As cryptocurrency creeps into the mainstream gets mentioned by the media more and more, so too do the various governments, politicians, and taxmen react to them. Many feel like cryptocurrencies are unstoppable, but as we've discussed earlier, they're still fairly easy to block for now, politically, technologically, or even economically, not to mention infrastructure-wise.
But how legal is Bitcoin actually across the world? The howmuch portal recently published a graphical analysis of the current status (January 2018). Click the image below to see it in full size.
Green countries have “legalized” it (totally wrong word considering it was never illegal to begin with). That doesn't mean it's been regulated, only that they're not actively fighting it. In other words, getting paid in BTC, for example, is fine and it's okay to turn it into fiat if you file your taxes according to the individual country's laws.
Orange are countries that have made it “legal but not as much”. This shows the countries that haven't expressed a strong opinion for or against Bitcoin.
Light pink are those countries which make it difficult to do any kind of BTC business, like China adding new regulations or banning mining recently. South Korea is, in spite of recently added sanctions, still green because massive petitions are being signed and serious protests against restricting cryptocurrency use are in progress. That part of the world remains Bitcoin friendly for now.
In dark pink countries Bitcoin is practically illegal or criminalized. Owning, selling, and mining are all forbidden to at least some extent.
Grey countries indicate missing data.
It's interesting to see that eastern countries – those that still run on communism and/or oligarchy/dictatorship – are the ones that most fight Bitcoin, while the west is much more open. This makes sense – if the only way you keep your population under control is to threaten them in a military or financial way, it's only natural to not want them to get financial freedom and control over their own finances because this lets them exit your system. This is precisely why the concept of cryptocurrency is so important today – maybe not as technology, but as the concept of exiting the current system. While some Bitcoin millionaires buy boats, houses, and coke, others will see in it the only way to leave a corrupt and dangerous environment.
The above graph shows only Bitcoin, but is almost equally applicable to all currencies. In fact, other cryptos will likely be more accepted than BTC once countries learn about them due to the fact that those often have long term use through utility (Ethereum, NEO, Lisk…) – and therefore aren't only monetary.