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    Bitcoin Global Legalization: A survey of countries that accept and reject Bitcoin.

    Abstract:Since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009 by the unknown founder popularly known as Satoshi Nakamoto, the march for its legalization as well as other cryptocurrencies had continued till this point. While some countries had officially legalized Bitcoin and accepts it as a legal tender, others rather reject and ban it. The rest tend to maintain a neutral approach of tolerating it without either banning nor legalizing it. The major reason for this has been that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies lacks regulation and centralization and hence, beyond the control of the government. However, there is a general vision that given the popularity of Bitcoin itself and other cryptocurrencies, more countries will in no distant time give an official approval and legalization of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies.

      Since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009 by the unknown founder popularly known as Satoshi Nakamoto, the march for its legalization as well as other cryptocurrencies had continued till this point. While some countries had officially legalized Bitcoin and accepts it as a legal tender, others rather reject and ban it. The rest tend to maintain a neutral approach of tolerating it without either banning nor legalizing it. The major reason for this has been that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies lacks regulation and centralization and hence, beyond the control of the government. However, there is a general vision that given the popularity of Bitcoin itself and other cryptocurrencies, more countries will in no distant time give an official approval and legalization of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies.

      Bitcoin has remained the first widely successfully cryptocurrency that many refer to it as the king of other cryptocurrencies (ALTCoins); hence its dominance in the market prices today. However, after its invention, it was soon followed by many other cryptocurrencies with the major ones as: ETHereum (ETH), Litecoin, DOT, DOGEcoin, Bitcoin Cash, DASH, Ripple and many more. Thus, we now have so many cryptocurrencies that one often wonders which ones are actually legal and which are not. Some countries have presently been forced to recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender while others are still delibrating on it.

      Cryptocurrency as a Legal Tender:

      With the increasing need for digital technology, the popularity of Bitcoin has remained unlimited. This has forced some countries to recognize it as a legal tender. A legal tender is therefore any means of payment backed by law and generally accepted when offered for payment. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has today attained the status of a legal tender across globe with some countries still resisting it based on its decentralization and lack of regulation.

      Countries that has legalized Bitcoin:

      El-Salvador

      On June 2021, following the positive approval of the bill passed at the Congress, El Salvador became the first country that recognizes bitcoin as legal tender today. The president had further approved the distribution of $50 worth of Bitcoin to all citizens above 18years. This has increased the number of users and support offered towards a global Bitcoin legalization.

      A survey of Countries that has not rejected Bitcoin.

      While some countries have not clearly determined the legality of bitcoin, preferring instead to take a wait-and-see approach. Other countries have indirectly assented to the legal use of bitcoin by enacting some regulatory oversight. Below are the lists of countries under this category:

      Japan, United States, Germany, France, Malta, Canada, Belarus, Holland, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, India, Russia, Morocco, Namibia South Africa Zimbabwe, Canada (banned by banks) Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Trinidad, Tobago, Jamaica, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Kyrgyzstan, Cyprus, Israel, UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, Pakistan, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand (banned by banks), Singapore, Croatia, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Ukraine.

      The United States:

      The United States has taken a generally positive stance toward bitcoin, though several government agencies work to prevent or reduce bitcoin use for illegal transactions. The Fed Chairman - Jerome Powell for instance had declared last month during the Fed Reserve committee session that he has no intention of banning Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country.

      Canada:

      Just like its southern neighbor, the U.S., Canada maintains generally a bitcoin-friendly environment while also ensuring the cryptocurrency is not used for money laundering. At present, Bitcoin is viewed as a commodity by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Equally, Canada considers bitcoin exchanges to be money service businesses. This brings them under the purview of the anti-money laundering (AML) laws.

      The European Union

      On Oct. 22, 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that buying and selling digital currencies is considered a supply of services and that this is exempt from value-added tax (VAT) in all European Union (EU) member states. Additionally, most individual EU countries have also developed their own bitcoin stances.

      Finland

      In Finland, the Central Board of Taxes (CBT) has given bitcoin a VAT exempt status by classifying it as a financial service. Bitcoin is treated as a commodity in Finland and not as a currency.

      United Kingdom

      The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom has a pro-bitcoin stance and wants the regulatory environment to be supportive of the digital currency. Bitcoin is under certain tax regulations in the U.K.

      The Following Countries Have Declared Cryptocurrencies as illegal.

      While bitcoin is increasingly accepted in many parts of the world, a few countries are very conserved and hostile because of its volatility, decentralized nature, perceived threat to current monetary systems, and links to illicit activities like drug trafficking and money laundering. Some nations have outrightly banned digital currency, while others have tried to cut off any support from the banking and financial system essential for its trading and use. Such countries under this category could be seen below:

      China, Algeria, Bolivia, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Nepal.

      China

      Bitcoin is essentially banned in China. All banks and other financial institutions like payment processors are prohibited from transacting or dealing in bitcoin. Cryptocurrency exchanges are banned.The government has cracked down on miners.

      Bolivia, Columbia, and Ecuador

      El Banco Central de Bolivia has banned the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Columbia does not allow bitcoin use or investment. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were banned in Ecuador by a majority vote in the national assembly in the year 2018.