Five Countries Where Bitcoin is Illegal

To those who understand it, bitcoin is a blessing, but not everyone shares that sentiment. From scaremongering CEOs to entrenched central bankers, bitcoin’s list of detractors runs long and deep. Elected officials reserve particular ire for bitcoin however, with leaders across the globe weighing in. While most governments seek regulation, others have gone further, passing laws that ban the use of bitcoin altogether.

Haters Gonna Hate, Legislators Gonna Legislate

Be it due to fear, ignorance, or protectionism, governments have a tendency to legislate against perceived threats. The first prerogative of every government is to govern, after all, and any disruptive technology that erodes their power is liable to receive short shrift. Governments that ‘get’ bitcoin, such as Japan, have passed legislation that protects its citizens whilst facilitating the free trade of the digital currency.

Sadly not all countries are as progressive, not just when it comes to embracing new technology, but in respecting basic human rights that people in developed nations tend to take for granted. In the most egregious cases, citizens have had their assets seized, accounts frozen, and been locked up. Governments can’t stop the blockchain from propagating, but they can severely hamper their citizens’ attempts to access it.

Ban the Bitcoin

Like banning drugs, alcohol, or the internet, banning bitcoin sounds nonsensical and unenforceable. Nevertheless, that’s exactly the case in five countries: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, and Nepal. As recently reported, the Nepalese government has jailed almost a dozen cryptocurrency enthusiasts, with the latest pairseemingly guilty of little more than operating a small-scale bitcoin exchange…

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