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Author Topic: List of Countries and Territories where Bitcoin is Legal  (Read 111 times)
ruthbabe
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May 01, 2018, 05:57:04 AM
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Why is Bitcoin’s Legality Controversial?

The legality of Bitcoin is a very controversial issue that almost every country has denied it as a legal tender. This may be attributed to the fact that Bitcoin is a decentralized and no government has control of the cryptocurrency. In the traditional sense, fiat money is created by the government, it is backed by banks and other financial institutions. But when it comes to Bitcoin, however, there is no governing body that regulates it thus leads to extreme volatility in the price which governments and or regulators "think-tank" around the globe says is not good for economic systems."

However, there are some countries or territories which have been lenient towards this currency of the future and have given it legal or quasi-legal status. Let us take a closer look at the legal status of Bitcoins on the following list of countries or territories... (Note: If you belong to one of these countries or territories, please comment. Thank you.)

European Union - The European Union has passed no specific legislation relative to the status of bitcoin as a currency but has stated that VAT/GST is not applicable to the conversion between traditional (fiat) currency and bitcoin. VAT/GST and other taxes (such as income tax) still apply to transactions made using bitcoins for goods and services.

Japan - Considered by many as Asia cryptocurrency hub and a breeding ground for the growth of cryptocurrency trading in Asia soon after China and South Korea taking drastic measures against cryptocurrencies.

Canada - Is a friendly environment for cryptocurrency entrepreneurs as there are a number of Bitcoin Startups in the country as well as numerous Bitcoin ATMs.

Germany - One of the few countries where Bitcoin is actually recognized as a legal currency.

Morocco - A digital services company MTDS introduced bitcoin as a mode of payment for its services in Morocco.

Nigeria - Central Bank of Nigeria Says ‘We Can’t Stop Bitcoin'... "Central bank cannot control or regulate bitcoin. Central bank cannot control or regulate blockchain. Just the same way no one is going to control or regulate the Internet. We don’t own it"

South Africa - In December 2014 the Reserve Bank of South Africa issued a position paper on Virtual Currencies whereby it declared that virtual currency had ‘no legal status or regulatory framework.

Namibia - In September 2017 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.

Zimbabwe - The Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe is skeptical about bitcoin and has not officially permitted its use. On 5 April 2017 however,  BitMari, a Pan-African Blockchain platform got licensed, through its banking partner, AgriBank, to operate in the country.

United States - The U.S. Treasury classified bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency in 2013. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC, classified bitcoin as a commodity in September 2015. Per IRS, bitcoin is taxed as a property. In September 2016, a federal judge ruled that "Bitcoins are funds within the plain meaning of that term".

Mexico - Bitcoin is legal in Mexico as of 2017. It is to be regulated as a virtual asset by the FinTech Law.

Nicaragua - News reports indicate that bitcoins are being used in the country.

Costa Rica - The Costa Rican Central Bank announced that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not considering 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.

Jamaica - 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 2017 the BoJ will be embarking on a campaign to build awareness of cryptocurrencies as part of increasing general financial literacy and understanding of cryptocurrencies.

Trinidad and Tobago - In 2014, The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago issued a warning on the use of cryptocurrencies and the risks involved in investing. Still, trading cryptocurrencies and organizing ICOs are legal in the country.

Argentina - Bitcoins may be considered money, but not legal currency. A bitcoin may be considered either a good or a thing under Argentina's Civil Code, and transactions with bitcoins may be governed by the rules for the sale of goods under the Civil Code.

Brazil - Not regulated, according to a 2014 statement by the Central Bank of Brazil concerning cryptocurrencies, but is discouraged because of operational risks. In November 2017 this unregulated and discouraged status was reiterated by the Central Bank of Brazil.

Chile - There is no regulation on the use of bitcoins.

Colombia - On 26 March 2014, Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia states that the use of bitcoin is not regulated.

Cyprus - The use of bitcoins is not regulated in Cyprus.

United Arab Emirates - On 13 February 2018, Dubai gold trader Regal RA DMCC is the first company in the Middle East to get a license to trade cryptocurrencies, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre said. DMCC was named ‘Global Free Zone of the Year’ 2017 by The Financial Times fDi Magazine, for the third year running and serves as a global marketplace for commodities to drive trade flows through Dubai.

