Cryptocurrencies took the world by storm when they were first launched more than a decade ago. By the end of 2015, there were more than 10 million Bitcoin wallets worldwide, highlighting the popularity and explosive growth of the crypto market. Crypto promised to offer faster, more secure, and private transactions via the decentralized blockchain technology it is built on.
However, countries have taken to the disruptive technology differently, with some allowing their residents to hold and trade cryptocurrencies while others have passed extremely restrictive crypto laws. The following are the top countries around the world with strict cryptocurrency laws.
Russia recently made the news when the Bank of Russia filed a proposal to ban crypto mining and trading in the country. The bank argued that digital tokens such as Bitcoin posed a significant threat to Russia’s financial systems. At the moment, Russians are banned from using cryptos in their day-to-day payments.
China passed strict cryptocurrency regulations in 2021. The country’s government believes crypto presents too many problems, including promoting money laundering and harming the environment. China first began the crypto ban by asking financial institutions to refrain from engaging in any transactions involving cryptocurrency before later instructing all domestic crypto-mining operations to cease activities.
Egypt saw an Egyptian Islamic body called Dar al-Ifta pass a religious law against crypto giant Bitcoin in 2018, stating that its use is “haram.” Egypt’s banking laws also prevent citizens from making transactions by only allowing those with a Central bank license to trade Bitcoin.
Algeria has also outlawed all cryptocurrency transactions. Like Egypt, the country passed a law in 2018 that prohibited the possession, buying, selling and use of cryptocurrencies.
Bolivia was among the first countries in the world to pass restrictive cryptocurrency laws. The European nation banned the use of Bitcoin and a wide variety of other cryptocurrencies within its borders in 2014. Like China, Bolivia doesn’t believe cryptocurrencies have any merit, stating definitively that they “cannot be trusted as an investment.”
Bangladesh generally has strict regulations for its financial sector. Unfortunately, cryptocurrencies have been caught in the net, with the Asian country outlawing cryptocurrency trading and punishing individuals who are found buying, selling or using cryptos.
Turkey’s central bank banned the use of cryptos as a mode of payment in 2021, arguing that they are too big of a risk and can cause users “nonrecoverable” losses. The bank mentioned excessive volatility, lack of regulatory oversight and the potential for use in illegal activities as some of the risks involved with cryptos.
Those restrictive laws notwithstanding, the jurisdictions where cryptos are permitted are seeing plenty of companies such as Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) being established and thriving, to the benefit of the people they employ and the local economies in their areas of operation.
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