If you dabble in crypto, it’s probably wise to know where your digital currency is accepted – and where it is 100% banned. And while some countries are considered ‘blockchain havens,’ how easy is it to use your cash there?
A closer look at the least crypto-friendly countries in the world.
Crypto king in China? We don’t think so. China has not allowed financial institutions to handle bitcoin transactions since 2013, with continued measures introduced to crack down on crypto in the country. In an effort to force crypto miners out, the People’s Bank of China has been developing the ‘digital yuan’ and started trials for the digital currency in Shenzhen, Chengdu, and Suzhou (CNBC).
You’ll have no better luck in Qatar, either. Namely, at the tail end of 2020, the country banned “the exchange or transfer of virtual assets, or the exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies” in the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). The ban also includes “anything of value that acts as a substitute for currency, that can be digitally traded or transferred and can be used for payment or investment purposes” (Free Man Law).
Oman, Egypt, Qatar, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, and Bangladesh have also all banned crypto.
And the least crypto-friendly country in Europe?
What happened to ‘blockchain island’? Crypto startups in Malta have not had it easy in the country. Many struggle to open business bank accounts until they receive a license from the Malta Financial Services Authority. While the country continues to attract businesses due to its island appeal and zero regulations around cryptocurrency, it’s wise to think twice about the ease of doing business here – especially when there are zero venues to spend your cash (News.Bitcoin).
The ten least crypto-friendly European countries behind Malta are North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova, Luxembourg, Serbia, Montenegro, Monaco, and Liechtenstein.
Anyone else you should know about?
Interestingly, according to data from February 2022, the United Arab Emirates only has ONE crypto cash point (in Dubai), even though nearly 153,000 people own cryptocurrency in the UAE. Tokyo is no better, with a single crypto cash machine in the entire country (in Tokyo), even though many restaurants accept digital currency (Fast Private Jet).