Is Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies Legal? – In US, China, Russia, India Etc.

I think by now you know that governments cannot ban Bitcoin.

But of course, it can ban exchanges, wallets or surrounding infrastructure which has a single point of failure.

And most of us agree on this!!

But when we know that governments can not ban Bitcoin than from where the question of legality or illegality of Bitcoin comes in.

Well, that what I want to stress in this article and tell you about Bitcoin banning.

So let’s get the ball rolling:

Bitcoin Legal Countries List: Are Bitcoins Legal?

Bitcoin, as we all know, is the peer to peer electronic cash system which runs on the internet.

The main innovation here by Satoshi Nakamoto is the decentralized system that cannot be censored and has enough incentives for participants to participate in it.

It is the world’s first fully functional digital money without a single point of failure.

And let me be honest with you:

Because of all these attributes governments around are skeptical about it.

Governments have always enjoyed the monetary authority whether it be a dictatorial or democratic government, but in the case of Bitcoin, they don’t have the power.

And this is what scares the hell of governments like the US, China or India.

But coming back to the question of the legality of Bitcoin…

So let’s ask what the term ‘Legal’ means?

  • It means ‘permitted by law.’

But have you thought for a second that when something didn’t exist a few years back, how is it possible to make law around it?

And that’s where we as a human society run into the problem of unregulated markets.

Bitcoin went through the same problem, and now after ten years of its launch, some countries have declared it illegal whereas some has declared it legal.

On the other hand, many are still not clear about their stand on it.

But across all countries, one thing is common, i.e., Bitcoin is still highly unregulated, and that is its feature, not a bug.

Because even governments cannot regulate Bitcoin beyond a certain point.

 Of course, they can ban exchanges, wallets or mining farms but Bitcoin as a network or protocol will require the whole internet to be taken down with all copies of its ledger be deleted.

And this is simply impossible because Bitcoin full nodes are highly decentralized:

Present Scenario Worldwide About Bitcoin’s Legality

As of now some countries are still studying Bitcoin and are unclear with their stance.

Some countries have put a blanket ban on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies whereas some states have banned Bitcoin but not banned mining.

And there are a few that have embraced Bitcoin.

So you see here only there is a huge disparity between all the countries as for how they look at Bitcoin and this is what is going to create further adoption for Bitcoin.

And BTC’s legality or illegality depends on where you stay, so that’s why we have formed this country wise exhaustive list stating Bitcoin’s legality status in those countries:

Bitcoin Banned Countries 2019 Government’s Stance
Using Bitcoin and other currencies is banned, and one can be fined in Vietnam
Bitcoin and other digital currencies are banned as they use their stated owned digital currency.
Bolivia Any kind of digital currency is prohibited here
Algeria Purchase, sale, use-age, and holding of BTC is banned
Bangladesh Using BTC is violating anti-money laundering law here
Nepal You can be jailed for using or possessing BTC
Macedonia Jail-able offense.
Venezuela Illegal to hold or use for which one can be jailed

Bitcoin Legal Countries List Government’s Stance
Japan BTC a legal form of payment
Estonia No legal barriers to use BTC as money
Germany Bitcoin is considered as private money
Iceland Not banned but subject to certain restrictions
United States (Is Bitcoin legal in the USA?) Not banned but subject to taxation and bit license
BTC is considered here as an intangible asset and as property
Bitcoin & other currencies are not banned here, and there is no double taxation on it.
Most forward country to recognize Bitcoin as currency
It sees Bitcoin as an intangible asset, and BTC is not banned here
China (Is Bitcoin legal in China?)
Exchanges and ICOs are banned, but Bitcoin trading is still legal

Countries Where Bitcoin Is Still Unregulated With No Clear Stance On Legality or Illegality

  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Hong Kong
  • Colombia
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Greece
  • India (is bitcoin legal in India? Yes & No both, because it is not yet banned but still unregulated)
  • Indonesia
  • Lebanon
  • Lithuania
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand


In my opinion whatever the world has seen of Bitcoin, until now is just the tip of the iceberg, and there is more to come.

Bitcoin will not end by a handful of countries coming together and putting a label of legal or not-legal on it.

And when you have so much paper money sloshing around the world, it is enough to believe that this is not the end of BTC.

Lastly countries like Venezuela where inflation rages like anything, it is all the more reason that people will choose BTC over fiat because they have the moral duty to feed their families over breaking the so-called illegality law of Bitcoin usage.

So that’s why I leave you in the end with a short video by Andreas- a man for whom I have the utmost respect addressing the questions on cryptocurrency bans:

Adios !!

Sudhir Khatwani

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