Bitcoin Regulatory fury

Nowadays, if you own bitcoins or are interested in cryptocurrencies, you can't spend a day without hearing news that governments around the world are getting involved.  Even when you are not interested in blockchains, alt-coins or ICO`s you probably have heard something about regulations in the major news outlets in your country. Last month nearly 36'000 news articles aired on these subjects, according to a quick search online.

So why is this such a hot topic? Well, that depends on who you ask. Bitcoin evangelists will probably say something like: "Governments are trying to take control of bitcoins because they are afraid of the impact on fiat currency and the fractional banking system".
Detractors of Bitcoin will say: "Bitcoins are used for criminal activities and because of that we have the ban them completely".

The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle.

It is important to understand that regulation of Bitcoin does not automatically mean making bitcoins illegal.
Bangladesh, Bolivia and Ecuador are examples of countries that have an outright ban on Cryptocurrencies. Few other countries have such an all-out ban on owning or usage of bitcoins.

Some countries draft laws that focus on restricting access to markets that trade in bitcoins. China and Russia being the latest countries; either by shutting down centralized exchanges (China) or restricting access to websites which allow users to trade Cryptocurrencies (Russia).

But besides laws that limit the use of bitcoins, a whole set of countries have passed laws making it easier to use bitcoins. Mexico has legislation in the pipeline that will target money laundry operations and add consumer protections to exchanges based in the country. At the same time Australia has approved a bill that will end double-taxation of bitcoins. The bitcoin world and what is allowed for each country is in constant flux.

With an increase of the total Cryptocurrency market with 150 billion dollars this year alone, it would be foolish to think that governments and central banks do not react to this. And, as already stated, not all regulation is necessarily a bad thing. Legislation aimed at costumer protection against ICO-scams or enforcing proper security of exchanges ) would fall under beneficial regulation in our book.
On the other hand: blocking access to bitcoin-websites and -information would fall under restrictive regulations.

Our Bitcoin regulation World-map is an attempt to give some insight in this ever changing and furious world. It attempts to give a quick overview and starting guide to the regulatory rules in a country towards bitcoin. Disclaimer: our website, maps and articles, do not give any legal advice and one must see it as a source in a jungle of information. We advise you to contact a lawyer if you have any questions or are seeking advise on legislation and regulation on bitcoin and alt-coins in a specific country or state.

One last thought: Currently owning, mining and trading in bitcoins can feel like a get-rich-quick-scheme, a roll of the dice in the casino that you think you cant lose. While the risk are very real. So, do we place this all under personal responsibility or does the bitcoin community and maybe governments have role to play in this together?

Originally posted 2017-10-21 12:01:36.

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