
Hostile

  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
  • Paraguay’s Secretary for Preventing Money and Property Laundering ordered all Virtual Asset Providers to submit to a mass audit of the sector[28].
Peru

Improving

  • No established position
  • Peruvian regulator authority said that it will be studying local crypto exchanges to find ways to regulate the national crypto industry[29]
Phillipines

Leader

Poland
Improving

  • The trading and mining of virtual currencies is recognised as an official economic activity, but cryptocurrencies are not legal tender
  • Selling or purchasing cryptocurrency is considered a transfer of property rights
Portugal
Undecided

  • A legislative framework for cryptocurrencies is being discussed
 

Q

Qatar
Banned

  • Cryptocurrencies are illegal at an institutional level
  • There will be penalties imposed on firms that provide crypto-asset services [30]
 

R

Romania
Improving

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • Income from cryptocurrencies are taxable
  • The central bank discourages involvement by local institutions due to risk
Russia
Improving

  • Russia’s President Vladimir Putin recently signed a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies, giving it legal status but prohibits its use as a means of payment
Rwanda
Undecided

  • The cryptocurrency was deemed illegal in 2018
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation
  • Rwanda’s central bank is studying the development and issuance of its own digital cryptocurrency
 

S

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Leader

  • Cryptocurrency is legal as under the Virtual Asset Bill 2020
  • The Bill aims to regulate the crypto flow for local residents and enterprises
San Marino
Improving

  • Cryptocurrency is legal
  • Cryptocurrency and bitcoin regulations were approved in 2019[31]
  • San Marino Innovation has been appointed as the Blockchain Regulatory Authority.
Sao Tome and Principe
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • Cryptocurrency is not regulated
Saudi Arabia
Banned

  • Cryptocurrencies are illegal
  • Saudi Arabia is planning for a local digital currency to be traded between banks
Senegal

Leader

  • Cryptocurrency is legal
  • Senegal was the second country in the world to launch a national digital currency, the eCFA.[32]
  • In September 2020, Akon released detailed plans of ‘Akon City’, a $6 billion futuristic cryptocurrency city which will be run on ‘akoin’ cryptocurrency[33].
Serbia
Improving

  • Cryptocurrency is legal
  • Serbia is preparing a set of regulations to address cryptocurrency and to push forward the financial industry within the region[34]
Seychelles
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • Cryptocurrency is not regulated
  • Cryptocurrency exchange is very popular within this region
Sierra Leone
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • Cryptocurrency is not regulated
  • The country is, however, blockchain-friendly. Sierra Leone President launched a system with a financial services charity to create online identified for residents using blockchain[35]
Singapore

Improving

  • Cryptocurrency trading and exchanges are legal
  • The Payment Services Act (PSA)[36] in Singapore, states that cryptocurrency businesses must obtain a license from MAS to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.
Slovakia
Undecided

  • The National bank in Slovakia released a statement saying it does not recognise cryptocurrency as legal tender
  • In March 2018, the Ministry of Finance in Slovakia released a methodological guideline to clarify the taxation of virtual currencies
  • For those operating with cryptocurrencies for business purposes, virtual currencies are defined to be financial assets.
  • Further regulations are expected to follow
Slovenia
Improving

  • They are largely unregulated
  • Slovenia has issued guidelines stating that bitcoin can be classified as either a financial asset or a currency depending on how it’s used in a given situation and that it will be taxed and regulated accordingly on a case-by-case basis
  • Crypto exchanges and brokers are classified as financial institutions for anti-money laundering purposes.
Solomon Islands
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • There is no regulation in place for cryptocurrency
  • The Central Bank of Solomon Islands has issued a warning that cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the Central Bank[37]
Somalia
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • There is no cryptocurrency regulation in place
  • Somalia does have one of the most active mobile money markets in the world[38]
South Africa
Improving

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal but are not classified as legal tender
  • South African citizens must declare income derived from cryptocurrency as part of their capital gains statement
  • No regulation regarding exchanges
  • South Africa’s “Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group” (IFWG) are working toward creating comprehensive cryptocurrency laws.
Spain
Leader

