Bitcoin is considered a contentious asset for many, particularly those in positions of power. The ability to print money and control it is one of the most important powers a government has. However, bitcoin’s ascension has not been without some significant speed bumps. Some countries frown upon it as it is not backed by a central bank or government. Emotions have played a key role in driving cryptocurrency prices higher. The fear of missing out or FOMO on big gains has kept the demand for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies high. Even though many governments have adopted or at least regulated cryptocurrency, here are some of the countries that have attempted to completely ban it.
Bolivia’s central bank officially banned any type of currency or coins that are not regulated by the government in June 2014, including Bitcoin. It also forbade its citizens from denominating prices in any currency that had not been approved by the country’s national institutions.
The first was in December 2013, when the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) decided to prohibit Bitcoin because of its links to illegal drug and gun trading. The latest development has the potential to eliminate crypto trading and mining in the world’s most populous country. Financial institutions are not allowed to facilitate BTC transactions. Financial firms are prohibited from holding or trading crypto under current regulations. The regulation effectively banned cryptocurrency exchanges or trading platforms in September 2017, with 173 platforms shutting down by July 2018. The country, on the other hand, has begun developing its digital currency. When their digital Yuan goes live, it’s safe to assume that the trade embargo will be lifted.
Algerian officials currently prohibit the use of cryptocurrency. Algeria’s 2018 Financial Law prohibits the use of any cryptocurrency. It is against the law to buy, sell, use, or own so-called virtual currency. A virtual currency is used by Internet users. It is distinguished by the lack of physical support such as coins, paper money, or check or credit card payments. Any violation of this provision will be prosecuted under the applicable laws and regulations. Bitcoin is now a hot commodity in the financial industry. However, the lack of a central regulatory body to oversee it makes some countries wary of its use and existence.
Morocco is one of the countries that banned Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies years ago due to concerns about the security risks of using “hidden” payment systems. “Financial transactions with foreign countries must be carried out through authorized intermediaries and with foreign currencies listed by Bank Al-Maghrib,” according to the Moroccan Foreign Exchange Office. In Morocco, people who trade cryptocurrency will be punished by a fine. Despite the ban, Morocco is one of the four African countries where Bitcoin is traded the most, with Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya trailing behind. Morocco is ranked 36th in the world for BTC trading activity, and the top trader in North Africa.
North Macedonia is the only European country that prohibits the use of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Etheruem. Investing in cryptocurrencies is forbidden, and national banks have warned that crypto transactions are linked to criminal activities. The Central Bank also warned its citizens that speculating in cryptocurrencies is risky because the platforms where these transactions are set aren’t governed by law.
Saudi Arabia joins other countries to ban certain or all crypto transactions. This creates unique problems because of their decentralized and anonymous nature for Bitcoin users and other cryptocurrencies. The Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) published a warning drafted on the trade-in of unauthorized securities on the foreign exchange market by the SAMA Standing Committee. Financial institutions are warned against using cryptocurrencies.
Government-issues notices about the pitfalls of investing in the crypto markets are one of the most common actions identified across the surveyed jurisdictions. The purpose of such warnings, mostly issued by central banks, is to inform about the difference between actual currencies, which are issued and guaranteed by the government, and cryptocurrencies, which are not. Many of the warnings issued by different countries to ban cryptocurrency also highlight possibilities for illegal activities like money laundering and terrorism arising from cryptocurrency transactions.