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Which countries are crypto-friendly, and which are skeptical?


If you pay any attention to cryptocurrencies, then you’ll know that one of the hot-button issues in the conversation is the enthusiasm, or lack of it, among different governments. One of the great difficulties with running a crypto-based business, it is agreed, is that the desire of crypto enthusiasts to be truly international is often frustrated by inconsistent legal approaches to blockchain assets. While one country may be open to the idea of investment and wider use of Bitcoin and other coins, there may be one right next door which is much frostier.

It is worth having a clear picture of which way the wind is blowing in certain jurisdictions. Even though one of the major selling points of crypto is that it cuts out government middlemen, restrictive laws can frustrate an effort to engage with it as you would wish. While one may not be stopped from holding a crypto asset in some countries, there may be restrictions on what you can use it for. So below, we’ll have a look at some of the countries that are happy to work with crypto, and some that aren’t.

Friendly: South Africa

While crypto is not legal tender in South Africa, this does not restrict residents from holding and using the asset for international transactions. Among African nations, it is one of the friendliest countries for crypto users, showing up in crypto casinos country guides and being discussed positively in the media. The University of Johannesburg has even recently begun issuing blockchain-based degree certificates to its graduates, and the wind is blowing in a positive direction for South African advocates of cryptocurrencies.

Skeptical: Saudi Arabia

The Gulf nation has a complicated relationship with cryptocurrencies. While it is considered an asset of interest among the investors of this wealthy nation, crypto remains unregulated in law. It’s likely to stay that way, too, with lawmakers seeming to have coalesced around the argument that it has too many negative associations. If you’re an ordinary member of the public in Saudi Arabia, you’re not likely to hear much good news about crypto any time soon.

Friendly: Switzerland

Although the received wisdom is that crypto and banks don’t mix, that doesn’t seem to have caused any problems in banking haven Switzerland. The country’s reputation as an asset-aware jurisdiction makes it all the more interesting that it was one of the first places in the world to allow crypto companies to open business banking accounts. The Zug region of Switzerland, recognised as a base for several multinational companies, has been particularly warm in its embrace of digital currencies, earning it the nickname “Crypto Valley”; of the 900 “unicorn” businesses in the world, 14 are located in this tiny locality alone.

Skeptical: Iceland

If you’re a crypto miner, Iceland is a great place to live; its mature renewable energy infrastructure means it has some of the lowest energy prices anywhere in Europe. However, it’s felt that the national government takes a very dim view of digital assets, not allowing them to be transferred in or out. And to revisit the point about mining, there are signs that future legislation will make life more difficult. While mining can be very productive for the person doing it, it’s argued that it doesn’t do much for the wider country, providing little in the way of tax take and infrastructure investment.

Friendly: El Salvador

Many Salvadorian citizens do not have access to banking in the way that most of us would recognize it. Up until recently, the only legal tender accepted in the country was the US dollar. This was until the country’s president announced the adoption of Bitcoin to be used alongside the dollar; for those citizens who lack access to traditional financial infrastructure, this has been a way of finally being able to access spending and investing power. As of this moment, a plan to issue bonds backed by crypto has been delayed, but the currency remains hugely popular in El Salvador. That’s due in no small part to the low taxes on digital assets.

Skeptical: Canada

While there is no effort afoot to ban crypto in Canada, it’s clear that the legislative trends in the country are markedly against it. Major banks in Toronto and Montreal have declared a ban on their customers using their accounts to buy cryptocurrencies, and while the Royal Bank of Canada permits crypto transactions, they are covered by strict regulation. In short, while it’s permissible to hold and use Bitcoin and altcoins in Canada, the present government is not going to make it any easier than it currently is.

In short, there are many places where you can confidently invest in Bitcoin and launch a startup based on crypto. There are others which are markedly more frosty on the whole idea, and the coming years will be interesting as we see which trends begin to gain more ground.

Source: Plato Data Intelligence: PlatoData.io

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