  • Spain’s government reportedly approved a bill that requires cryptocurrency owners to disclose their crypto holdings and any gains on their assets.
  • Profits from cryptocurrency transactions are taxable under the Law on Income Tax of Individuals
Sri Lanka
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • Cryptocurrency is not regulated
  • Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is, however, planning to start development of a blockchain platform expected to speed the processing of bank users’ ID information
Sudan
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • No formal cryptocurrency regulation put into place
South Sudan
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • No formal cryptocurrency regulation put into place
Suriname
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • No formal cryptocurrency regulation put into place
Sweden
Leader

  • There is no specific regulation dealing with cryptocurrencies
  • Sweden’s central bank is actively pushing for more widespread adoption of digital currencies.
Switzerland
Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal and are classified as assets
  • Exchanges are legal but must obtain a licence from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)
  • FINMA has also introduced guidelines to help local start-ups launch ICOs
Syria
Improving

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • No formal cryptocurrency regulation put into place
  • The United Nations’ World Food Program recently used the Ethereum Blockchain technology to send, record and verify aid to 10,000 Syrian refugees.
  • A region in Northern Syria called Rojava is even looking to use cryptocurrency to overcome economic sanctions and ‘redesign’ its society.
 

T

Taiwan

Improving

Tajikistan
Hostile

  • Cryptocurrencies are not illegal
  • They are not legal tender
  • The central bank warns against their use
Tanzania

Banned

  • The Bank of Tanzania has banned the use of cryptocurrencies
  •  The circular states, among other things, that ‘The only acceptable and used legal tender in the country is the Tanzanian Shilling’.
  • Tanzania’s National Payments System Act  No. 4 of 2015 (the NPS) clearly prohibits digital payments
  • Section 15 of the NPS provides that a person shall not issue an electronic payment system without a licence or approval from BoT.
Thailand
Improving

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are regulated and subject to Capital Gains Tax
  • Financial institutions are currently asked to refrain from involving themselves with cryptocurrencies
  • Current laws have been implemented as a stopgap to protect consumers, while regulations are still being developed
Togo
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • No formal cryptocurrency regulation put into place
Tonga
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • No formal cryptocurrency regulation put into place
Trinidad and Tobago
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • No formal cryptocurrency regulation put into place
  • Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), the Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (FIU), and the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange (TTSE) have all warned against the use of cryptocurrency
Tunisia
Improving

  • In 2019, it was announced that Tunisia became the first country to start moving its national currency to a blockchain platform.
  • The Central Bank of Tunisia announced that the digitisation of the Tunisian dinar has started and that the paper backed CBDC will be issued on the Universa Blockchain.
Turkey
Improving

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are not regulated
  • After lawmakers originally deemed bitcoin incompatible with Islam, government policy is starting to shift
  • The government has expressed interest in developing a national cryptocurrency
Turkmenistan
Undecided

  • There’s no concrete information regarding virtual currencies’ legal status in Turkmenistan.
  • Cryptocurrency is limited to purchase in foreign currency, which is hard to get a hold of due to Government limiting access to foreign currency.
Tuvalu
Undecided

  • The National Bank of Tuvalu (NBT) hasn’t yet expressed its opinion on cryptocurrencies and trading digital cash as well as organizing ICOs both are technically legal in Tuvalu.
 

U

Uganda
Improving

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • They are not regulated
  • In cooperation with a local UN body, regulations are being developed
Ukraine
Improving

  • There is no regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies
  • A working group on cryptocurrency regulation was established in January 2018
United Arab Emirates

Improving

  • The landscape is confusing and ambiguous, although making various steps towards regulation
  • The financial regulator of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) introduced its own crypto regulatory framework in June 2018
  • Dubai was set to launch a digital currency in 2018, emcash, pegged to the dirham and backed by the state
United Kingdom

Leader

United States
Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal but are not legal tender
  • Regulation of exchanges varies by state
  • The US is crypto-friendly, but tax laws and regulation vary widely from state to state
Uruguay

Improving

  • Cryptocurrency has no legal status
  • There is no regulation
  • The Uruguayan Central Bank has been conducting pilot projects to monitor and assess cryptocurrency
Uzbekistan
Leader

  • Cryptocurrencies are legal
  • A presidential decree on July 3, 2018, enacted mandates to encourage the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency industries in the nation
  • Another decree on September 2, 2018, established a state blockchain development fund and legalised mining.
  • Uzbekistan is now preparing prepares to exempt income obtained in cryptocurrency operations from taxation.
 

