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Bitcoin as legal tender: Countries which say aye or nay to the cryptocurrency

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Bitcoin as legal tender: Countries which say aye or nay to the cryptocurrency

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The value of Bitcoin has surged of late, with the cryptocurrency touching an all-time high of $48,000 on Thursday. The virtual currency's rally in recent months has left analysts and investors stunned and also worried about a possible bubble.

Bitcoin as legal tender: Countries which say aye or nay to the cryptocurrency
The value of Bitcoin has surged of late, with the cryptocurrency touching an all-time high of $48,000 on Thursday. The virtual currency's rally in recent months has left analysts and investors stunned and also worried about a possible bubble. So, let's take a look at how a few countries have reacted to the world's largest cryptocurrency:
India:
The adoption and use of cryptocurrencies is still a dream because the Indian government does not consider them legal tender or coins. So, the government has listed a bill in the Parliament, seeking to bar all private cryptocurrencies in India, and also lay the groundwork for an official digital currency.
The detailed provisions of the bill are not yet available in public domain. In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had prohibited banks from processing transactions relating to cryptocurrency but in March last year, the Supreme Court lifted the ban. The apex court ruled that the ban was in violation of the freedom of business and profession under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution. Thereon, cryptocurrency continues to be operated in a legal vacuum.
The United States: The US has taken a generally positive stance towards Bitcoin. In the US, cryptocurrency received a huge backing from two major financial institutions. On Wednesday (February 10), Mastercard said that it will allow cardholders to transact in certain cryptocurrencies.
A day later, on Thursday (February 11), Bank of New York Mellon also announced its intention of validating these alternative digital assets. Earlier, electric carmaker Tesla had announced that it had invested a $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Also, entities such as Dish Network, Microsoft Store, Subway etc accept payments in Bitcoin.
Canada: Here, too, Bitcoin has received a friendly response, while also ensuring that the cryptocurrency is not used for money laundering. Recently, the Ontario Securities Commission — Canada's financial regulator — approved a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund. In the country, Bitcoin exchanges are considered to be money service businesses. Such exchanges need to register with Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada and report any suspicious transactions.
Australia: The country has been progressive in its implementation of cryptocurrencies and their regulations. Cryptocurrencies and exchanges are legal in Australia. In 2017, the government had specifically stated that Bitcoin should be treated as property, and was subject to capital gains tax.
United Kingdom: The government of this country has a favourable stance towards Bitcoin. The digital cryptocurrency falls under tax regulations there.
Germany: Bitcoin is considered legal in this European country, although the tax rules vary for exchanges, enterprises, miners and users.
China: The banking system of China has a strict policy against cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is not recognised as legal tender and therefore, all financial institutions such payment processors are not allowed to deal in it. The government has, in fact, cracked down on miners in the past.
Russia: The use of Bitcoin for payment transactions is illegal in Russia, but is not regulated.
Vietnam: The country's government and its banks also do not recognise Bitcoin as an acceptable method of payment but doesn’t regulate the cryptocurrency as an investment.
 
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