Cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital form of currency that operates on a peer-to-peer network. However, not all countries have embraced this new form of currency, and some have even decided to ban it outright. In this article, we provide an overview of the countries that have banned cryptocurrency and the reasons behind their decisions.
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Countries that Have Banned Cryptocurrency:
China, the largest crypto market in the world, has taken a hard stance against cryptocurrency since 2017 when it banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and domestic crypto exchanges. In 2021, China intensified its crackdown by banning crypto mining, citing concerns about carbon emissions and financial stability. The country has also banned financial institutions and payment platforms from providing crypto-related services and warned its citizens against engaging in crypto transactions. China’s primary motivation for banning crypto is to maintain its financial stability and control over its monetary system, as well as to curb illicit activities such as money laundering and tax evasion.
Egypt has declared cryptocurrency as forbidden under Islamic law, citing speculation, gambling, and interest as the reasons for the ban. The Grand Mufti issued a fatwa in 2018 that prohibited the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, saying they are “harmful to individuals, groups, and institutions”. Egypt’s central bank has also warned against dealing with crypto, citing security and legal risks.
Iraq has banned cryptocurrency on religious grounds and for security reasons. In 2018, Iraq’s central bank issued a statement that prohibited the use of crypto in any form, citing that it violates the principles of Islam and poses a threat to the stability of the national currency and the financial system. Iraq also fears that crypto could be used to fund terrorism and extremism in the region.
Qatar has banned cryptocurrency trading and payments since 2019, when its central bank issued a circular that prohibited financial institutions from dealing with any digital asset. Qatar’s main concern is that crypto could facilitate money laundering, terrorism financing, and tax evasion, as well as undermine its efforts to combat inflation and preserve the value of its currency, the Qatari riyal.
Oman has also banned cryptocurrency, following in Qatar’s footsteps in 2019 by issuing a similar circular that forbade financial institutions from dealing with any virtual currency or token. Oman’s central bank cited the same reasons as Qatar for banning crypto, namely the high risks of fraud, cybercrime, and volatility.
Morocco has banned cryptocurrency transactions since 2017 when its foreign exchange regulator issued a notice that warned against the use of any digital currency that is not backed by legal tender. Morocco’s primary reason for banning crypto is to protect its citizens from potential losses and scams associated with unregulated and anonymous transactions.
Algeria has banned cryptocurrency since 2018, when it passed a law that prohibited the possession and use of any virtual currency. Algeria’s law stated that any violation of this ban would be punishable by fines and imprisonment. Algeria’s main reason for banning crypto is to prevent its citizens from evading taxes and capital controls, as well as to protect them from the high volatility and security risks of crypto markets.
Tunisia has banned cryptocurrency since 2018, when its central bank issued a statement that warned against the use of any digital asset that is not authorized by the state. Tunisia’s central bank said that crypto poses a threat to the stability of the national currency and the financial system, as well as to the security of consumers and investors. Tunisia also cited the lack of regulation and supervision of crypto activities as a major concern.
Bangladesh has banned cryptocurrency since 2017, when its central bank issued a notice that prohibited the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for any purpose. Bangladesh’s central bank said that
Although cryptocurrency has gained popularity among enthusiasts, it has faced opposition and bans from several countries. The reasons for these bans range from maintaining financial stability to religious and legal grounds. As the cryptocurrency landscape continues to evolve, it remains to be seen whether more countries will follow suit and ban it outright.
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