One of the most common questions or rather statement we get is “but bitcoin is not legal”. When we inform that bitcoin is legal and in fact regulated in an increasing number of countries, we can sense disbelief. So below we have mentioned the legal status of bitcoins in some countries with links.
Bitcoin is legal and regulated in USA
- Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), United States Department of the Treasury has classified bitcoin as a convertible decentralized virtual currency in 2013.
- Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund (GABI) is the first regulated bitcoin hedge fund to receive regulatory approval from the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC). View article / View article / View article
- New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) started issuing BitLicense to businesses related to virtual currency activities.
- Coinbase launched the first regulated bitcoin exchange in the U.S.
- Winklevoss brothers’ bitcoin exchange, Gemini, had been granted a license by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
- European Union’s top court, European Court of Justice, ruled that exchanging bitcoin should be exempt from value-added tax in the same way as traditional money.
- Bitstamp to be the first fully licensed bitcoin exchange in Europe, w.e.f. July 1, 2016. It has been granted the license by Luxembourg Financial Industry Supervisory Commission (CSSF).
- Japan has officially recognized bitcoin and digital currencies as money w.e.f April 1, 2017. Japan has a new law that will make bitcoins usable as legal tender.
- Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has issued tax guidelines for Bitcoins stating that businesses that choose to accept virtual currencies such as Bitcoins for their remuneration or revenue are subject to normal income tax rules. View article / View article
- Bitcoin unlikely to be declared illegal in India; may come under SEBI or RBI. View article / View article
- IDRBT (Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology), an institution setup by RBI (Reserve Bank of India), in partnership New York-based firm MonetaGo has released white papers on Bitcoin. View article / View article
- Bitcoin is declared legal in India as per Wikipedia. View article
Bitcoin is legal as per expert opinion
- Nishith Desai Associates is India’s leading international law firm. They have published above white paper which concludes that bitcoin is legal in India. View article
- The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is India’s leading Internet organization. CIS helped Internet remain neutral in India in the 2015 net neutrality fight. They have published a research post on their website which also states that bitcoin is not illegal under any existing laws. View article