The year 2017 witnessed tremendous growth in the popularity, as well as the value of cryptocurrencies. While 2017 was the year of the initial coin offerings (ICOs), 2018 in most probability will be the year of cryptocurrency legalization across the world.
While few countries have welcomed the technology and the new age currency, some prefer to tread cautiously. There are countries that are extremely hostile and have banned cryptocurrency trading altogether. Here is a look at the cryptocurrency regulations in at least 10 countries.
Cryptocurrency Legalization In Various Countries
The United States is yet to set up a regulation on cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has pointed out the risk of investing in cryptocurrencies and put a pause to several ICOs. The SEC has time and again hinted at a need for greater cryptocurrency regulation.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) was the first U.S. regulator that allowed cryptocurrencies to trade publicly.
Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin has previously expressed his preference for fiat currency over cryptocurrency as they can be used for illicit activities.
The Financial Consumer Agency in Canada thinks that cryptocurrency is not a “legal tender.”
It is imperative to point out here that the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), Canada has joined an association-wide “cautionary directive” on the risks involved in cryptocurrencies. They joined hands with representatives from the entire province in the country. They all believe that cryptocurrency has a “high risk of fraud.”
The Japanese government seems more welcoming of cryptocurrencioes than its Asian neighbors. Even though it is not supportive of this digital currency, it is trying to win in the one-up game as China and South Korea are totally against the cryptocurrency industry.
China has taken the most stringent actions against all things cryptocurrency. It began with banning ICOs, and then it went on to freeze bank account associated with exchanges, and even put a countrywide ban on internet and mobile access to everything related to cryptocurrency trading. In spite of such strict laws governing the digital currency, China has become the largest country to adopt cryptocurrency.
South Korea seemed like a refuge for cryptocurrency investors who had to look out of China due to the severe laws placed against cryptocurrencies. While they supported digital currency initially, things began to fall off in January 2018. Red Tuesday will be remembered in the history of cryptocurrencies in South Korea. On January 30, 2018, Korean officials enforced a rule stopping anonymous accounts from cryptocurrency trading.
The Singapore government has so far been lenient when it comes to cryptocurrency. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), warned of the risks involved in investing and trading cryptocurrency.
However, on January 9, 2018, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam made it clear that the country does not hold any distinction between fiat money and cryptocurrency.
The Reserve Bank of India took a tough stand when it issued a circular to all banks and financial institutions to stop engaging in cryptocurrencies. The Supreme Court of India later put a stay to the order until a hearing in July 2018. However, the rumors are now abuzz that India might legalize cryptocurrency even though it might become with an 18% Good and Services Tax (GST).
Cryptocurrency legalization and the future of cryptocurrency in Australia is uncertain as of now, but chances are that it will be legalized following the setting up of more concise regulations. While the country initially adopted a “hand-off” approach, this approach backfired by the end of 2017.
United Kingdom and European Union (EU)
The United Kingdom and European Union are divided in regards to cryptocurrency legalization. An expected announcement on the finalized regulation of cryptocurrencies can take place in spring.
Switzerland has always maintained an open attitude toward cryptocurrency regulation. Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann made it clear that he wants Switzerland to become “the crypto-nation.” On January 18, 2018, the Swiss set up an ICO working group.
Russia, like South Korea, is unable to make a decision regarding cryptocurrency trading in the country. Various individuals and organization heads of the country have given contradicting and confusing statements in regards to regularizing cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency legalization is required, but there are many bugs that need to be fixed before the digital currency can function as a regular fiat currency.[The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or the official policy of the website. ]