Israel - As of 2017, 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. Each time a bitcoin is sold, the seller would have to pay a capital gains tax of 25%. Miners, traders of bitcoins would be treated as businesses and would have to pay corporate income tax as well as charge a 17% VAT.

Saudi Arabia - Bitcoin is not banned by any governmental party in Saudi Arabia. Only Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has warned from using it as it is high risk and recognized in Saudi Arabia and its dealers will not be guaranteed any protection or rights. There is a bitcoin ATM in the city of Jubail.

Jordan - 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. While it warned the public of risks of bitcoins, and that they are not legal tender, bitcoins are still accepted by small businesses and merchants.
 
Lebanon - The government of Lebanon has issued a warning discouraging the use of bitcoin and other similar systems.

Turkey - Bitcoin is not regulated as it is not considered to be electronic money according to the law.

Iran - Bitcoin is neither recognized nor regulated in Iran. Government officials, however, discourage investing in cryptocurrencies until after the regulations are made.

India - Finance minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech on 1 February 2018, 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 recognize them as legal tender and will instead encourage blockchain technology in payment systems.

China - While private parties can hold and trade bitcoins in China, the regulation prohibits financial firms like banks from doing the same. Trading bitcoins by individuals is legal in China.

South Korea - While not illegal in the country, Korean authorities will prosecute illegal activity involving bitcoin and have indicted at least one individual for purchasing drugs with bitcoin.

Taiwan - While bitcoin is not illegal in Taiwan, financial institutions have been warned by regulators that necessary regulatory actions may be taken if they use it. Bitcoin ATMs are banned but bitcoins can be purchased at over 6000 convenience store kiosks.

Indonesia - Legal to trade and hold but illegal as a payment tool. On 7 December 2017, Bank Indonesia, the country's central bank, issued a regulation banning the use of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin as payment tools starting 1 January 2018. However other activities such as bitcoin trading and mining remain not covered by the regulation.

Malaysia - On 4 November 2013, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) met with local bitcoin proponents to learn more about the currency but did not comment at the time. BNM issued a statement on 6 January 2014 that Bitcoin is not recognized as a legal tender in Malaysia. The central bank will not regulate Bitcoin operations at the moment and users should aware of the risks associated with Bitcoin usage. On 4 October 2017, BNM announced that The decision on whether cryptocurrencies should be banned in Malaysia will be taken by them before the end of the year.

Philippines - On 6 March 2014, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued a statement on risks associated with bitcoin trading and usage. Recently virtual currencies were legalized and cryptocurrency exchanges are now regulated by Central Bank of the Philippines (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) under Circular 944.

Singapore - In December 2013, the Monetary Authority of Singapore reportedly stated that "Whether 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 2013, 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 2013 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 2014, 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.

Thailand - The initial position of the Bank of Thailand, mid-2013, was to discourage the use of bitcoin, however, as of 2017, the Bank of Thailand is open to bitcoin provided proper controls are in place. The SEC Thailand encourages access to funding for businesses, including high potential tech startups, and realizes the potential of ICO in answering startups’ funding needs. In cases where an ICO constitutes offering of securities, the issuer will need to comply with applicable regulatory requirements. The SEC Thailand issued a Public Consultation Document Aor Tor Ngor 34/2560 27 October 2017 Topic: Regulatory approach on Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

Vietnam - Legal to trade and hold but illegal as a payment tool. Trading in Bitcoin in Vietnam is still unrestricted and unregulated by law, and two largest bitcoin markets in Vietnam - VBTC and Bitcoin Vietnam are working without being restricted. In August 2017, Vietnam's prime minister has approved a plan that could see the country formally recognize bitcoin as a form of payment by the end of 2018. The State Bank of Vietnam has declared that the issuance, supply and use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency are illegal as a mean of payment and subject to punishment ranging from 150 million to 200 million VND, but the government doesn't ban bitcoin trading as virtual goods or assets.

Austria - Bitcoin is legal. Although not considered to be an official form of currency, earnings are subject to tax law.

Croatia - On 6 December 2013, the Croatian National Bank reportedly conducted a discussion on the circulation of digital currencies and concluded that bitcoin is not illegal in Croatia.

