Is it legal to own Bitcoin?

Many people are looking to invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin but worry about the legal ramifications of owning digital assets - so what's the deal?

Kyle Turnbull

September 06, 2021 · 4 min read

Is Bitcoin Legal

Is Bitcoin Legal

Keeping it clean: cryptocurrency investing. 

Nobody wants to get a knock on the door in the middle of the night from the local police. Nobody wants to go to jail. And nobody wants to live in fear because they own a little Bitcoin. So let's set the record straight on owning digital currencies.

Today we’ll cover:

  • Where Bitcoin is legal
  • Is Bitcoin legal in the UK?
  • Is Bitcoin legal in India?
  • How to acquire Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

Where is Bitcoin legal?

A better question to ask may be 'where is Bitcoin illegal?', as 95% of countries either declare it legal or have no laws about it at all. If someone has visited 47 states in the USA, it’s much easier to say they haven't been to Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, than it is for them to list every state they have been to. Bitcoin’s legality is no different;  a list of where Bitcoin is legal will be much longer than the inverse. So quickly, before we go further, here is the list of countries in which Bitcoin is currently banned:

  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
  • Algeria
  • Bolivia
  • Bangladesh
  • The Republic of Macedonia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Qatar 
  • Vanuatu 
  • Vietnam

If you do not live in any of these countries you are free to own cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Please keep in mind every country has different laws and regulations so we recommend you do your own research to learn how your country may tax or regulate cryptocurrency. This blog does not represent legal or financial advice.

If you want to learn more 👉  Bitcoin legal countries list for 2020.  

What's going on in the UK?

Some people are under the false impression that digital currencies are illegal in the UK because Binance (the world’s largest exchange) was banned by UK regulators. Cryptocurrencies as a whole are not regulated by the UK but exchanges must register with the government and adhere to anti-money laundering laws. Binance has not successfully registered with the UK government and that is why it’s in trouble. But if you live in the UK there are plenty of other cryptocurrency exchanges you can use. 

To learn more about cryptocurrency exchanges 👉 Beginners guide to crypto exchanges. 

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are perfectly legal in the UK. The UK does tax cryptocurrency so VAT must be paid when making purchases with Bitcoin and capital gains taxes are paid when cryptos are sold. Please consult a reputable tax accountant for any questions or concerns you may have regarding taxation whether you live in the UK or anywhere else. 

Is Bitcoin legal in India?

In March of 2021, the Indian government proposed a bill to ban Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The Indian Supreme Court overturned the Bitcoin ban so it’s still legal to own, buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Thanks to the Indian Supreme Court Bitcoin holders can sleep easy knowing they aren’t outlaws.

So Bitcoin is legal in a majority of countries. But how can you acquire it?

There are multiple ways to acquire Bitcoin:

  • Get paid in Bitcoin.
  • Buy Bitcoin from a cryptocurrency exchange.
  • Buy Bitcoin from a BTC ATM.
  • Mine Bitcoin

In most countries, all four of these methods are perfectly legal ways to receive Bitcoin. However, some countries like China are cracking down on Bitcoin mining so if you think you may live in a country that’s not Bitcoin-friendly we do recommend conducting some extra research. Many people want to learn how to mine Bitcoin because they want to earn cheap Bitcoin and help run the network. Keep in mind that you will need:

  • ASIC mining hardware is a special computer dedicated to mining Bitcoin. These computers are expensive and you will need to do some research to figure out which one makes the most economic sense.

  • A designated area to mine because ASIC’s are loud and produce a lot of heat.
  • Affordable electricity because Bitcoin mining uses a large amount of power.

If any of these three things are a problem you may want to consider proof of stake cryptocurrency such as Divi. It does not require owning special hardware, having a special room to run the mining setup or large amounts of electricity. All you need is to buy some Divi, download Divi wallet, and turn on staking. It’s that easy!

Key takeaways 🎉

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are legal in most jurisdictions so there is no reason to worry about investing. There are always rumors in the crypto space about regulation and new laws but don’t let these things scare you away from the exciting and life-changing world of cryptocurrency. We all have so much to gain by participating in this new global economy.

Stay up to date.

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  • Bitcoin

Kyle Turnbull

September 06, 2021 · 4 min read

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