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The legal status of bitcoin and related crypto instruments varies substantially from state to state and is still undefined or changing in many of them. While some states have explicitly allowed its use and trade, others have banned or restricted it. Likewise, various government agencies, departments, and courts have classified bitcoins differently. While this article provides the legal status of bitcoin, regulations and bans that apply to this cryptocurrency likely extend to similar systems as well.
In October , the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that "The exchange of traditional currencies for units of the 'bitcoin' virtual currency is exempt from VAT" and that "Member States must exempt, inter alia, transactions relating to 'currency, bank notes and coins used as legal tender ' ", making bitcoin a currency as opposed to being a commodity. According to the European Central Bank , traditional financial sector regulation is not applicable to bitcoin because it does not involve traditional financial actors.
The European Central Bank classifies bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency. In the European Parliament's proposal to set up a taskforce to monitor virtual currencies to combat money laundering and terrorism, passed by votes to 51, with 11 abstentions, has been sent to the European Commission for consideration.
Virtual currency is that used by internet users via the web. It is characterized by the absence of physical support such as coins, notes, payments by cheque or credit card.
Any breach of this provision is punishable in accordance with the laws and regulations in force. On 20 November the exchange office issued a public statement in which it declared, "The Office des Changes wishes to inform the general public that the transactions via virtual currencies constitute an infringement of the exchange regulations, liable to penalties and fines provided for by [existing laws] in force.
The following day, the monetary authorities also reacted in a statement issued jointly by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Bank Al-Maghrib and the Moroccan Capital Market Authority AMMC , warning against risks associated with bitcoin, which may be used "for illicit or criminal purposes, including money laundering and terrorist financing".
On 19 December , Abdellatif Jouahri, governor of Bank Al-Maghrib, said at a press conference held in Rabat during the last quarterly meeting of the Bank Al-Maghrib's Board of that bitcoin is not a currency but a "financial asset".
He also warned of its dangers and called for a framework to be put in place for consumer protection. As of 17 January , The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN has passed a circular to inform all Nigerian banks that bank transactions in bitcoin and other virtual currencies have been banned in Nigeria. In September the Bank of Namibia issued a position paper on virtual currencies entitled  wherein it declared cryptocurrency exchanges are not allowed and cryptocurrency cannot be accepted as payment for goods and services.
The Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe is sceptical about bitcoin and has not officially permitted its use. Companies dealing in virtual currencies must register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada Fintrac , implement compliance programs, keep the required records, report suspicious or terrorist-related transactions, and determine if any of their customers are "politically exposed persons. The law applies to non-Canadian virtual currency exchanges if they have Canadian customers.
Banks may not open or maintain accounts or have a correspondent banking relationship with companies dealing in virtual currencies if that company is not registered with Fintrac. Dealers in digital currency are regulated as money services businesses. The Authorite des Marches Financiers, the regulator in the province of Quebec, has declared that some bitcoin related business models including exchanges and ATMs are regulated under its current MSB Act.
As of April , the Bank of Montreal BMO announced that it would ban its credit and debit card customers from participating in cryptocurrency purchases with their cards. The U. Treasury classified bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency in Per IRS, bitcoin is taxed as a property. Bitcoin was mentioned in a U. Supreme Court opinion on Wisconsin Central Ltd. United States regarding the changing definition of money on 21 June If money services businesses, including cryptocurrency exchanges, money transmitters, and anonymizing services known as "mixers" or "tumblers" do a substantial amount of business in the U.
Seventeen other countries have similar AML requirements. In September , a federal judge ruled that "Bitcoins are funds within the plain meaning of that term".
Bitcoin is legal in Mexico as of It is to be regulated as a virtual asset by the FinTech Law. News reports indicate that bitcoins are being used in the country. The Costa Rican Central Bank announced that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not consider currencies, and are not backed by the government nor laws.
However, they are not illegal. There are a few merchants who do accept bitcoins in the country. The Bank of Jamaica BoJ , the national Central Bank, has publicly declared that it must create opportunities for the exploitation of technologies including cryptocurrencies. Accordingly, in the BoJ will be embarking on a campaign to build awareness of cryptocurrencies as part of increasing general financial literacy and understanding of cryptocurrencies.
Indications are that early BoJ signals point to their general framework on "electronic retail payment service systems" possibly being brought to bear on initial cryptocurrencies considerations. Bitcoins may be considered money, but not legal currency. A bitcoin may be considered either a good or a thing under the Argentina's Civil Code, and transactions with bitcoins may be governed by the rules for the sale of goods under the Civil Code.
Absolute ban. Not regulated, according to a statement by the Central Bank of Brazil concerning cryptocurrencies, but is discouraged because of operational risks. There is no regulation on the use of bitcoins. Financial institutions are not allowed to facilitate bitcoin transactions. The Superintendencia Financiera warned financial institutions in that they may not "protect, invest, broker, or manage virtual money operations".
The Ecuadorian government has issued a ban on bitcoin and other digital currencies. Ecuador's new project would be controlled by the government and tied directly to the local currency—the dollar. Users will be able to pay for select services and send money between individuals. This was slated to begin in mid-February We have had meetings with the Supreme Court so that people who have been victims of seizures and arrests in previous years will have charges dismissed.
Bitcoin is considered a commodity,  not a security or currency under the laws of the Kyrgyz Republic and may be legally mined, bought, sold and traded on a local commodity exchange. On 2 September , a decree legalizing crypto trading — also making it tax-free — and mining in the country came into force, making Uzbekistan a crypto-friendly state.
The use of bitcoins is not regulated in Cyprus. According to the Library of Congress "Under article D. No initial coin offerings are permitted and no establishment of an exchange is permitted under this license. As of , the Israel Tax Authorities issued a statement saying that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would not fall under the legal definition of currency, and neither of that of a financial security, but of a taxable asset. Financial institutions are warned from using bitcoin.