Czech Republic - Bitcoin trading does not require authorization by the Czech National Bank and the Czech National Bank cannot grant such an authorization (2015). Bitcoin is classified as intangible good (not as electronic money) for purpose of tax and other laws.

Germany - On 19 August 2013, the German Finance Ministry announced that bitcoin is now essentially a "unit of account" and can be used for the purpose of tax and trading in the country, meaning that purchases made with it must pay VAT as with Euro transactions. It is not classified as a foreign currency or e–money but stands as "private money" which can be used in "multilateral clearing circles", according to the ministry.

Poland - The use of bitcoin in Poland is not regulated by a legal act at present. Szymon Wozniak of the Ministry of Finance made an official announcement on the legality of bitcoin on 18 December 2013 at a conference at the Warsaw School of Economics stating that the Ministry of Finance does not consider bitcoin illegal and does not want to hinder its development.

Romania - As of March 2015, an official statement of the Romanian National Bank mentioned that "using digital currencies as payment has certain risks for the financial system". In October 2017, the National Fiscal Administration Agency (ANAF) declared that there is a lack of a legislative framework around bitcoin, and therefore, it is unable to create a tax regulation framework for it as well (implying no taxation).

Slovakia - The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), stated that bitcoin does not have the legal attributes of a currency, and therefore does not fall under national control. European legislation, including the Slovak law, does not define the activities associated with virtual currency. Such activities are not regulated and supervised by the National Bank of Slovakia or the European Central Bank. NBS points out that virtual currencies have not a physical counterpart in the form of legal tender and participation in such a scheme (virtual currency) is at your own risk. Exchanges or purchases of virtual currencies represent the business risk of investors and investors' money are not protected. For any compensation of losses caused by such exchanges or purchases, there is no legal entitlement.

Slovenia - On 23 December 2013 the Slovenian Ministry of Finance made an announcement stating that bitcoin is neither a currency nor an asset. There is no capital gains tax chargeable on bitcoin, however, bitcoin mining is taxed and businesses selling goods/services in bitcoin are also taxed.

Switzerland - The Swiss Federal Council issued a report on virtual currencies in June 2014. The report states that since virtual currencies are not in a legal vacuum, the Federal Council has concluded that there is no need for legislative measures to be taken at the moment. In 2016, Zug, an affluent municipality, and town in Switzerland added bitcoin as a means of paying city fees, in a test and an attempt to advance Zug as a region that is advancing future technologies. Swiss Federal Railways, government-owned railway company of Switzerland, sells bitcoins at its ticket machines.

Ukraine - The use of bitcoins is not regulated in Ukraine.

Denmark  -Denmark’s Financial Supervisory Authority issued a statement declaring that Bitcoin is not a currency and stating that it will not regulate its use.

Estonia - The use of bitcoins is not regulated or otherwise controlled by the government. The Estonian Ministry of Finance has concluded that there are no legal obstacles to use bitcoin-like cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Traders must, therefore, identify the buyer when establishing a business relationship or if the buyer acquires more than 1,000 euros of the currency in a month.

Finland - The Finnish Tax Administration has issued instructions for the taxation of virtual currencies, including the bitcoin. Rather than a currency or a security, a bitcoin transaction is considered a private contract equivalent to a contract for the difference for tax purposes. Purchases of goods with bitcoin or conversion of bitcoin into legal currency "realizes" the value and an increase in price will be taxable; however, losses are not tax-deductible. Mined bitcoin is considered earned income.

Iceland - The Icelandic Central Bank confirmed that "it is prohibited to engage in foreign exchange trading with the electronic currency bitcoin, according to the Icelandic Foreign Exchange Act". On 12 March 2017, the Central Bank amended its rules. With the new rules, wide and general exemptions have been granted from the restrictions of the Foreign Exchange Act No. 87/1992.

Lithuania - Bank of Lithuania released a warning on 31 January 2014, that bitcoin is not recognized as legal tender in Lithuania and that bitcoin users should be aware of high risks that come with the usage of it.

Norway - The Norwegian Tax Administration stated in December 2013 that they don't define bitcoin as money but regard it as an asset. Profits are subjected to wealth tax. In business, use of bitcoin falls under the sales tax regulation. The Norwegian government stated in February 2017 that they would not levy VAT on the purchase or sale of bitcoin.

