4 July 2020

Is Bitcoin Legal?

Since Bitcoin was launched in 2009, it has steadily risen in popularity. As more and more people embrace the use of Bitcoin as a medium of exchange across the globe, we’ve noticed concerns about the legal status of Bitcoin in their country.

While some governments embrace cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and even advocate for their uses, others have banned any crypto-related activities. So, whether or not Bitcoin is legal depends on where you live.

Where is Bitcoin Legal?
Source: Coin.dance (as of 10/22/20)

Countries where Bitcoin is illegal

Although most countries welcome Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, some have banned Bitcoin and its use. Some of these countries perceive Bitcoin as a threat to their current financial system, while others don’t want it to be used without proper regulations.

Here are some of the countries where Bitcoin is illegal:

  • Vietnam
  • Afghanistan
  • The Republic of Macedonia
  • Pakistan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Algeria
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Vanuatu
  • Qatar

In some countries, Bitcoin is not entirely banned, but its use in transactions and trading is restricted. In such states, financial service providers such as banks cannot deal with crypto companies or exchanges. Here are a few examples:

  • Egypt
  • Zambia
  • Indonesia
  • American Samoa
  • Nepal
  • Morocco
  • China
  • India
  • Ecuador

Countries where Bitcoin is legal

Major countries such as Canada and The United States of America generally have a crypto-friendly attitude. Member states of the European Union also encourage crypto exchanges that comply with regulations, although the states are not allowed to launch their own cryptocurrencies.

Some of the most Bitcoin-friendly countries are:

  • The United Kingdom
  • Hong Kong
  • Germany
  • Belarus
  • Bermuda
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Estonia
  • Japan
  • Gibraltar
  • Malta
  • Lithuania
  • Ukraine
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands

Countries where Bitcoin is neither legal nor illegal

Some countries are still on the fence regarding Bitcoin, which is a state known as “alegal.”.  In such states, you are not prohibited from owning Bitcoin, but there are no laws to protect you or guide what you do with it if you do own it. Most of these countries are in the process of creating a legal framework for cryptocurrencies, while others have decided to wait and see what happens to crypto. 

Here are some of the undecided countries:

  • Uruguay
  • Paraguay
  • Tanzania
  • Kenya
  • Tunisia
  • The United Arab Emirates
  • Peru
  • Panama
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Kosovo
  • Nigeria
  • Mauritius
  • The Maldives
  • Jordan
  • Jamaica
  • Gabon
  • Barbados
  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • French Guiana
  • Columbia
  • Andorra

Is Bitcoin legal tender?

The answer to whether or not Bitcoin is legal tender depends on where you are. If Bitcoin is illegal in your country of residence, you should not attempt to use it since this can have legal repercussions.

Banking & Cryptocurrency

On the other hand, if Bitcoin is legal where you live, you can use it to pay for goods and services irrespective of whether it is recognized as legal tender or not. All you have to do is find a merchant who accepts payments in Bitcoin.

As jurisdictions begin accepting Bitcoin for tax payments, it is likely to gain the status of legal tender. If you can use it to pay taxes, then it is, without a doubt, legal tender.

Is Bitcoin mining legal?

Most countries have no problem with Bitcoin mining. Most governments even overlook Bitcoin mining when it comes to establishing crypto rules and regulations. A good example is China. While crypto trading is not allowed in China, there are more crypto mining firms in china than in any other country in the world. Another example of a country with a lot of Bitcoin mining activities is Venezuela.

Other places where you can mine cryptocurrency are the United States of America and Europe.

Is Bitcoin gambling legal?

In most countries, the rules that govern gambling extend to the use of using Bitcoin to gamble.  In the early days, there was an argument that there shouldn’t be barred if the virtual currency is not legal tender. However, this argument has faded as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as regulation and policy have been created to govern digital assets.

That being said, it is vital to understand the risk involved in using cryptocurrency gambling companies. In case such a company shuts down (which can happen any time), you can end up losing your money.

It is also important to note that other cryptocurrencies such as EOS and TRON are more popular with gamblers because they have lesser transaction fees and faster confirmation times than Bitcoin.

Final word

So is Bitcoin legal? Most countries have legalized the use of cryptocurrencies, while others have not decided whether to legalize it or ban it. So, in most places, you can mine, buy, sell, and even use cryptocurrency.

However, it is essential to realize that crypto is still an up and coming industry, and rules change often. It would help if you kept yourself updated on the crypto rules in your country.

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