Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that follows a different medium of transaction. Bitcoin follows Blockchain technology which is a decentralized form of transaction where there is no need of the third party to confirm the transaction nor a need of authority to regulate the transaction. Such kinds of technology is certainly new to the world. Blockchain technology that follows the decentralized model of the transaction is opposite to the model we follow in a transaction. The bank model is centralized where everything is connected to one supreme model and rule of the bank.
There when such a new technology is introduced in the world which conflicts the remaining models of transaction it creates a reluctance in the mind of people to whether adopt it or not. The world in its first look had rejected cryptocurrency and Blockchain but with the time has somewhere accepted it. Since last one year one can easily see the rise of Bitcoin and how its price is rising day after day. This clearly shows that people have shown interest in this currency.
Views of Countries on Bitcoin:
Bitcoin faced rejection during its early days but now has been finally given a space in the world market. Many countries have now started framing rules and regulations regarding Bitcoin. Research agencies of many countries have done a good amount of research on Bitcoin and have presented their reports to the government of respective countries. Many of the reports have at one point accepted that the future belongs to Blockchain technology on which Bitcoin works. Many countries have planned to introduce their own cryptocurrency instead of relying on Bitcoin.
Countries where Bitcoin is Legal
United States: United States has legalized Bitcoin since 2013. The definition for Bitcoin is that it is a commodity that should be taxed.
Israel: Israel doesn’t recognizes Bitcoin as currency but as asset. Every time someone sells a Bitcoin then one has to pay 25% tax on it. For miners and others, Bitcoin will be taxed as corporate tax with 17% of tax.
China: China recognizes Bitcoin as a legal entity. The private parties have the liberty to trade Bitcoin. Banks and other financial institutions are not allowed to trade Bitcoin.
Japan: Japan recognizes Bitcoin as a digital currency but not a legal currency. Japan has also made Bitcoin as a method of payment.
European Union: EU recognizes Bitcoin as a currency but has not passed any jurisdiction regarding Bitcoin. Bitcoin is known to be a legal currency yet seen with reluctance.
Bitcoin and World: Five Countries where Bitcoin is Illegal
Bangladesh: Bangladesh recognizes Bitcoin as an illegal currency and it is illegal to trade and possess Bitcoin. The authorities have issued the clear notification that anybody found trading Bitcoin will be sentenced under anti-money laundering act.
Thailand: Thailand too has banned the trading of Bitcoin. One of its courts has recognized Bitcoin as an illegal entity. It is illegal because of no legal framework to guide it.
Vietnam: Vietnam to has banned Bitcoin calling it unanimous, illegal and unknown method of payment that increases the chances of money laundering.
Iceland: Iceland also recognizes Bitcoin as illegal and has said that it recognizes it as illegal currency because of foreign exchange laws.
Russia: On technical grounds Bitcoin is illegal currency as per the court’s ruling that found out that is outlawed by the Russian laws. Though trading Bitcoin is not a crime.
Bitcoin and India: A Gradual Acceptance
The initial days for Bitcoin in India weren’t pleasing. The government has made Bitcoin illegal but now the government is changing its policy. The research arm of the Reserve Bank of India, which is the supreme banking body of India has submitted its report to the RBI stating that Blockchain and cryptocurrency is the future of the world. The report has noted down reasons on why it should be legalized and laws should be framed accordingly.
Many Indians have invested in Bitcoin which is not legal. The RBI has stated that the people are free to invest in Bitcoin but they are at their own risk if anything goes against them. The government too is now framing laws regarding Bitcoin. Recently the information and technology ministry had held a session on Blockchain where it has welcomed Blockchain technology in India.
One can see in future times that India may come up with its own cryptocurrency. The present government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed on digital India which is an initiative to push India towards cashless transaction.
What is Stopping Countries to make Bitcoin Legal?
Many countries have shown reluctance in welcoming Bitcoin. Most of these countries feel that the legalization of Bitcoin may push money laundering and corruption to a new extent. Countries fear that it will also increase the rise in terror funding. Most countries are reluctant because of the completely new technology which naturally people like to accept.
Disadvantage of Bitcoin:
Bitcoin has several disadvantages as well as advantages. Though there is no real disadvantage of Bitcoin but it is in the perception of countries that Bitcoin is against their country laws. Here are some disadvantages of Bitcoin as per countries.
- Most countries claim that Bitcoin will push money laundering to a newer extent. Since there is lack of proper laws, people can easily flout some rules to easily launder money.
- It also gives rise to terror funding across the globe. Terror funding is an important issue and the way Islamic terrorism has surfaced, countries fear that anonymous currencies like Bitcoin can be used for payment
- Reluctance can easily be seen in the authorities that don’t want to discuss much about Bitcoin and its usage.
- High prices and difficult to manage it since people aren’t educated on the issue of Bitcoin.
Though there has been a very positive change in the stand of countries on the issue of Bitcoin but it is likely that the government will ensure that acts of corruption do not surface because of Bitcoin. Many countries have already laid out plans for taxing earnings through bitcoins.