In an increasingly interconnected world, Bitcoin is the next step in the evolution of money. While most countries have recognised the potential benefits of bitcoin for their economies, a handful of countries are yet to accept bitcoin as the first worldwide digital payment system.
Bangladesh Police hunting down Bitcoin Users
Bangladesh Bank has issued a circular on its website to announce the ban of Bitcoin. The circular states that Bitcoin is not an authorized or legal currency in any other country in the world. Transacting with bitcoin in Bangladesh may cause violation of their existing money laundering and terrorist financing regulations. Despite the heavy ban, local media reports say that trading and use of bitcoin in Bangladesh is still rampant.
Bitcoin Transactions Punishable Offense in Morocco
Morocco’s Foreign Exchange Office and Central Bank have issued a public statement to stating that transacting in cryptocurrency is banned. The statement explains that anyone who engages in transactions with foreign countries that do not go through intermediaries will be penalized or fined.
Vietnam on Bitcoin
In October 2017, a government decree released by the Vietnamese Government stated that, ““From 1-1-2018, the act of issuing, supplying and using illegal means of payment (including Bitcoin and other similar virtual currency) may be subject to prosecution.” The decree was issued along with a fine – accepting or offering payments in virtual currency will result in a fine of around US$9,000. The ban, however does not explicitly mention the mining or exchange of virtual currency. Hence, there may be a possibility that Vietnam will permit cryptocurrency or blockchain-related activity. As long as it doesn’t involve the buying or selling of bitcoin.
Ecuador launches own digital currency – bans all other digital currencies
In July 2014, the Government of Ecuador banned all digital currencies including Bitcoin before issuing their own digital currency. The law states that violation of the ban will lead to prosecution and all bitcoin’s that are circulated will be confiscated. Ecuador’s digital currency, called Dinero Electrónico is one-to-one to the US dollar but private banks lack confidence in this electronic system. Despite the ban, bitcoin use has not stopped in Ecuador and many sellers and buyers list themselves on localbitcoin.com.
Bolivia’s Central Bank Bans Bitcoin
The Central Bank of the South American Nation has banned any currency or coins not issued or regulated by the government, including bitcoin. Bolivia’s stance on cryptocurrency is unique within the context of its South American neighbours such as Argentina and Brazil.
Auroracoin, not Bitcoin in Iceland
Iceland is home to some of the largest bitcoin mining facilities in the world but there is a government ban on the engagement of foreign exchange trading using bitcoin. As an alternative to bitcoin, Iceland launched “Auroracoin”, its own digital currency. However, the success of this alternative digital currency has been subdued due to lack of clarity on the legality of the currency.
Financial institutions in Qatar warned about bitcoin trading
A circular released by Qatar Central Bank states that trading in bitcoin is not allowed and penalties will be levied if the circular is violated. The central bank explained that the ban was to promote the safety of its financial and banking system. However, internet postings suggest that some Qatar residents have been buying bitcoin through online exchanges.
Bitcoin technology provides certain advantages that physical currencies don’t provide users and its full potential is yet to be discovered. Its relative youth and its volatile nature however are mainly why certain countries remain sceptical about embracing this new money technology.