A review of G20 Bitcoin regulation
Argentina: Legal. Neutral. Bitcoins is considered money, not legal currency. A bitcoin may be considered either a good, and transactions with bitcoins may be governed by the rules for the sale of goods under the Civil Code. The Mercado de Termino de Rosario has been considering offering services to investors in digital currencies.
Australia: Legal. Friendly. Australia has officially confirmed it will treat bitcoin “just like money” on 1 July 2017 and it will no longer be subject to double taxation. Digital currency exchanges will be subject to registration and regulation in mid-2018, once amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act of 2006 take effect.
Brazil: Legal. Neutral. The Brazilian Government has declared that Bitcoin is not a currency but an asset and therefore subject to 15% capital gains taxes above a threshold. In November 2017, this unregulated and discouraged status was reiterated by the Central Bank of Brazil.
Canada: Legal. Friendly. Canadian lawmakers seem to be taking a lighter approach to regulating virtual currencies, with a ‘regulate-and-embrace’ policy, focusing primarily on anti-money laundering concerns. The central Bank of Canada’s Senior Deputy Governor, Carolyn Wilkins said “we have to envisage a world in which people mostly use e-money, perhaps even one that’s not denominated in the national currency, like Bitcoin”
China: Legal. Unfriendly. Central exchanges and ICOs banned. Bitcoin miners will be gradually phased out. Individual ownership legal.
France: Legal. Neutral to friendly. France indicated it will implement KYC/AML rules for virtual currency platforms. France has passed new laws to allow banks and fintech companies to create platforms where unlisted securities can be traded instantly. France’s Finance Minister released a statement: this will allow for the development of new trading platforms and transactions that are faster, cheaper, more transparent, and safe. Securities listed on exchanges will still need to pass through custodians and clearinghouses.
Germany: Legal. Neutral. Virtual currencies are financial instruments under German law and a form of “private money” that can be taxed as capital. Certain uses may also require a license or permit. No laws for ICOs yet.
India: Legal. Neutral. The Indian Supreme Court issued a notice to the central bank and several other agencies asking them to respond to a petition made to the court to regulate bitcoin. The petition called on the Court to make cryptocurrencies accountable to the exchequer, expressing concerns about the untraceablility of digital currency transactions
Indonesia: Legal. Neutral to unfriendly. Bank Indonesia issued a statement on virtual currencies stating that these are not considered to be currency or legal payment instruments in Indonesia, and warned the public that the user/owner of bitcoins bears all risks related to their ownership/use. Cryptocurrencies as a payment tool is banned, exchanges and mining not banned.
Italy: Legal. Neutral. Virtual currency is not legal tender. A law requiring identification of parties in bitcoin transactions has been proposed in the Italian Parliament, but no regulation yet.
Japan: Legal. Friendly. The Financial Services Agency of Japan granted its first licenses for digital currency exchanges to 11 companies. Double taxation removed. Virtual currencies as equal to conventional currencies.
Mexico: Legal. Neutral. Virtual currencies are not legal tender currency, and the Bank of Mexico has warned of risks of using virtual currencies. The upper chamber of Mexico's national legislature has approved a financial technology bill that would bring local bitcoin exchanges under the oversight of the central bank.
Russia: Legal. Neutral to Friendly. Digital currencies were previously banned as money surrogates under federal law, however, 2017 has seen a softening of Russia’s regulation of cryptocurrency. Plans to regulate cryptocurrency have made headway, and procedures for buying cryptocurrency are scheduled to be announced by the end of 2017. “It is important not to create unnecessary barriers, of course, but rather to provide essential conditions for advancing and upgrading the national financial system.” - Putin (who met with Vitalik, founder of Ethereum)
Saudi Arabia: Legal. Neutral. Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority have warned from using it as it is high risk. The Saudi Arabian government has openly come out to say it is not considering regulating Bitcoin in the country.
South Africa: Legal. Neutral to friendly. South Africa’s central bank is “open” to cryptocurrencies and blockchain, according to new statements from its governor. Governor Lesetja Kganyago indicated that the South African Reserve Bank is exploring the technology and interested in innovations that may stem from its development.
South Korea: Legal. Neutral. The Korean government has indicated that it will not ban bitcoin exchanges outright, but that ICOs and futures trading will remain subject to the ban. South Korea Ministry of Strategy and Finance "We do not share the same views as the Ministry of Justice on a potential cryptocurrency exchange ban."
Turkey: Legal. Neutral. Turkey’s recently enacted law on payment services and electronic money does not apply to bitcoin.
United Kingdom: Legal. Neutral. "I think we should be cautious about Bitcoin and possibly we do need to look at the way we regulate this environment before the amount of outstanding Bitcoin becomes large enough to be systemically important in the global economy. It is not there yet but it could get there soon. [..] What is really important is that in regulating cryptocurrencies we don’t inadvertently constrain the potential of the technology that underlies it, the blockchain technology, which has a wider and more important application.” Mr Hammond, British Conservative Party politician, The Chancellor 2018
United States: Legal. Neutral to Friendly. Bitcoin is treated as property for taxes. KYC/AML law applies to exchanges. SEC issued statements warning ICOs that fall under security laws. ICOs that qualify as securities must be regulated.
European Union: Legal. Neutral. Under the 2017 proposal, member states are required to ensure that exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, and custodian wallet providers, are registered. European Banking Authority issued warnings to the public about the risks associated with virtual currencies, and recently indicated it will apply anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing rules to virtual currencies.