The state of cryptocurrency around the world
Cryptocurrency has certainly come a long way since Bitcoin was first launched in 2009. Back then, Bitcoin was all there was. But in the years following Bitcoin's release, the world has been introduced to a number of new coins.
Believe it or not, there are now more than 2,000 cryptocurrency projects around the world. Most are either completely inactive or active with coins that just aren't in circulation.
With regards to Mega Moolah only Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Tether, and Dogecoin, can be used to play Mega Moolah. There's a long way to go for full acceptance of crypto at Mega Moolah casinos.
Among the crypto that are active, Bitcoin still rules the proverbial roost. At the time of this writing, it was number one in:
- Price - $10,970.70
- Volume - $42.5 billion
- Market Capitalization - $193.9 billion.
The second-place coin in terms of market capitalization was Ethereum at $31.1 billion. Interestingly enough, the number two coin in terms of price is probably one you have never heard of: ThoreCoin. It was selling at $1,683.73 at the time this post was written.
With so much crypto now in the world, you might be wondering how easy it is to buy things with it. So to help you get a better understanding of the crypto sphere, we have put together a brief synopsis of cryptocurrency around the world. Note that the first seven in our list are those in which cryptocurrency is both legal and usable. The final six are countries where crypto is illegal. They are listed alphabetically for each category.
Australia embraces cryptocurrency as equal to any fiat. That does not mean crypto is legal tender in Australia; it is not. Rather, cryptocurrencies are viewed as legitimate payment systems. Australian citizens can buy and sell with crypto; they can trade it like an investment; they can mine it and operate exchanges.
There are certain towns in Australia that accept cryptocurrency payments more willingly than others. For example, the towns of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy, in Queensland, boast dozens of local merchants that welcome cryptocurrency openly. The two towns are so crypto friendly that they market themselves as the "first digital currency-friendly communities" for tourists.
Canada's Revenue Agency takes a similar view as the US Department of Treasury in that it considers cryptocurrencies as being similar to commodities. Any profits made by trading coins are considered business income and taxed accordingly. In terms of utility, Canada is known for its sparsity. Merchants in Canada have not warmed up to crypto payments as quickly as their counterparts in Europe.
You should know that Canada takes an extremely aggressive stand against cryptocurrency being used for illegal activities. The Canadian government has put numerous regulations in place to prevent money laundering. They also require exchanges operating in the country to register and, as conditions of doing so, keep certain kinds of records and report any suspicious transactions.
3. EU Countries
The European Union is a mixed bag. While neither the European Commission nor the European Parliament have undertaken any efforts to enact concrete regulations, various countries within the union have. This is one area in which the EU is not very unified. EU leaders are following cryptocurrency developments with an eye toward regulation if they deem it necessary in the future.
The Mexican government recognized Bitcoin as being legal in 2017. By extension, all other cryptocurrencies are also legal. Crypto is regulated in Mexico as a virtual asset similar to more conventional securities. Profits are taxed in the same way as business profits.
5. South Africa
Cryptocurrency is legal in South Africa by virtue of the fact that it has no official status. Way back in 2014, the Reserve Bank of South Africa published a position paper that essentially says the central bank takes no position on digital assets. Taking things one step further, the South African Revenue Service considers cryptocurrencies to be intangible assets and, as such, does not impose taxes on them.
South Africa essentially takes a hands-off approach. Do as you will with cryptocurrency there. The government doesn't appear interested in your activities at all.
6. The United Kingdom
One EU country to be especially interested in is the UK. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that the UK will not be part of the EU for much longer (at the time of this writing). Any future regulations EU rule makers come up with will not apply to the UK.
The UK is generally friendly toward cryptocurrencies in terms of mining, trading, day-to-day commerce, and blockchain development. More importantly, the UK is also very friendly to the one industry that utilizes cryptocurrency more than all others: online gambling. It appears as though regulators want to keep both avenues as open and free as possible to encourage their growth in the UK.