The government of Jordan has issued a warning discouraging the use of bitcoin and other similar systems. The Central Bank of Jordan prohibits banks, currency exchanges, financial companies, and payment service companies from dealing in bitcoins or other digital currencies.
The government of Lebanon has issued a warning discouraging the use of bitcoin and other similar systems. Bitcoin is not regulated as it is not considered to be electronic money according to the law. Financial institutions are not allowed by central bank to facilitate bitcoin transactions. Finance minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech on 1 February , stated that the government will do everything to discontinue the use of bitcoin and other virtual currencies in India for criminal uses.
He reiterated that India does not recognise them as legal tender and will instead encourage blockchain technology in payment systems. In , a petition has been filed [ by whom? Bank will not get involved if there is any dispute.
They will not facilitate any transaction for it. The bank has issued an official notice on its website and has also posted the news on its official Twitter account. On 1 April PBOC ordered commercial banks and payment companies to close bitcoin trading accounts in two weeks. Cryptocurrency exchanges or trading platforms were effectively banned by regulation in September with platforms closed down by July On 8 January , the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury addressed bitcoin in the Legislative Council stating that "Hong Kong at present has no legislation directly regulating bitcoins and other virtual currencies of [a] similar kind.
However, our existing laws such as the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance provide sanctions against unlawful acts involving bitcoins, such as fraud or money laundering. He also decided that bitcoins will not be regulated by HKMA.
However, the authority will be closely watching the usage of bitcoins locally and its development overseas. On 7 March , the Japanese government, in response to a series of questions asked in the National Diet , made a cabinet decision on the legal treatment of bitcoins in the form of answers to the questions. The decision also acknowledges that there are no laws to unconditionally prohibit individuals or legal entities from receiving bitcoins in exchange for goods or services.
Taxes may be applicable to bitcoins. As of April , cryptocurrency exchange businesses operating in Japan have been regulated by the Payment Services Act. Cryptocurrency exchange businesses have to be registered, keep records, take security measures, and take measures to protect customers.
The law on cryptocurrency transactions must comply with the anti-money laundering law; and measures to protect users investors. The Act also states that cryptocurrency is limited to property values that are stored electronically on electronic devices, not a legal tender. Minors and all foreigners are prohibited from trading cryptocurrencies.
Adult South Koreans may trade on registered exchanges using real name accounts at a bank where the exchange also has an account. Both the bank and the exchange are responsible for verifying the customer's identity and enforcing other anti-money-laundering provisions. Financial institutions have been warned by regulators that necessary regulatory actions may be taken if they use bitcoin. It is stated that bitcoins remains highly volatile, highly speculative, and is not entitled to legal claims or guarantee of conversion.
On 7 December , Bank Indonesia , the country's central bank, issued a regulation banning the use of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin as payment tools starting 1 January On 4 November , Bank Negara Malaysia BNM met with local bitcoin proponents to learn more about the currency but did not comment at the time.
The central bank will not regulate bitcoin operations at the moment and users should aware of the risks associated with bitcoin usage. Recently virtual currencies were legalized and cryptocurrency exchanges are now regulated by Central Bank of the Philippines Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas under Circular ; however bitcoin and other "virtual currencies" are not recognized by the BSP as currency as "it is neither issued or guaranteed by a central bank nor backed by any commodity. In December , the Monetary Authority of Singapore reportedly stated that "[w]hether or not businesses accept bitcoins in exchange for their goods and services is a commercial decision in which MAS does not intervene.
On 22 September , the Monetary Authority of Singapore MAS warned users of the risks associated with using bitcoin stating "If bitcoin ceases to operate, there may not be an identifiable party responsible for refunding their monies or for them to seek recourse"  and in December stated "Whether or not businesses accept Bitcoins in exchange for their goods and services is a commercial decision in which MAS does not intervene"  In January , the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore issued a series of tax guidelines according to which bitcoin transactions may be treated as a barter exchange if it is used as a payment method for real goods and services.
Businesses that deal with bitcoin currency exchanges will be taxed based on their bitcoin sales. Thai based bitcoin exchanges can only exchange Digital Currencies for Thai Baht and are required to operate with a Thailand Business Development Department e-commerce license.
The State Bank of Vietnam has declared that the issuance, supply and use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency is illegal as a mean of payment and subject to punishment ranging from million to million VND,  but the government doesn't ban bitcoin trading as a virtual goods or assets.
Is BTC Legal?
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BITCOIN Legal Or Illegal - INDIA, CANADA, USA, JAPAN, CHINA - Bitcoin Ban Or Not After 5 July
Legality of Bitcoin in China
Stricter regulations by the PBOC will "definitely weigh on the cryptocurrency universe," said Wayne Cao, click runs a company that recently offered 10 billion tokens in an ICO. The BTC owner would be obligated to send the agreed amount of BTC to the target wallet just as a shop owner hands over a bottle of water after bbitcoin the purchase price in RMB. However, despite the ICO ban and momentary decline, cryptocurrency trading continued in China, as many participants lwgal to foreign exchanges, like those based in Hong Kong and Japan, to deal in virtual currencies. If ownership of Bitcoin were actually deemed illegal in China, it is likely the court case would have been thrown out at an early stage for not having an actionable claim. Ali Martinez Twitter. Retrieved 12 December The government of Jordan has issued a warning discouraging the use of bitcoin and other similar systems. Archived from the original on 11 January Cryptocurrency is still alive and well in China. Retrieved 18 February Contradictory information Absolute ban. When bitcoin is exchanged for sterling or for foreign currencies, such as euro or dollar, no VAT will be due on the value of the bitcoins themselves. Retrieved 3 January Related Articles.