Cryptocurrency has introduced all new technological advancements being a peer-to-peer digital currency. Bitcoin was the first ever cryptocurrency brought into existence in 2009, it is still being more benefited than the other cryptocurrencies got launched after Bitcoin. Till now, more than 500 various crypto currencies have launched. Tax authorities and government bodies are still figuring out the concept of being decentralized. The chief question that arises; is Cryptocurrency legal or illegal? The answer to this question varies country by country.
Countries in which Cryptocurrency is Legal:
The main feature of cryptocurrency that it is decentralized and money can be sent from anywhere at any time, is considered as a drawback by some countries. Some countries consider that it may give birth to criminal activities to be done with even more advancement. Bitcoin can be used to purchase or sell illegal materials and may become a supporting factor to do all such tasks. That’s why some countries are confused to adopt it while others are accepting it freely.
1) The United States:
The United States has always considered Bitcoin’s concept as a positive aspect. Though, there are some government bodies trying to make it illegal again. Some popular businesses like DISH Network, Dell as well as Overstock.com (OSTK) have already started adopting payments using Bitcoin. Bitcoin is being used many of the dominating markets of U.S. that’s shows its increasing favorability. The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has started providing guidance regarding Bitcoin in 2013. The Treasury has defined Bitcoin as a money services business (MSB).
Canada also shows favorability towards the concept of bitcoin and authorities take care to prevent money laundering. Canada also considers bitcoin exchanges to be money service businesses (MSB). In turn, it comes under the anti-money laundering (AML) laws. Bitcoin exchanges require being registered with Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) to report any unwanted transactions as well as keeping an official record of it.
Australia enables residents to get involved in trading, mining and buying bitcoins. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) takes bitcoin operations as barter arrangement subjected to proper taxation according to usage.
4) The European Union:
Though the European Union (EU) has supported cryptocurrency, it has not declared any appropriate statement on the legality or adoption of Cryptocurrency. Different EU countries hold the different opinion about cryptocurrencies, some of them are allowing its usage while others are not. In Finland, the Central Board of Taxes (CBT) has given Bitcoin a value-added tax exempt status. The Federal Public Service Finance of Belgium also made bitcoin exempt from VAT. In Cyprus, bitcoins are neither regulated nor illegal. UK and Germany are also supporting usage of Bitcoin.
Countries in which Bitcoin is Illegal:
There are some countries that take bitcoins’ volatility, flexibility, decentralization, and methodology as harmful attributes to their economies by connecting them with criminal and anti-national activities. Some of these countries are:
After the very known global financial crisis of 2008, Iceland has controlled and been attentive towards its monetary policies. It intends to secure the flow of Icelandic currency happening from the country. Hence, Bitcoin has not been legalized till now because it is not compatible with the country’s Foreign Exchange Act.
From very starting, Vietnam has considered Bitcoin as an undesired mode of payment. While other countries were welcoming Bitcoin whole heartedly, Vietnam declared it an illegal payment method.
Bolivia has also announced the usage of bitcoin as well as all the other crypto currencies as illegal.
Opting Bitcoin as a payment mode is illegal in Kyrgyzstan too.
Bitcoin and all the cryptocurrencies are unregulated and illegal in Ecuador. Though, there are possibilities to regulate all the cryptocurrencies in near future.
The legality aspect of bitcoin in Russia is a matter of confusion. The Ministry of Finance of Russia intends to propose a law to ban bitcoin soon in future.
Local residents of China are doing Bitcoin transactions in between but the use of Bitcoin is not officially legalized in China. Though China holds the capability to become one of the leading bitcoin markets in the world till now it’s not legal.
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