Russia - As of November 2016 declared bitcoins is "not illegal" according to the Federal Tax Service of Russia. In September 2017 Russia central bank head Elvira Nabiullina has said it is categorically against regulating cryptocurrencies as money, as a means by which payment can be made for goods and services, and against equating them with foreign currency. Deputy Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Alexei Moiseev at the same time said it's "probably illegal" to accept cryptocurrencies payments. However, bitcoin market sites are blocked and in court decisions stated that bitcoin is a currency surrogate which is outlawed on the territory of Russian Federation.

Sweden - The Swedish Tax Agency has given a preliminary ruling on Value Added Tax (VAT) on bitcoins, stating that trade in bitcoins is not subject to Swedish VAT, but is instead subject to the Finansinspektionen (Financial Supervisory Authority) regulations and treated as a currency. The Swedish jurisdiction is in general quite favorable for bitcoin businesses and users as compared to other countries within the EU and the rest of the world. The governmental regulatory and supervisory body Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) have legitimized the fast-growing industry by publicly proclaiming bitcoin and other digital currencies as a means of payment.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - No regulation on the use of bitcoins.

Bulgaria - There is not a single word in Bulgarian laws about bitcoin. People owe 10% tax if they made a profit trading.

Greece - No specific legislation on bitcoins exists in Greece.

Italy - Italy does not regulate bitcoin use by private individuals.

Malta - As of 2017, Malta does not have any regulations specifically pertaining to bitcoins. In 2017, the country’s prime minister Joseph Muscat announced the approval of a national strategy to promote bitcoin and blockchain technology. Muscat specifically addressed the bitcoin blockchain’s ability to handle, store and process sensitive data in an immutable and decentralized ecosystem.

Portugal - Bitcoin has no specific legal framework in Portugal.

Spain - Transactions in bitcoins are subject to the same laws as barter transactions.

Belgium - The Minister of Finance indicated that government intervention with regard to the bitcoin system does not appear necessary at the present time.

France - The French Ministry of Finance issued regulations on 11 July 2014 pertaining to the operation of virtual currency professionals, exchanges, and taxation.

Ireland - The Central Bank of Ireland was quoted in the Assembly of Ireland as stating that it does not regulate bitcoins.

Luxembourg - The Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier has issued a communication in February 2014 acknowledging the status of currency to the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The first BitLicence was issued in October 2015, and the government is actively supporting this development.

Netherlands - As of 2017, virtual currencies such as bitcoin does not fall within the scope of the Act on Financial Supervision of the Netherlands.

United Kingdom - As of 2017, the government of the United Kingdom has stated that bitcoin is unregulated and that it is treated as a 'foreign currency' for most purposes, including VAT/GST.

Australia - Australia has officially confirmed it will treat bitcoin “just like money” on 1 July 2017 and it will no longer be subject to double taxation.

New Zealand - The Reserve Bank of New Zealand states: "Non-banks do not need our approval for schemes that involve the storage and/or transfer of value (such as ‘bitcoin’) – so long as they do not involve the issuance of physical circulating currency (notes and coins)."


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_bitcoin_by_country_or_territory





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May 04, 2018, 08:09:06 PM
 #2

Most countries have not clearly made determinations on the legality of Bitcoin, preferring instead to take a wait-and-see approach. Some countries have indirectly assented to the legal usage of Bitcoins by enacting some regulatory oversight. Countries like US, Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia, European Union, Malta, etc. have a positive attitude towards cryptocurrencies. However, Bitcoin is never legally acceptable as a substitute for a country’s legal tender.
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May 04, 2018, 08:26:29 PM
 #3

Thank you for this very informative thread! Now I know why the transaction fees and conversion differences are crazy. The only application that we can use to convert bitcoin to cash is regulated by the Central Bank of the Philippines. SHAKING MY HEAD
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May 04, 2018, 08:44:23 PM
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It's just a matter of time to see bitcoin everywhere
ruthbabe
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May 08, 2018, 04:18:35 PM
 #5


+++snip+++ However, Bitcoin is never legally acceptable as a substitute for a country’s legal tender.


Yeah. Fiat money and/or paper currency, and coins are common forms of legal tender in almost all countries. But for a government or any government to declare or accept something that is digital to be their legal tender I think is not possible at least in this era.