7. The United States
Attitudes toward cryptocurrency in the United States are generally positive. From an official government perspective, cryptocurrencies do not have the same status as fiat in terms of being legal tender. But they are legal as payment systems.
Cryptocurrency is lightly regulated in the US as well. Enforcing the few laws that do exist is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Treasury, the same department that exercises oversight over federal taxation. And speaking of taxes, the U.S. government treats cryptocurrencies as assets for tax purposes. Make a profit on crypto and you will pay capital gains tax.
In terms of utility, the number of merchants on board with crypto payments is comparatively small. It is easier to find crypto friendly merchants in Australia and the UK than in the U.S.
Moving on to countries in which Bitcoin is illegal brings us to China. Despite the fact that some Chinese citizens own digital assets, cryptocurrencies are banned there. Regulations prevent financial institutions from dealing in crypto assets of any kind. This includes banks, payment processors, etc. Even cryptocurrency exchanges are not allowed.
Government officials are so serious that they take an active position in tracking down and punishing miners. If they uncover any Bitcoin related activities, they take immediate steps to shut said activities down. It's no wonder bitcoin buyers are best off using a VPN.
Cryptocurrency is both illegal and legal in India. How can that be? Well, individuals can own digital coins to their heart's content. They can even trade coins among themselves. But that's as far as it goes. The Indian government does not recognize cryptocurrency as either legal tender or a legitimate payment system. Indian banks are prohibited from transacting with it, which all but eliminates payment processors from the equation.
The government ban on banking transactions effectively makes it impossible to buy or sell via crypto payments. Setting up an exchange in India would be virtually impossible as well. So you can own digital assets, but they won't do you much good.
Cryptocurrencies are considered assets in Morocco. However, they are not assets worthy of any formal government protection. As for their use as a payment system, they are not allowed according to Morocco's Office des Changes.
The government takes the position that using cryptocurrencies for day-to-day transactions violates the nation's existing exchange regulations. Violations of said regulations are punishable by fines. As such, virtually no merchants in Morocco will take cryptocurrency payments.
11. North Korea
North Korea is an interesting case that deserves consideration under the illegal category. According to the letter of the law, cryptocurrency is neither legal nor illegal in North Korea. It simply does not exist in the minds of average citizens because their government has kept any knowledge of it from them. And because internet access is so severely restricted there, the average North Korean could not make use of crypto anyway.
The general consensus is that crypto is illegal in North Korea simply due to the fact that the government prohibits access to it - even without specific regulations in place. What's interesting is that the government uses crypto to conduct cross-border transactions. What is good for the government is apparently not good for the people.
Russia's Federal Tax Service maintains the position that cryptocurrencies are not illegal. However, they are alone in that position. Government regulations prevent crypto exchanges and payment services from operating there. Russia's courts have ruled digital currencies illegal in the Russian Federation. Finally, Russia's deputy finance minister has publicly stated that accepting cryptocurrency payments is "probably illegal."
It may be that there are no official rules on the books banning cryptocurrency ownership in Russia, but the practicality of trading there makes it all but illegal. Cryptocurrency businesses certainly aren't flocking to Russia to set up shop.
Taiwanese regulators have not explicitly banned cryptocurrencies either. However, there is an implied ban. Regulators repeatedly warn business leaders and the general public that crypto users do not enjoy any legal protections. The authorities will not investigate cases of theft, fraud, or other similar activities. There are also no guarantees of fair trade. So if a consumer gets ripped off in any kind of crypto exchange, there is no recourse.
Furthermore regulators have explicitly warned banks and other financial institutions not to deal in cryptocurrency transactions. They went one step further a few years ago by outlawing Bitcoin ATMs in Taiwan.
As you can see, cryptocurrency is viewed differently in numerous countries around the world. There are no black and white principles that apply globally. It will probably be a long time before there are.
Meanwhile you can use Bitcoin and other crypto to play Mega Moolah!
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.