If you want to buy, sell or spend Ethereum (ETH), you should first check if Ethereum is legal in your country.
Different countries take different stances on cryptocurrency and its regulations. While the laws of some countries choose Bitcoin, it’s still rare to find a jurisdiction that establishes a different set of rules regarding the Ethereum network and its local fuel ether (ETH). In most cases, it falls under general cryptocurrencies rules.
In some countries, just having crypto could put you in jail, while many didn’t even bother to regulate it, leaving Ethereum and other cryptos in legal uncertainty.
Countries where Ethereum is banned
Although ether and cryptocurrencies are welcome in many parts of the world, several countries have banned their trade or use due to their decentralized nature, perceived threat to existing monetary systems, fluctuations, or claims of use to facilitate illegal activities.
In 2019, countries where Ethereum was banned or payments were banned along with other cryptocurrencies (as of March 2019):
- Republic of Macedonia
- Saudi Arabia
In addition to the countries where ETH is banned, there are more countries where Ethereum is restricted and cannot be used for payment.
In such states, banks and other financial service providers are prohibited from dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges. In more extreme cases like China, the country banned crypto exchanges altogether.
- American Samoa
It is important to note that despite prohibitions and restrictions, strict laws do not abolish Bitcoin, Ether or other cryptocurrencies as it is almost impossible to ban their trade or use. Also, people can continue to use sites like Local Bitcoins to trade cryptocurrencies using cash and other methods. No government has the power to truly ban decentralized cryptocurrencies unless it prohibits the use of the internet.
Countries where Ethereum is legal
On a positive note, there are at least 111 states where Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies are recognized under the law and have a certain legal status.
For example, the United States and Canada are generally crypto-friendly towards cryptocurrencies while also trying to enforce anti-money laundering policies. According to the laws of the European Union, member states cannot launch currencies, but crypto exchanges can be legalized depending on the regulations of individual countries.
All things considered, here are the most crypto-friendly countries that embrace cryptocurrencies and where Ethereum is legal:
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
Countries where Ethereum is neither legal nor illegal
To make matters slightly more complicated, there are countries in which ETH is legal in the sense that you can own it, but there are no clear guidelines concerning its status. These countries are either already considering a specific legal framework, or have taken a wait-and-see approach. These countries are:
- French Guiana
- United Arab Emirates
Fear of widespread cryptocurrency pressures had a long-standing effect on the nascent crypto industry. Despite this, a growing number of countries and governments are choosing to embrace digital innovation and play an important role in the future of the industry. At the same time, jurisdictions that oppose change risk finding themselves at an overwhelming economic disadvantage. These are already some of the poorest countries in the world, and the cryptocurrency business offers an excellent opportunity to provide innovation, capital, more tax revenue, and a better standard of living for the entire population.
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