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List of Countries Where Bitcoin is Banned: Bitcoin is Illegal in these Countries

by Fahad Saleem


Bitcoin is breaking the internet these days. Everyone seems to be interested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin now has a market cap of over $124.9 billion. People around the world regret not investing their money into Bitcoin when the digital currency was in its early stages, and cheap. But sadly Bitcoin is banned in several countries. Central banks and authorities remain skeptical of the new currency. Below is the list of countries where Bitcoin is banned.


Although China has become the world’s largest Bitcoin trading market,the country has strictly banned digital currencies on banks because 70% of the central banking authority is owned by the Chinese government. Banks and their employees are prohibited to get involved in Bitcoin business through banking, as well as engaging in business or servicing with Bitcoin industry. For common citizens, trading using Bitcoin is not banned yet.


In September 2014, Bangladesh mentioned that Bitcoin lacks any central payment system due to which they banned it. They believe that it could financially harm their citizens. Hence, if you are found using Bitcoin trading in Bangladesh, it would lead to legal actions under Money Laundering Control Act and Foreign Currency Control Act.


Nepalese government banned Bitcoin, citing their inability to track the transactions. So, it is illegal throughout the country and individuals suspected for trading of Bitcoin are arrested.


In June 2014, Bolivian government officially banned all cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin as these are not controlled by the government.


In July 2014, Kyrgyz Republic’s National Bank banned and declared illegal all digital currencies including Bitcoin. They made it illegal because these digital currencies lack the control of government making private and public regulations unfeasible. It stated that only national currency of the country, Som, is legal to use.


In November 2017, Morocco proclaimed that it will no longer accept Bitcoin as a mode of payment. The reason for banning it was that it is a hidden payment system which is not regulated by any financial institution.


In July 2014, Ecuador’s National Assembly has outlawed digital currencies including Bitcoin as they laid outline for formation of new, state-run electronic cash system. They had to protect their nation system from something more superior like Bitcoin. The government is allowed to use electronic money for payments but other digital currencies like Bitcoin is banned and declared illegal for all citizens.


In March 2014, the Central Bank of Iceland released a report stating the legal status of digital currencies in Iceland. If you purchase Bitcoin in Iceland, it will be considered a violation of Icelandic Foreign Exchange Act which states that Iceland currency cannot leave the country.


In July 2013, the Bank of Thailand declared Bitcoin as illegal due to lack of existing laws in case of currency exchange license application by the Bitcoin Co. Ltd.


In February 2014, Russian banned Bitcoin by declaring it as money substitute which cannot be used by legal entities or individuals. The use of Bitcoin in Russia is considered as a “potentially suspicious” activity as the Russian government has linked the usage of Bitcoin to illegal activities.

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