Countries that ban bitcoin doubled in 3 years

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Key facts:

9 countries have placed absolute restrictions on the use of bitcoin.

Some countries have chosen to apply stricter measures on money laundering with bitcoin.

Adopt bitcoin (BTC) or restrict its use? This appears to be the dilemma faced by many regulators globally. A recent study revealed that the number of countries that have totally or partially banned BTC has doubled in the last 3 years. On the other hand, it was within that same period when favorable actions for bitcoin were also seen, among them, the adoption as legal tender in El Salvador.

The study, led by the United States Library of Congress, listed countries around the world that have regulatory policies around bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

The research divides the list of countries among those that have applied regulatory policies to allow its use and those that have prohibited it. The prohibitions are divided, in turn, into 2 categories: absolute and implicit.

Absolute regulations are defined as the total ban on the use of cryptocurrencies. This occurs when there are policies, on the part of the states, that classify its use as a criminal act. On the other hand, implicit regulations are those that prevent businesses and financial institutions from using cryptocurrencies, but not their possession by citizens.

According to the study, 9 countries in total, by November 2021, have decided to veto or prohibit all economic activity around the use of cryptocurrencies. China is perhaps the most notorious case in 2021. By September of last year, the Central Bank of that nation classified as “illegal” any activity or trade in which bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are involved.

Other countries with absolute restriction on bitcoin are Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Nepal, Qatar and Oman.

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Since 2018, when the first report was published, only one country has added bitcoin to its blacklist, in this case China, from 8 to 9 countries that absolutely prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies. However, the number of states that have implemented implicit prohibition policies has risen from 15 to 45.

Countries with prohibitive policies are marked in red, while nations with implicit regulatory policies are indicated in blue. Source: Library of Congress.

It should be noted that, in this same periodProposals have also been applied in favor of the adoption of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, as is the case in El Salvador. In that Central American country, in September 2021, the law that converted bitcoin as legal tender was approved.

Another example of this is the progress in regulatory measures in Latin American countries, such as Paraguay, which is developing policies in favor of the adoption of cryptocurrencies. This is also the case of Costa Rica, a nation that, according to some experts, has an optimal regulatory ecosystem for the adoption of bitcoin.

Anti-money laundering taxes and regulations

The study in question also includes the list of countries that, although they have not established prohibitive policies on the use of cryptocurrencies, they have placed regulations on the spectrum of taxes and policies against money laundering (AML, for its acronym in English). ).

According to the study, 103 countries currently have AML policies. These are often criticized by advocates of cryptocurrencies as they can go against the privacy that some users seek when using bitcoin. For 2018, only 33 states applied this type of measures, meaning a growth of 300% in just 3 years.

The use of AML regulations does not come hand in hand with prohibitions on the use of cryptocurrencies, since this type of policy is implemented, for the most part, on exchanges or crypto-asset trading platforms and not on self-custodial wallets.

In Europe, for example, a tool known as CipherTrace has been implemented, which reports the movements of cryptocurrencies between exchanges, to identify who is the user who carries out the transaction.

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