Is India banning cryptocurrency?

INDIA's government is introducing a bill to ban most cryptocurrencies from operating in the country.

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency bill will hand responsibility of regulating cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum to the Reserve Bank of India.

Is India banning cryptocurrency?

New Delhi introduced a new bill banning all private cryptos on Tuesday, November 23.

It comes as Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister, said all democratic nations must work together to ensure crypto "does not end up in the wrong hands, which can spoil out youth".

The new law – set to pass through parliament next session – will make some exceptions to promote the blockchain technology that underpins much of the currency.

The government is also looking to classify crypto as an asset class rather than a currency, two sources have told Reuters.

What countries have banned cryptocurrency?

Algeria

Algeria made it illegal to buy, sell, use, or hold any crypto in 2018 after a new financial law passed through its parliament.

Bolivia

Bolivia's central bank issued a diktat banning any currency not regulated by a country or economic zone.

The South American nation has had a complete ban on the use of Bitcoin since 2014.

China

China has clamped down on cryptos with increasing intensity in 2021.

Beijing has issued warnings to its people to steer clear of the currency while introducing stringent new regulations on crypto mining and exchanges in China.

According to Euronews, efforts to undermine cryptos like Bitcoin is widely seen as an attempt by Chinese authorities to float their own e-currency.

On September 24, 2021, the country's central bank issued an outright ban on crypto transactions in China.

Colombia

Colombia has made it illegal for its financial institutions to facilitate Bitcoin transactions.

Egypt

The country's Islamic advisory body – Dar al-Ifta – issued a religious decree in 2019 labelling Bitcoin transactions as "haram" – making it prohibited under Islamic law.

In September 2020, Egypt's banking laws were tightened to prevent trading or promoting cryptos without a central bank licence.

Indonesia

Indonesia's central bank introduced a rule in 2018 that made it illegal to use Bitcoin as a means for payment.

Iran

Iran has mostly welcomed crypto as it uses these currencies to evade the worst impact of crippling economic sanctions.

The country's central bank prohibits cryptos mined overseas but offers licenced miners cheap energy in return for the finds to be sold back to the bank.

But, unlicenced miners are draining more than 2GW of energy from the national grid every day, causing power shortages.

As a result, authorities have issued a four-month ban on Bitcoin mining, which ended on September 22.

Around 4.5 per cent – or $1 billion – of the world's Bitcoin mining takes place in Iran.

Iraq

Iraqi authorities have continued to introduce measures blocking the use of cryptos in the country since 2017, but the currencies have continued to grow in popularity.

Nepal

Nepal made Bitcoin illegal in August 2017.

North Macedonia

The former Yugoslav state is the only European country so far to introduce an official ban on cryptos.

Russia

Though not illegal, Moscow has tried its utmost to hinder the popularity of cryptos through new regulation.

In July 2020, it introduced a law that classified crypto as property, making them liable to taxation.

It also imposed an outright ban in January this year on the country's civil servants from owning any crypto assets and allows cops to confiscate crypto deemed to be illegally obtained.

Turkey

In April, 2021, Turkey's central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, directly or indirectly, to pay for goods and services.

The next day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a decree making cryptos subject to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing rules.

Vietnam

Vietnam's central bank made it a punishable offence to issue, supply, or use Bitcoin and other cryptos with fines raining from €5,600 to €7,445.

The government hasn't banned Bitcoin trading or holding them as assets.

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