The virtual currency “Bitcoin” is still a subject of contention for many countries of the world, since its first appearance on January 3, 2009, as is the case for the cryptocurrencies that followed it later.
Although it has been widely criticized for fluctuations in global prices and its large consumption of electricity, some consider cryptocurrencies, especially in developing countries, as a safe haven to face the economic storms that strike the world.
El Salvador first
In September 2021, El Salvador was the first to legalize cryptocurrency trading, allowing consumers to use it in all their transactions alongside the US dollar.
A few days ago, the International Monetary Fund broke its silence and called on the small Central American country to change its course and stop adopting Bitcoin as an official payment method, citing the “significant risks” posed by the cryptocurrency.
In April of this year, the Central African Republic followed in the footsteps of El Salvador, becoming the second country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as a legal currency.
The legal status of Bitcoin varies greatly from country to country and remains undetermined or variable in many of them.
Despite the warnings about its use, most countries do not consider the use of Bitcoin itself illegal, and this has not prevented dealing with it. Its status as a means of payment or as a commodity varies with regulatory implications.
In contrast to countries that have explicitly allowed their use and trade (the United States and Canada consider these currencies legal), some countries have placed restrictions on the way they are used (Vietnam and Georgia), banks have banned their customers from conducting cryptocurrency transactions, while others have banned the use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies entirely with Severe penalties for anyone doing crypto transactions (Algeria, China, Bangladesh).
Below is a list of countries that ban Bitcoin or Altacoin.
Algeria currently bans the use of cryptocurrencies after the passage of a financial law in 2018 that made it illegal to buy, sell, use or possess virtual currencies.
There is an ambiguous relationship between Bangladesh and cryptocurrency.
Officially, the government has banned the trading of “Bitcoin” and cryptocurrency trading is punishable by up to 12 years in prison under the country’s money laundering and terrorist financing laws.
In December 2016, the Central Bank of Bangladesh issued a warning on its website asking people to refrain from trading in synthetic currencies.
However, the country has proposed a new “blockchain” strategy indicating the warming of cryptocurrency and virtual assets, and there have been no credible reports of any convictions related to the use of cryptocurrencies.
Since 2014, there is a complete ban in place on the use of Bitcoin in Bolivia. The Bolivian Central Bank issued a decision banning it and any other currency not regulated by a country or economic zone.
Over the past year, China has cracked down on cryptocurrencies. It issued warnings urging Chinese citizens to stay away from the digital asset market and emphasized mining in the country as well as currency exchange in China and abroad.
On August 27, Yin Yuping, deputy director of the Financial Consumer Rights Protection Bureau at the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), stated that cryptocurrencies are being treated as speculative assets, and called on citizens to “protect their pockets.”
Some consider that China’s efforts to undermine Bitcoin, a decentralized currency outside the control of governments and institutions, is due to China’s attempt to float its electronic currency.
Financial institutions are not allowed to facilitate bitcoin transactions in Colombia.
In 2014, the Supreme Financial Court of South America’s fourth-largest country warned financial institutions that they may not “protect, invest, broker or manage virtual money operations”.
Egypt’s Dar Al Iftaa, the country’s main Islamic advisory body, issued a religious decree in 2018, classifying bitcoin transactions as “forbidden.”
This is prohibited under Islamic law. Although the banking laws are not binding, they were tightened in September 2020 to prevent the circulation or promotion of cryptocurrencies without a central bank license.
And published last year, a statement confirming the above. And he stated that “trading and dealing with bitcoin currencies by buying, selling, leasing and others is forbidden by Islamic law because of their negative effects on the economy, disrupting the market equilibrium and the concept of work, and the loss of the dealer in them to the legal protection and the required financial control.”
The Central Bank of Indonesia has issued new regulations banning the use of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, as a means of payment as of January 1, 2018.
In Ghana, too, cryptocurrencies are illegal, but the central bank has expressed interest in blockchain technology and its potential uses and is working out how to integrate it into the country’s financial system.
Bitcoin has a complex relationship with the Iranian regime.
The Central Bank of Iran bans cryptocurrencies mined abroad but encourages bitcoin mining in the country with incentives.
A previous study stated that 4.5 percent of all bitcoin mining takes place in Iran, due in part to the country’s cheap electricity.
According to the statistics firm Elliptic, crypto-mining helps Iran earn hundreds of millions of dollars that can be used to buy imports and reduce the impact of sanctions.
Despite the continuous efforts of the authorities to prevent its use, the popularity of cryptocurrencies is increasing in Iraq.
The Central Bank of Iraq issued a statement in 2017 banning the use of these currencies.
And he renewed his call in the year 2021, and warned against dealing with digital, encrypted and virtual currencies because they are not subject to any legal, regulatory or technical controls or legislation in Iraq.
In early 2021, the KRG Ministry of Interior issued similar guidelines to stop brokerage firms and exchanges dealing with cryptocurrencies.
With the value of the Turkish lira significantly depreciating, cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, are in high demand.
On April 16, 2021, the Central Bank of Turkey banned the use of cryptocurrencies and assets including Bitcoin in the purchase of goods and services.
The next day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went even further, signing a decree to include crypto-asset providers in the list of institutions covered by “money laundering and terrorist financing” regulations.