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Bitcoin Regulation Worldwide as of 2019

Bitcoin is legal in most developed regions worldwide. However, there are exceptions. Bitcoin regulation in places like Bangladesh can see users of cryptocurrency face up.

Posted January 26, 2019
Last updated December 9, 2021


Bitcoin is legal in most developed regions worldwide. However, there are exceptions. Bitcoin regulation in places like Bangladesh can see users of cryptocurrency face up to 12-years in prison

Is Bitcoin Legal? – Worldwide Bitcoin Regulation Explained

Whether you live in a country with lax cryptocurrency regulation or not, it is imperative to understand how Bitcoin and different altcoins are regulated worldwide.

In 2017, 60 Bitcoin users were arrested in Bolivia. As one of just a few countries which outright ban cryptocurrency, each were arrested due to (alleged) plans to buy, sell, or mine Bitcoin. None had engaged in such activity. However, because Bitcoin is considered a pyramid scheme by Bolivian authorities, this fact was of little consequence.


Bitcoin Regulation Worldwide

Understanding Bitcoin regulation worldwide is key to ensuring the safety of cryptocurrency assets and individuals. British national Elliot Smith learned this the hard way in 2018 after his Coinbase account was closed after a vacation in Cuba. For this reason. We have created a comprehensive guide to global cryptocurrency regulation as of 2019.

Is Bitcoin legal? In most places, yes. However, there are several countries which cryptocurrency users may want to avoid.

Coin dance statistics indicate that Bitcoin is legal in 111 countries currently.

A map that shows cryptocurrency (especially Bitcoin-BTC) legality in South Africa and other countries

Bolivia explicitly bans all forms of cryptocurrency. Publically advocating Bitcoin or other altcoins can also be appreciated as attempting to defraud locals.

Ecuador prohibits any use of any digital currency within the countries borders.

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Bangladesh does not consider cryptocurrency legal tender and users can face up to 12-years in prison under the countries strict anti-money laundering laws.

China explicitly bans use of cryptocurrency within its borders, making Chinese exchanges and cryptocurrency apps notoriously high-risk.

Nigeria has placed bans on the use of digital currency as legal tender. However, cryptocurrency startups are allowed to operate within Nigeria’s borders.

Vietnam has banned all forms of cryptocurrency use among businesses. Individuals may hold Bitcoin or other coins. However, it would be unwise to attempt to spend or exchange coins within Vietnam’s borders.

britain looking to ban certain crypto related consumer products

Countries and Territories with Friendly Bitcoin Regulation

For the most part, countries NOT on the above list are either friendly or indifferent toward Bitcoin. When visiting such destinations, cryptocurrency users will not experience harassment or fall foul of breaking local laws. However, this does change when it comes to seeking permanent residency.

Different countries and provincial states treat cryptocurrency differently for tax purposes. When settling, it is, therefore, advisable to independently research what regulations might apply on a location by location basis.


Countries Where Bitcoin Regulation Isn’t Clear

When Coinbase suspended the account of Elliot Smith in 2018, it did so due to Smith accessing his account from Cuba. Cuba does not prohibit cryptocurrency. However, the U.S. Treasury Department does prevent U.S. companies from offering services to Cuban residents. When traveling, Bitcoin and altcoin users would, therefore, be wise to move coins into offline wallets, to secure assets in similar situations.

It is also worth noting that Venezuela, Colombia, India, and Indonesia have been reluctant to approve non-state backed cryptocurrencies. In these areas, investors would be wise to keep abreast of new regulatory news and commentary.

If you would like to take advantage of NZ’s current stance on crypto and buy some for yourself, click here to start buying cryptocurrency in NZ legally today! 😉

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Disclaimer: Information is current as at the date of publication. This is general information only and is not intended to be advice. Crypto is volatile, carries risk and the value can go up and down. Past performance is not an indicator of future returns. Please do your own research.

Last updated December 9, 2021

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