Last updated on October 27th, 2023 at 10:59 am
Not every government gives a damn about cryptocurrency. Yes, some governments are so indifferent about virtual currencies that they haven’t made up their minds about them.
And there are the loners, the ones looking to prove smarter than everyone else, namely, EL SALVADOR and THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC. They are the only countries at the moment where an electronic coin (Bitcoin) has been made the official legal tender (smart move? Only time can tell).
Then there are the careful and circumspect trailers who haven’t found the gut to make an official legal tender of any digital coin but are decisive enough to recognize crypto by law, to declare it legal.
Now, this article isn’t about any of the good or neutral guys. It’s about the guys the cryptocurrency community tags ‘unfriendly.’ Yes, the crypto-unfriendly squad.
And it should be noted that a ban and a restriction don’t mean the same thing.
When an act or practice is banned, it is prohibited, disallowed, and forbidden. A restriction on the other hand calls for regulations, restraints, or limitations.
This article lists most of the nations known to express doubts to some degree about the cryptocurrency world. Some simply place restrictions, while others an outright ban.
It is worth mentioning that we can’t accuse them of being without excusable reasons for their decisions (especially if we choose to ignore the tricky and dicey theatrics of global politics and international relations).
Does Crypto deserve Bans and Restrictions?
Billionaire investor Warren Buffet is perhaps the most repulsive billionaire in crypto. The thought seemingly makes him want to puke
Since 2018 or so, his reasons have been simple: it has no intrinsic value; he puts his investment in ventures he understands; he just doesn’t think it’s a workable currency; it’s far from his strategy, and it is ‘scarily’ volatile.
Crypto-unfriendly countries may share Buffet’s concerns (assuming there are no hidden intentions). In this case, their decision to keep blockchain technology’s cash at bay may be in the interest of their citizens.
It is scarcely ours to point out or explain. What we’re here to do is to give you the list—you pass the judgment.
Here are 22 countries where cryptocurrency is banned or restricted in alphabetical order:
- Algeria (banned)
- Bahrain (legally restricted)
- Bangladesh (banned)
- Bolivia (banned)
- China (banned)
- Colombia (legally restricted)
- Dominican Republic (banned)
- Egypt (banned)
- Ghana (banned)
- Hong Kong (legally restricted)
- India (banned)
- Indonesia (legally restricted)
- Iran (legally restricted)
- Iraq (banned)
- Kazakhstan (legally restricted)
- Nepal (banned)
- Nigeria (banned)
- North Macedonia (banned)
- Qatar (banned)
- Russia (legally restricted)
- Saudi Arabia (legally restricted)
- Turkey (legally restricted)
Do Bans and Restrictions Halt the Crypto Boom?
Government bans and restrictions are like parents dashing out for work and leaving behind a list of dos and don’ts for their grown-up children (who know how to cover their tracks)—they set the rules but can’t be present to ensure strict adherence.
“Don’t bring friends over”, the parents may say, but the lads can throw a house party once the oldies leave and clean up all traces before the end of the day. In truth, bans and restrictions are like having a secret room but leaving everyone with a spare key to it.
Governments ban or regulate cryptocurrency for several justifiable reasons, many not for disinterest but for doubts and the will to track the economy. But bans and restrictions serve more as disclaimers, declarations of doubt, and a warning to nationals to tread at their own risk.
Governments may rarely say it this way because they’re supposed to sound powerful enough to put a compulsory halt to whatever they deem illegal within the jurisdiction of their authority. However, the fact that anyone with access to the internet cannot be stopped from using cryptocurrency should be enough to show the helplessness of governments.
Perhaps the craziest irony of the crypto community is that most countries whose governments have banned cryptocurrency are among the biggest users of the ecosystem: India, Russia, Nigeria, etc. These three countries combined feed the cryptocurrency community with more than 150 million users.
If bans and restrictions stop the use of crypto, then the figures are a mystery. However, they’re no mystery because cryptocurrency is decentralized and all you need to use it is access to the internet, not permission from your government.
A cryptocurrency ban or regulation can be said to be the government’s way of saying they have neither endorsed the form of currency nor adopted it as a legal tender.
Disclaimer: The above blog post contains the thoughts of the contributor who authored it. There is no publicity or advert for any token or cryptocurrency whatsoever—the contributor vouches for none. What you do with the cryptocurrency information above and how it affects your investment choices is your sole decision and is at your own risk.