Bitcoin Regulations by Country for 2018

03/10/18

Countryside with hills and road

When it comes to cryptocurrency, the rules of the road can change pretty widely from country to country. This should come as no surprise. Blockchain projects sit on the intersection of two fields that governments have always controlled pretty tightly: currency and investment. Governments like to control the former because it can make an economy, the latter because it can break one.

The globally minded investor needs to understand this and the status of cryptocurrency anywhere he or she trades. 

Here is the legal status of cryptocurrency for each country that has staked out a position on the matter. It isn’t always clear and is far from set in stone, but this should give you a place to start.

A couple of notes before we dive in:

First, the term “legal tender” will appear periodically in this article. Legal tender is a currency which the government will accept for tax payments and, as the U.S. dollar says, is legally valid “for all debts public and private.” Making something legal tender is exactly as big a deal as it seems because giving cryptocurrency that status means everyone has to take it, from the biggest bank to some guy selling peaches on the corner.

Second, unless noted otherwise, countries without specific regulations on the subject tax sales, profits, and losses from cryptocurrency like any other tradeable good.

Finally, if a nation does not appear on this list, it does not have any specific regulations or bans. Members of the E.U. have been included despite regulatory status due to their participation in the economic zone. 

North America

Canada

Legal Status: Legal

Regulatory Status: Regulated as a financial product

Notes: Recognized as a form of currency for the purposes of money laundering and other government oversight

Costa Rica

Legal Status: Legal

Regulatory Status: No specific regulations

Notes: Some large employers may begin offering partial payment in cryptocurrency. This is because the country allows payment in non-official currency as long as the employer pays the minimum in legal tender.

Jamaica

Mexico

Nicaragua 

Trinidad and Tobago

United States

South America

Argentina

Bolivia

Brazil

Chile

Colombia 

Ecuador

Venezuela

Europe

Austria

Belgium

Belarus

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia

Czech Republic

Denmark

Finland

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

Italy

Latvia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Netherlands

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Ukraine

United Kingdom

Africa

Algeria

Bahrain

Egypt

Iran

Iraq

Israel

Jordan

Kuwait

Morocco

Nigeria

Qatar

South Africa

United Arab Emirates

Asia

Bangladesh

Cambodia

China

India

Indonesia

Japan

Malaysia

Nepal

Philippines

Singapore

South Korea

Thailand

Turkey

Vietnam

Australia

Australia

New Zealand

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