Is it legal to Invest in Bitcoin?

The legality of your bitcoin movements will depend on where you are and what you are doing with it.

As the market capitalization of the cryptocurrency market continues to rise,  Around the world regulators are stepping up the debate on oversight into the use and trading of digital assets.

To date, very few countries have completely outlawed Bitcoin(BTC). But that doesn’t mean it’s regarded as “legal tender” either. So far as of this writing of March 2022, only El Salvador has gone as far as to allow Bitcoin (BTC) to become a legally accepted form of instrument for payments – a decision that has drawn meaningful scrutiny from global financial institutions. 

That being said, just because Bitcoin (BTC) isn’t widely regarded legal tender doesn’t mean it’s illegal. Rather, it just means that there are no protections for either the consumer or the vendor and that its use as payment is completely discretionary.

In the United States, the issue is complicated further by the fractured regulatory map – who would do the legislating, the federal individual government or states?

A related question in others countries, to which there is not yet a clear answer, is who should be trustworthy for oversight? Should central banks keep an eye on cryptocurrencies or financial controllers? In some countries, they are one and the same but in most developed nations they are different institutions with distinct remits.

Below is a summary of announcements made by certain countries. March 2022 was the month when this list was updated.

1. Europe

As of March 2022, cryptocurrencies including bitcoin were being controlled at the country level in the European Union. The European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, has offered a sweeping set of rules and laws to regulate digital assets and crypto businesses. 

2. Australia

The Australian government has been supporting cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies and has one of the most elevated crypto adoption rates globally.

In 2017, it announced that cryptocurrencies were legal and that they would be treated as assets topic to a capital tax gain. The Analysis Centre and  Australian Transaction (AUSTRAC) Report require exchanges operating in the country to register their businesses, uphold records and verify their users.

3. Argentina

Cryptocurrencies are famous in Argentina where economic woes and elevated inflation have crippled the local peso currency, but as of March 2002, the country hadn’t drawn up many rules. The Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) together with the Securities Commission (CNV) depicted that cryptocurrencies and bitcoin aren’t legal tenders because they aren’t issued by a central bank.

4. Canada

Canada was one of the first countries to draw up what could be regarded as “Bitcoin (BTC) legislation.” The government has identified that bitcoin isn’t legal tender but is legal, recognizing that cryptocurrencies can work as a medium of exchange. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA,), the country’s tax authority, has deemed Bitcoin a computerized digital item. Thus transactions are taxable.

5. India

It is easy to lose track of whether cryptocurrencies are legal or illegal in India following a flurry of banning and withdrawals. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued an alert in July 2018 that banned banks, lenders, and economic institutions from dealing with cryptocurrencies. India’s Supreme Court, however overturned the prohibition and the RBI revoked its banning.