- Want to know about countries where cryptocurrencies are legal?
Well, you are in the right place, but before that, I want to tell you something about the term ‘Cryptocurrency’ first.
The word ‘Cryptocurrency’ might be new to many, but its origins date back to the 1980s.
It was in the 80s that NSA referred to something as cryptocurrency, which is electronic money or digital money, as we say in more traditional terms.
But it wasn’t untill 2009 with the launch of Bitcoin that the word ‘Cryptocurrency’ became famous!
Now in 2019, almost everyone involved with the internet is aware of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, in the real sense, made the term popular in general masses by being the world’s first fully functional cryptocurrency.
But it has been a decade after 2009, and the world as a general hasn’t come to a consense regarding the legality of cryptocurrencies or digital assets.
In this guide, we are going to explore the legality of cryptocurrencies in general around the world, and we will go country by country.
Country specific is needed because the world is highly fragmented despite globalization. What is good in a particular country might not be so good in another.
So hold on till we list your country:
In Which Countries Cryptocurrency Is legal?
For starters, we are starting with a few countries for now, but there are certainly more countries look into the digital revolution happening right now.
|Cryptocurrency Legal Country List||Regulations|
|United States (US)||
Cryptocurrencies aren’t legal tender in the US but not illegal also. The laws around crypto are inconsistent from each state to state.
However, crypto exchanges are legal and licensed. IRS & CFTC considers cryptos as commodities and levies income tax as well as capital gains taxes on it.
|United Kingdom (UK)||
Cryptocurrencies like BTC are yet not a legal tender and considered as private money or private investments subject to VAT/GST.
Also, crypto exchanges are legal but regulated under FCA. UK’s approach, too, has been steady on crypto regulations but believes in taxing it on capital gains.
No legal tender recognition to cryptos here treated as securities but are actively taxed since 2013. Companies dealing with digital assets need to report to Fintrac.
Some banks have banned the purchase of cryptocurrencies through their credit/debit cards, and regulations are inconsistent province wise.
Here cryptos are legal and treated as property. There is no VAT or GST on it, but capital gain taxes do exist on crypto.
Crypto exchanges, too, are legal and regulated under AUStrac. It is officially not a legal tender, but it is well accepted as tender by merchants around Australia.
In April 2019, the MAS ( Monetary Authority of Singapore ) referred to bitcoin as a digital payment token for purposes of the Payment Services Act.
You need to pay GST on cryptos, and the exchanges aren’t regulated, but MAS does keep an eye on them for preventing money-laundering purposes.
Japan has bee proactive in regulating cryptocurrencies and particular BTC, which a legal tender there. But cryptocurrencies are also taxed under the capital gain taxes and considered as private property.
Cryptocurrency exchange business is legal in Japan and regulated by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).
Cryptocurrencies are under a grey area here and RBI-India’s central bank has levied a banking ban on cryptocurrencies, so you cannot buy cryptos through India’s banking system.
As of now, the court cases are going on, and regulation of cryptos is under deliberation since 2017. There is no regulation around crypto exchanges, too, and many are self-regulating by doing KYC.
South Korea was initially crypto tax-free, but now it has implemented the much-needed taxes for individuals and corporates.
Still, it is not a legal tender, but it not illegal too. The crypto exchanges continue to operate in South Korea but are regulated South Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
After banning cryptocurrencies, N number of times, China continues its futile attack on crypto. Cryptos aren’t legal here, and neither do the crypto exchanges.
China, though, is in the process of making its digital currency but continues to crack down even now on crypto mining operations. On an all, cryptos here are a problematic affair.
Cryptocurrencies are recognized by regulators in Germany and are considered legal. But they aren’t a legal tender yet and are treated as private money which is taxed as per the capital gains laws.
Furthermore, regulations around crypto exchanges are unclear, and states aren’t doing anything for it. But in certain states, it is expected for crypto businesses to register under Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).
List Of Countries Where Cryptocurrency Is Legal
Regulating and legalizing digital currencies or cryptocurrencies is a two-edged sword for governments around the world.
There are 3000+ cryptocurrencies, and most of them are run by nameless-faceless people with sufficient levels of decentralization.
Legalizing this plethora of cryptocurrencies would mean bringing an end to any capital controls these governments want to put on their respective economies.
On the other hand, governments lose their precious control over the sovereign currencies, and they would never want any competition against it.
But residents in some countries aren’t waiting for their government’s approval because cryptocurrencies are like life and death to them.
In countries like Venezuela and Argentina, cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, or DASH are the only hedge people have access to against their falling sovereign currencies.
It is no longer a choice for these people.
Now you tell us: Which country do you reside in? What are the crypto regulations in your country? Is your country on the list? Tell us in the comments section below 🙂
Lastly, we shall be updating this list very soon because we recognize these aren’t t even a handful of countries, but there is only so much that we can also cover in a day. If there is a particular country you would like us to cover, shoot us in the comments below.
Hey there! I am Sudhir Khatwani, an IT bank professional turned into a cryptocurrency and blockchain proponent from Pune, India. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain will change human life in inconceivable ways and I am here to empower people to understand this new ecosystem so that they can use it for their benefit. You will find me reading about cryptonomics and eating if I am not doing anything else.