Understanding the top 10 worst countries for crypto users can help you to build a better trading strategy. The crypto market continues to overcome roadblocks to adoption and expand into new industries at an impressive pace. This growth hasn't been easy. Sadly, many parts of the world have not been supportive of the market and prohibited the use of cryptocurrencies for various reasons. Here are the top 10 worst countries for crypto users to live in, listed in no particular order).
First, you should understand that a country's official stance on cryptocurrencies may not reflect its citizens' views. Some of the nations on this list have massive crypto communities despite the government's best efforts to curb adoption. Thankfully, the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to enforce a ban completely. However, that problem hasn't stopped some nations from trying.
China remains a quagmire for crypto investors and traders. The country has taken an anti-crypto stance since December 2013. Way back then, the People's Bank of China was already sounding alarm bells regarding this new form of payment used on the dark web. These warnings would pale in comparison to the nation's next move.
In 2017, during the height of the crypto expansion, China made the controversial decision to ban all local exchanges. At the time of the decision, China had the most significant crypto investment community in Asia and the world. The maneuver resulted in 173 crypto-related platforms shutting down and many more leaving the nation in search of friendlier shores.
China has continued on its anti-crypto march despite the successful launch and issuance of the nation's first CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), the digital yuan. There have been multiple times recently when The Financial Consumer Rights Protection Bureau of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has warned the public about the supposed dangers of cryptocurrency use.
In September 2021, the PBoC cracked down hard on the mining sectors by making the practice illegal. Additionally, the nation's central bank banned all crypto transactions. Specifically, all financial, web, or payment platforms that use the tech could face massive fines and be banned. All of these factors, coupled with the government's launch of their own crypto, make China a harsh choice. Especially, when you consider the much better options in the regions
Egypt is another nation that deserves to be on this list. The country has not been quiet about its anti-crypto narrative. In 2018, the nation's religious body, Dar al-Ifta, issued a decree that stated digital currencies were against the religion of Islam. While it is vital to note that this decree isn't the same as a law, it still holds massive weight in the community.
The listing of cryptos as haram was followed in 2020 by new legal requirements that made it much more difficult to start a crypto business in the nation. Now, all businesses would need to file for and receive a Central Bank license. The license was even required just to trade. Despite these efforts, Egyptians have proven to be pro-crypto.
The growing number of crypto users in the country led the Central Bank to issue another statement on September 13, 2022. This announcement stated that due to cryptos instability, use in internet crime, and lack of government backing, it was dangerous. It also reminded crypto users that they would face fines of up to LE10 million for violating the ban.
Algeria has some of the stiffest crypto laws in the world. The nation outlawed the sale, purchase, or holding of crypto in 2018. Notably, The 2018 Financial Law of Algeria specified what constitutes a virtual currency and laid out the punishments for those who violate the laws. Interestingly, the law was created following concerns over the massive amount of ICO fraud in the market at the time.
A quick glimpse into Bangladesh's crypto history shows that they have been harsh towards the industry. As the nation has the 8th largest population in the world, there is a lot of potential in the market. However, the government began to get worried over the growing use of cryptos by citizens, which prompted them to enact anti-crypto laws in a hurry.
In 2017, the Central Bank of Bangladesh made crypto transactions akin to money laundering and funding terrorism. The new law came with long prison sentences for any violations which have many human rights organizations up in arms. Under Bangladesh crypto laws, you could receive up to 12 years for Bitcoin transactions.
Macedonia is another nation that has taken itself out of the crypto race voluntarily. The nation decided to ban cryptocurrencies back in 2016. The reason for the ban included worries about money laundering and the use of crypto to send money internationally.
Macedonia has very tight requirements surrounding foreign investment. Since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are decentralized, they are seen by the Macedonian government as a form of foreign investment. Consequently, the National Bank of Macedonia continues to urge citizens to not use digital assets and doesn't provide any support to crypto-related firms.
Vietnam has taken an anti-crypto position since 2017. It was during the crypto breakout year that Vietnamese officials first became worried about the influence and risks of digital assets. The State Bank of Vietnam decided it was best to prevent their citizens from using crypto altogether and banned the issuance, supply, and use of cryptos.
The ban did little to curb crypto adoption in the nation, as Vietnam remains a crypto hot spot to this day. Thankfully, the sentiment in the nation has begun to change with a growing number of government officials looking to help expand blockchain's footprint in the nation.
Bolivia was among the first nations to ban cryptocurrencies. This South American country has suffered from crushing inflation as of late and the nation has been desperate to prevent capital flight. To this extent, the nation's Central Bank has been very critical of digital assets. In 2014, the Bolivian Central Bank instituted a complete ban on crypto activities.
Unlike other nations, this ban was thorough. It even made it illegal to list products in crypto denominations. In 2022, the BCB raised eyebrows as it announced a research program to study the use and advantages of blockchain assets. As such, the nation is opening up to the idea of cryptocurrencies in the market, albeit very slowly.
Indonesia has pushed back against virtual currencies in a decisive manner. The Bank of Indonesia banned the use of cryptos in 2017. The ban was during one of the most active crypto markets and led to the nation being left behind in terms of blockchain education and investment.
In November 2021, the Indonesian Ulema Council issued a religious decree against cryptocurrencies, making them virtually unusable in the country. The haram fatwa prevents Muslims from holding or participating in crypto activities. In December 2022, the Law on Financial Sector Development and Strengthening placed all crypto regulations firmly under the control of the nation's central bank, which has no intention of loosening restrictions any time soon.
It should be no surprise that Afghanistan's Taliban authority has made cryptocurrencies illegal. The country is run under Sharia Law, which is strictly enforced. Notably, the decision to ban cryptos makes sense from the Taliban's perspective. The new administration is eager to prevent capital flight and needs to conserve all wealth to rebuild the war-torn nation and maintain control.
India has had a checkered history with cryptocurrencies. Like China, the nation has decided to push back against the industry in the past while at the same time developing a national CBDC. The RBI has made some serious attacks on the market, including an attempt to prohibit banks from providing support to entities or persons dealing with cryptocurrency.
In 2021, the Nation's Prime minister, Narendra Modi, released a statement where he warned the public about the speculative nature of cryptocurrencies. In a sweeping attempt to lock the nation's blockchain industry down, financial regulatory bills were introduced that would have banned all cryptos aside from the CBDC.
While the ban never passed, there have been some crypto-related tax bills that have slowed adoption considerably. For example, a new tax deduction at source law made it expensive to trade on exchanges. The results were a massive 80% drop in trading volume.
Thankfully, India has now begun to come out of the crypto dark ages with some new frameworks beginning to emerge that would help the nation remain competitive in the market. Despite a growing pro-crypto sentiment in the nation's government, India still has some of the highest taxes and toughest regulations for crypto investors.
Now that you have some insight into the top 10 worst countries for crypto traders, you are better suited to make a trading strategy that fits your region. Hopefully, this list should help you to avoid being persecuted for your crypto usage.
Remember, the crypto market and its legal framework are in constant flux. As such, you need to DYOR and be up to date on any regulatory or legal changes in your region. This approach will help you avoid unnecessary losses and stress due to your local government's anti-crypto position.