V

Vanuatu
Improving

  • There is currently no regulation in place for cryptocurrency
  • In 2017, Vanuatu became host to the world’s first government to accept bitcoin in exchange for citizenship.
  • In 2019, cryptocurrency was also distributed in Vanuatu as humanitarian relief. 200 residents of Vanuatu were given tap-and-pay cards loaded with $50 of the Dai stable coin to spend as needed.
Vatican City
Improving

  • A rumoured proposal was made for the Holy See to use its ‘blessing power’ over a virtual currency with a cut taken from the recipient of the currency in any transaction.
  • This would be marked as Vatican Owner and convertible per its current rate to any fiat currency[39].
  • There has been no further advancing on this.
Venezuela
Hostile

  • Against the backdrop of a failed fiat currency, cryptocurrency is very widely used in Venezuela
  • Crackdowns are common, and bitcoin users can be arrested
  • Despite this, the Venezuelan government has introduced its own cryptocurrency, the Petro, to attempt to overcome US sanctions
Vietnam
Hostile

  • The State Bank of Vietnam has declared that the issuance, supply and use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency is illegal as a mean of payment and subject to punishment ranging from 150 million to 200 million VND, but the government doesn’t ban bitcoin trading as virtual goods or assets.
  • The Vietnamese government has, however, set up a committee with the charge of monitoring crypto activities and proposing appropriate government policies, leading some to believe they may be ready to regulate cryptocurrency rather than banning it outright[40].
 

Y

Yemen
Hostile

  • Yemen is a case study showing the potential danger of cryptocurrency.
  • Cryptocurrency has become a weapon in Yemen’s civil war, with the Houthis issuing their own digital currency and banning the possession of new Yemeni rial bills
 

z

Zambia
Undecided

  • Cryptocurrency is not legal tender
  • Cryptocurrency is not regulated
Zimbabwe
Improving

  • The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was initially against cryptocurrencies and issued a complete ban.
  • In March 2020, it was announced that the Reserve Bank is developing a regulatory sandbox for cryptocurrency companies in the country. This will help the bank decide if a particular company can be allowed to be run independently.
  • The country is also partnering with Apollo Fintech to develop a gold-backed cryptocurrency for the country[41]
Report Footnotes

[1] Law No. 17-11 of 1917 (Dec. 27, 2017) art. 117, Official Gazette No. 76 of 2017 (Dec. 28, 2017), https://www.joradp.dz/FTP/JO-ARABE/2017/A2017076.pdf (in Arabic)

[2] https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=fcb04760-b781-4b8b-829e-02a279192a5b

[3]http://www.parliament.am/drafts.php?sel=showdraft&DraftID=9504&Reading=0&fbclid=IwAR07Ok_a0yB1ENjT41jf2tZfXSKCsf5BcrHUq2OwHThtarK3sPvTPA9sbQQ

[4] https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=d8b280bf-6f89-464b-820f-cee07f96159b

[5] https://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/news/digital-bangladesh-needs-digital-currency-1930845

[6] https://www.porat.com/regulation-of-crypto-currencies-in-africa/

[7] Banco Central de Bolivia Prohibe el Uso del Bitcoin y Otras 11 Monedas Virtuales [Central Bank of Bolivia Prohibits the Use of Bitcoin and Other 11 Virtual Currency], Enlaces Bolivia (Apr. 2017), http://www.enlaces bolivia.net/9263-Banco-Central-de-Bolivia-prohibe-el-uso-de-bitcoins-y-otras-11-monedas-virtuales,

[8] Comunicado, Banco Central Bolivia (Apr. 2017), https://www.bcb.gob.bo/webdocs/11_comunicados/04_ 2017_COMUNICADO_Uso_monedas.pdfarchived at https://perma.cc/YW8G-2Z73.

[9] https://www.cryptowisser.com/crypto-regulation-in-different-countries/

[10] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-04/crypto-blockchain-burundi-says-none-of-that-craze-here-please#:~:text=Burundi%20Bans%20Trading%20of%20Digital%20Currencies,-By&text=Burundi%20banned%20all%20trading%20of,protection%20in%20case%20of%20problems.&text=Digital%20coins%20such%20as%20Bitcoin,in%20the%20country%2C%20he%20said.

