As bitcoin recently hit a $1 trillion market cap at $54,000 per coin, many crypto traders might be unable share in the wins as few countries have ordered the ban of crypto exchange in local banks and currencies.
TwentyTen Daily brings you eight countries where cryptocurrency trading has been banned.
The People’s Bank of China, which is China’s central financial regulatory authority, placed a ban on all domestic and foreign cryptocurrency exchanges in the country in 2017. China-based financial institutions are also banned from dealing and funding cryptocurrency related activities.
This move was said to have been made in a bid to curb overseas transactions leading to regulatory compliance evasion, which the government feared would pose a higher risk of fraud.
In 2014, the central bank of Bolivia, issued a ban on bitcoin and every other currency not regulated by states, countries, and economic area. The government of Bolivia says the ban is necessary to protect boliviano, the country’s currency, and to protect citizens from unregulated currencies that could lead them to lose their money.
Iran’s central bank in 2018, first announced that it was prohibiting all financial institutions, including banks and credit institutions from dealing in cryptocurrency. Buying and selling currencies in the country were also prohibited. The bank’s action was said to be in a bid to address the problem of terrorism and money laundering in the country.
Again in 2021, crypto was banned by the government in the wake of severe stock market losses in Iran in the previous year.
Government blamed the crackdown on fears that bitcoin could potentially devalue the local currency.
Morocco’s foreign exchange office and central bank prohibits the use of cryptocurrency for transaction in the country. Any citizen caught engaging in transactions involving the virtual currency will be fined. Illegal activities such as sale of drugs and weapons were stated as concerns that led to the ban.
Bitcoin and other digital currencies are currently banned by the Ecuadorian government. The central bank of Ecuador also prohibits the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies through the internet. The bank maintains that cryptocurrency is not a means of payment in the country.
In Bangladesh, the use of bitcoin is considered illegal as in 2017, the Bangladesh bank issued a ban on cryptocurrency. The bank said this is because cryptocurrencies do not conform to the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947, Anti Terrorism Act 2009 and Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2012. It asked citizens to refrain from all transactions involving virtual currencies.
In 2017, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies became considered as illegal forms of financial tender in Nepal, according to Nepal Rastra bank act and the 2019 foreign exchange regulation act. Shortly after the ban, a dozen individuals were arrested for involvement in illegal bitcoin exchange in the country. The Nepal government maintains the ban is because bitcoin is not classified as a currency in the country. The country also does not have technology to regulate cryptocurrency transactions.
There still exists a lot of global debate as to whether cryptocurrency should be recognized as legal tender and how it should be regulated.
The laws on cryptocurrency are, however, frequently changing as many countries that had banned virtual currency had later on lifted the ban completely or restricted its use.
Nigeria, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, issued a circular instructing Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) and local financial institutions to stop transactions in crypto or facilitate payments for crypto exchanges.