Cryptocurrency regulation: 10 countries where digital assets are banned

Elizabeth Smith

All over the world there is talk of regulating cryptocurrency, but in at least 10 countries they are banned. This may come as a surprise, but it is closely linked to the history of the states in question and their government’s own policy.

In a global context in which attempts are being made to regulate cryptocurrencies, they remain officially banned in some countries. Some were already expressly against digital currencies, others only recently.

Not everyone is a fan of the Web3, indeed some states see this new sector as an enemy of order, institutions and sometimes even religion.

Where are cryptocurrencies banned?

In this regard, here are those where it is not possible in any way to possess and exchange crypto.

Algeria, illegal crypto

Although some African states have shown themselves to be open to the Web3, some are definitely not. While Kenya, Togo, South Africa, Tanzania and Nigeria belong to the top 20 countries where cryptocurrencies are most widely used, in Algeria they are absolutely forbidden.

Within the state, it is a crime to use, store and buy and sell cryptocurrencies. In fact, Algeria has criminalised the practice with a 2018 ordinance.

Bolivia: Bitcoin banned

Another country that does not want to open up to the risky innovation driven by digital assets. Bolivia has made the use of Bitcoin illegal since 2014. No chance to mediate, no second thoughts.

Bangladesh, explicit but ambiguous ban

In the country, the government often finds itself ‘warning’ citizens not to use any digital currency.

Bangladeshi law, in fact, bans trading in any cryptocurrency, be it Bitcoin or other types of coin. There even seems to be a prison term of up to 12 years, although there has been no such case yet.

Ghana, controversial illegality

Although some of these states oppose cryptocurrencies, some are proving curious. Ghana is a case in point.

The country does not support digital assets, yet it cannot hide the fact that the central bank is finding ways to link blockchain networks with its financial system.

Iraq, growing popularity

Citizens hardly want to deprive themselves of the benefits or opportunities that technological/digital progress has brought in the form of cryptocurrencies.

In Iraq itself, the use of cryptos is strictly forbidden, but they seem to be growing in popularity day by day.

Iraq’s central bank made them illegal in 2017, but to this day it still doesn’t hint at backtracking despite public interest.

Egypt: cryptocurrencies against haram

A religious issue? Yes, though perhaps partly.

The truth is, however, that Egypt bans Bitcoin and other cryptos because they go against Islamic precepts.

In particular, 2018 labelled digital currencies as ‘haram’, i.e. forbidden according to the Islamic religion, tightening the bans even further in 2020: no one can trade and promote crypto without permission from the central bank.

Nepal: no crypto allowed

Nepal has had a law in place since 2017 that has made Bitcoin and related activities absolutely illegal.

Even a law is currently in force according to which it is not possible to conduct cryptocurrency transactions even for foreigners living in Nepal.

The only European exception: North Macedonia

Did you know that there is no effective ban on Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether and other cryptos in Europe? The only exception is the small state of North Macedonia, where there is no place for digital currencies.

It is the one and only state that has banned the use of cryptocurrencies.

Qatar: against money laundering

There is an unrestrained fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in the country.

Qatar, despite its ever-increasing openness to the outside world, remains firm on the idea that indulging Bitcoin & co. is a mistake that can encourage crime.

Indeed, in 2018, the state’s central bank made Bitcoin illegal, which made the ban known through a circular to all domestic banking institutions.

Turkey, ban by President Tayyip Erdogan

Last but not too different from the previous ones is the story of Turkey. A country subject to very high inflation, Turkey has seen widespread use of cryptocurrencies by citizens who have certainly tried to protect their savings.

However, the Turkish central bank issued an order in 2021 that no cryptocurrency can be traded within the state.

Read also: Over half of Bitcoin trades are fake according to analysts

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