[11] https://news.bitcoin.com/cambodia-announces-own-cryptocurrency/

[12] https://www.rfi.fr/en/africa/20190101-cameroon-separatists-sell-ambazonia-cryptocurrency-replacement-cfa-franc

[13] https://qz.com/africa/1492745/cameroon-anglophone-separtists-create-cryptocurrency-ambacoin/

[14] https://cointelegraph.com/news/chilean-government-introduces-new-cryptocurrency-and-fintech-regulation-bill-to-congress

[15] https://news.bitcoin.com/chile-to-start-taxing-cryptocurrency-earnings-in-second-quarter-of-2019/

[16] https://www.porat.com/regulation-of-crypto-currencies-in-africa/

[17] https://medium.com/@blockpit/how-are-cryptocurrencies-regulated-in-the-czech-republic-6db777409306

[18] Press Release, Central Bank of Egypt, A Warning Statement (Jan. 10, 2018), http://www.cbe.org.eg/en/ Pages/HighlightsPages/Bitcoin%20Press%20Release.aspxarchived at https://perma.cc/3X6D-WFEG.

[19] https://www.loc.gov/law/help/cryptocurrency/cryptocurrency-world-survey.pdf

[20]  Statement, Central Bank of Iraq, Bitcoin (Dec. 3, 2017), https://cbi.iq/news/view/512 (in Arabic)

[21] https://www.fscmauritius.org/media/55003/guidance-note-on-the-recognition-of-digital-assets.pdf

[22]Ley para Regular las Instituciones de Tecnología Financiera [Law to Regulate Financial Technology Companies] arts. 30–34, Diario Oficial de la Federación [D.O.F], Mar. 9, 2018, available as originally enacted on the website of Mexico’s House of Representatives at http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/LRITF_ 090318.pdf,

[23] https://www.wealthmonaco.com/en/monaco-votes-an-unprecedented-legislative-framework-for-cryptocurrency-fundraisers/

[24]  Press Release, Office des Changes, Mise au point au sujet del’utilisation des monnai es virtuelle [Focusing on the use of virtual currency] (undated) http://www.oc.gov.ma/portal/sites/default/files/actualites/communiqu%C3%A 9%20monnaies%20virtuelles.pdf (in French) (last visited Mar. 21, 2018), archived at https://perma.cc/B3K7-T6Z6.

[25] https://www.bon.com.na/CMSTemplates/Bon/Files/bon.com.na/c6/c6e59534-4bc8-4730-a091-eaffa172d2e9.pdf

[26] 7 Nabbed for Running Bitcoin Exchange Business, Kathmandu Post (Dec. 27, 2017), http://kathmandu post.ekantipur.com/news/2017-10-06/7-nabbed-for-running-bitcoin-exchange-business.htmlarchived at https://perma.cc/J4BY-4Q7E.

[27] https://tribune.com.pk/story/1941180/1-govt-introduces-emi-regulations

[28] https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/01/155865-report-paraguay-consolidating-cryptocurrency-industry-oversight/

[29] https://cointelegraph.com/news/peru-is-studying-crypto-exchanges-to-figure-out-future-laws

[30] https://www.pymnts.com/cryptocurrency/2020/qatar-bans-crypto/

[31] https://coinidol.com/san-marino-regulation/#:~:text=The%20Most%20Serene%20Republic%20of,operations%20related%20to%20this%20technology.

[32] https://decentralize.africa/senegals-ecfa-four-years-in-retrospect/

[33] https://www.forbes.com/sites/korihale/2020/08/18/akon-is-ready-to-build-a-6-billion-cryptocurrency-city/?sh=212bfe2d1fba

[34] https://balkaninsight.com/2020/09/17/ditching-dinars-will-the-balkans-take-to-cryptocurrency/

[35] https://www.ledgerinsights.com/kiva-sierra-leone-blockchain-id-system/

[36] https://complyadvantage.com/knowledgebase/crypto-regulations/cryptocurrency-regulations-singapore/#:~:text=The%20Payment%20Services%20Act%20(PSA,Singapore%20and%20outside%20of%20Singapore.

[37] http://www.cbsi.com.sb/cbsis-position-on-cryptocurrencies/

[38] https://bitcoinke.io/2018/09/somalia-among-the-most-active-mobile-money-countries-globally/

[39] https://medium.com/@bitmintnews/a-catholic-bitcoin-vatican-may-launch-a-blessed-cryptocurrency-taxed-in-favor-of-world-poor-102e594cf700

[40] https://coinidol.com/vietnam-regulating-cryptocurrency/

[41] https://cointelegraph.com/news/zimbabwe-u-turns-on-crypto-looking-to-stabilize-local-economy

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