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May 08, 2018, 04:39:03 PM
 #6

The legalization of Bitcoin is very controversial because it is what will end issue about bitcoin of being a tool for the criminals to continuously prosper and conquer this industry. Its legalization would make an impact to the every aspect of it and as well as to the people and government. By then maybe everyone would acknowledge and accept bitcoin for what it is. Yet, we cannot determine if these effects would be for the better or worse in this industry.

I have also found a post listing the status of acceptance of bitcoin from different countries which is retyped and posted by @ArkiCrypto originally created by @CoinCrunchin, https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3292814.msg34356119#msg34356119.

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May 08, 2018, 05:26:23 PM
 #7

India - Finance minister Arun Jaitley, in his budget speech on 1 February 2018, 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 recognize them as legal tender and will instead encourage blockchain technology in payment systems.

The Indian government is a nanny state in many ways. It's also filled with power hungry politicians and bureaucrats who like to see themselves as benign overlords and not as public servants. This shows through when the central bank simply asked all banks to stop any interaction with crypto exchanges.

They failed to properly define bitcoin and just gave vague statements about their potential misuse. A petition was launched for which the Courts have summoned the representatives of Central bank and taxation authorities. It is not illegal but it'll soon be very difficult for any new comers to transact.


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May 08, 2018, 05:57:37 PM
 #8

vietnam is in dilemma, many people still consider it's a crime hahah
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May 28, 2018, 07:26:00 AM
 #9

Its nice to know that there is so many list of the countries accepted the bitcoin to legalized and in their territories. So the investors will be interested and they give more support the bitcoin and to stabilized this kind of currency like bitcoin.
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May 28, 2018, 07:57:18 AM
 #10

Its good to know that there's already a lot of countries accepting btc and hopefully it will be fully legalized on the said countries. I also believe that there's still other countries which have lots of btc users. Hope that soon all will be polished by the government to get btc totally legalized.

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May 31, 2018, 02:34:08 PM
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this is very good because there are many countries that allow bitcoin, and there is no possibility other countries will be as redundant as it allows ,,,
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June 06, 2018, 04:26:03 PM
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The best case is when the government pretends that bitcoin does not exist! Grin
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June 07, 2018, 04:34:58 PM
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I know several countries that have decided to develop a regulatory framework with a view to actively introducing digital currency into the economy. (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada), but this of course not all

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June 07, 2018, 04:48:00 PM
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in 2020 many of  these country will accept bitcoin as legal currency.legalizing bitcoin is a global problem and we have to wait.
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June 07, 2018, 05:16:32 PM
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I hope some other countries will have the same view of cryptocurrency. There are already many developed countries that accept cryptocurrency and make it as legal tender. For reasons that they (the government) forbid cryptocurrency are extremely unreasonable, such as the cause of inflation and will make the national currency destroyed. When they do re-research on cryptocurrency, I think it does not matter if cryptocurrency is not valid for the payment system, but for trading and investing they have to acknowledge and provide user-seamless security for trading and investing, in return they can use taxes.

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June 07, 2018, 05:30:38 PM
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I noticed that there are many countries that have not put restrictions but in these countries there are no regulations to declare any gains
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June 07, 2018, 05:39:23 PM
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Many countries not officially announced,bitcoin is legal or illegal.Countries like South Korea start to regulate the bitcoin in their country and will collect some tax from his people.In Pakistan , bitcoin is not announced as legal or illegal.Bitcoin is legal tender in Germany.
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June 07, 2018, 05:58:53 PM
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AFAIK in the Philippines, it is not fully legal and accepted. It's just that the government is neutral about it and finding ways on how would they be able to use the capabilities of cryptocurrencies to boost up the economy and help the people. With the recent bust of a cryptocurrency-based investment (lol) NewG, the government released a circular regarding the widespread fraud related with cryptocurrencies. Most countries are also neutral regarding their stance on cryptos, but over time I'm sure that they'll give it a green light once proper regulations and laws are drafted concerning the rise of cryptos and bitcoin.

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July 06, 2018, 04:11:41 AM
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In my country, btc is not supported by the government, nor do they prohibit it. This market is like living outside the law.
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