Countries in which Bitcoin is not regulated



Even though the Minister of Finance indicated that there is no immediate need for the government to intervene in the Bitcoin system, there have been talks about a new legislation which is set to strengthen government control over Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.


Back in 2014, The Central Bank of Brazil issued a statement concerning cryptocurrencies, in which it stated that Bitcoin and other digital currencies are not to be regulated. A few years later, the President of the Central Bank went on to describe Bitcoin as a pyramid scheme.

China: Hong Kong

The Chief Executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) deemed Bitcoins a virtual commodity, stating that the HKMA will not regulate the cryptocurrency.

The Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of Hong Kong has said that the existing laws don’t directly regulate Bitcoins and other similar digital currencies, but provide sanctions for unlawful acts involving those currencies, such as fraud and money laundering.


In 2014, Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia stated that the use of Bitcoin is not regulated. Just recently, the same governing body released another statement, in which it said that the Colombian government still doesn’t authorize or legalize Bitcoin for financial transactions. However, as of today, the country has no plans to make it illegal.


The use of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies is not regulated in Cyprus.


Denmark’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) declared that Bitcoin is not a currency and stated that it does not fall under its regulatory authority.


There are no specific regulations regarding Bitcoin and other digital currencies in place in Greece.


According to a statement made by Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, IRB neither regulates nor supports Bitcoins. Although Bitcoin is not banned in India, it is forecasted that it will not become fully legal without a suitable organization to monitor all cryptocurrency-related activities.

In the end of 2017, India’s Ministry of Finance compared Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to ponzi schemes and warned investors of the potential dangers.


As of today, Indonesian authorities haven’t outlined and detailed policies of regulating or banning the use of Bitcoin.

However, the Bank of Indonesia has recently issued a statement warning potential investors against of selling, buying and trading cryptocurrency. The statement went on to state that any virtual currency is not legitimate within the country.


The Bank of Lebanon was the first in the region to issue a warning about Bitcoin in 2013. Since then, there has been little to no action from the country’s officials regarding digital currencies. The only notable exception being the Lebanese Central Bank’s Governor criticizing Bitcoin and other digital currencies. He labeled them unregulated commodities, stating that they should be prohibited.


The Central Bank of Lithuania has issued a statement, warning the population of the potential risks involving operations with digital currencies. The main sentiment was that Bitcoins are not regulated by the Lithuanian or European authorities. The statement also mentioned the possibility of regulations, but no action is likely to take place.


In 2014, Malaysia’s Central Bank announced that it doesn’t consider Bitcoin a legal tender and it has no intentions to regulate it.

However, Bank Negara is currently shaping its new stance on cryptocurrencies. Despite an overall positive attitude toward Bitcoin, there are rumors that Malaysian government might still ban the cryptocurrency. The decision is set to be made by the end of 2017.

New Zealand

According to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, non-banks don’t need their approval for operations that involve storage and transfer of Bitcoins and other digital currencies as long as they don’t involve the issuance of physical money.


In 2016, Bitcoins were deemed ‘not illegal’ by the Federal Tax Service of Russia.

However, since then Russian Central Bank stated that it is ‘categorically’ against the regulation of digital currencies as real money, as a means of payment for goods and services and against equating them with foreign currency.

Later, President Putin condemned Bitcoin and called for a ban of all digital currencies and the Deputy Finance Minister told reporters that cryptocurrencies are very likely to be outlawed. [replace the rest] However, Russian regulators have completely changed their minds since, with reports emerging that Bitcoin will be legal, while mining will be regulated. Since then, Russian Ministry of Finance was cited saying it will legalize cryptocurrency trading on “official” exchanges.


The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has previously issued statements of no interference policy and a warning to potential users of Bitcoins and other digital currencies. In a recent interview, a MAS official stated that the Central Bank still has no plans of regulating the cryptocurrencies, but it will keep an open mind. He also established the necessity of introducing Anti-Money Laundering control in the near future.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has issued a series of tax guidelines regarding the use of Bitcoin, according to which BTC transactions might be treated as a barter exchange and taxed accordingly. Businesses dealing with Bitcoin exchanges will be taxed based on their BTC sales.  


Initially, Bank of Thailand discouraged the population from using Bitcoins, warning potential investors of the risks involved. But it has since softened its stance, ordering a study on the cryptocurrency.

According to a ministerial regulation, Thai Bitcoin exchanges are required to have a Thailand Business Development Department e-commerce license and only facilitate exchanges of digital currencies for Thai Baht. There are also Know Your Customer and Customer Due Diligence policies in place.

The Netherlands

Digital currencies such as Bitcoin don’t currently fall within the scope of the Act of Financial Supervision of the Netherlands.  


The National Bank of Ukraine has recently published a statement, in which it clarified that the Ukrainian hryvnia is the only one currency that can be legally used in the country. The Bank also stated that the status of Bitcoin in Ukraine is further complicated by the lack of a unified classification of the currency in the world and it does not publicly support any of the definitions made in other jurisdictions.

United Kingdom

The UK government has stated that Bitcoin is currently unregulated and is traded as ‘private money’ for most purposes, including VAT. This means that no VAT is imposed when Bitcoin is exchanged for sterling and other currencies. However, suppliers of any goods and services sold for Bitcoin and other digital currencies need to pay VAT. Profits and losses on digital currencies are subject to capital gains tax.

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