As of now, we recognize cryptocurrency as a commodity that can be traded in the exchanges. We are not considering it as a legal tender in any form.">source The governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, Rasheed Al Maraj, has issued a warning against cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin. During a parliamentary session that took place in the Shura Council, Al Maraj declared that the bitcoin is not recognized by any financial institution. He also mentioned that using bitcoin in Bahrain is illegal; however, Bharani citizens have the right to invest in cryptocurrencies outside Bahrain. Al Maraj: We Do Not Recognize Bitcoin and It is Dangerous to Deal With It, Al-Watan (Jan. 7, 2018), المعراج-لا-نعترف-بالبيتكوينوالتعامل-بها-خطر (in Arabic) , archived at .
[t]ransaction [sic] with this currency may cause a violation of the existing money laundering and terrorist financing regulations.[Golam Mowla, Central Bank Issues Notice Banning Bitcoin in Bangladesh, Dhaka Tribune, (Dec. 27, 2017), , archived at The notice states that bitcoin transactions
are not authorized by the Bangladesh Bank or any regulatory agencies, and do not conform with the provisions under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947; Anti-Terrorism Act, 2009; and the Money Laundering Prevention Act, 2012.[Central Bank of Bangladesh, Cautionary Notice on Bitcoin Transactions, supra note 589 (English translation from the original Bengali provided by Law Library Reference Librarian Shameema Rahman) Also, according to the notice, [o]nline transaction [sic] of virtual currencies with any unnamed or pseudo named parties may cause a violation of the above-mentioned acts. . . . . [T]ransactions through online networks involving cryptocurrency are not approved by any central payment system and as such people can be financially harmed and may face legal consequences. Under the circumstances, the citizens have been asked to refrain from performing, assisting, and advertising all kind of transactions through virtual currencies like Bitcoin to avoid financial and legal damages. Law enforcement agencies, including the Foreign Exchange Police Department, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU), and Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), have reportedly already held four meetings on
hunting down those using cryptocurrencies.[Golam Mowla, Police on the Hunt for Bitcoin Users in Bangladesh, Dhaka Tribune (Feb. 19, 2018), , archived at
cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Brunei Darussalam and are not regulated by AMBD,and advising the public
to be vigilant and exercise extreme caution when dealing with such currencies that are privately issued.The press statement also added that AMBD would like to remind the public to be careful when participating in any investment plans or financial transactions. The public is advised not to be easily enticed by any investment or financial activity advertisements, and to conduct due diligence and understand the financial products properly before participating. Press Release, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam, Public to Exercise High Caution with Cryptocurrencies (Dec. 22, 2017), Press Release - Crypto , archived at
signed an agreement with a Japanese firm . . . to develop a blockchain-based project for its own internal use, which would track interbank lending and transactionsin April 2017. Robin Spiess, Uncertainty over Future of Cryptocurrencies in Cambodia, Phnom Penh Post (Mar. 9, 2018), , archived at However, it only addresses interbank transactions. The NBC has
asked banks in Cambodia not to allow people to conduct transactions with cryptocurrencies.[Sok Chan, Bitcoin a Risky Business, NBC Warns, Khmer Times (Dec. 6, 2017), http://www.khmertimeskh. com/5094114/bitcoin-risky-business-nbc-warns/ , archived at At the Fourth Annual NBC Macroeconomic Conference on December 5, 2017, NBC Director General Chea Serey stated that activities of a handful of companies operating in Cambodia that tried to persuade people to use cryptocurrencies for everyday purchases and other financial transactions were
not legal as digital currencies are not issued or backed up by any government.However, she also stated that
digital currencies are not illegal in the Kingdomand
asked users to be wary of them and extremely careful when using them.In a December 29, 2017, press release the NBC reaffirmed that it
never allowed the purchase-sale and circulation of any form of cryptocurrencies.[Press Release, NBC, The National Bank of Cambodia Denies the False Information Stating that the NBC Has Cooperated with Chaintope Company (Dec. 29, 2017), ?id=344 , archived at ]
so-called ‘virtual currencies’ such as Bitcoin and Ethereumthrough the irregular sale and circulation of tokens is essentially public financing without approval, which is illegal. 645] The Announcement warned that tokens or virtual currencies involved in ICO financing are not issued by monetary authorities and therefore not mandatorily-accepted legal tender, and thus do not have equal legal status with fiat currencies and
cannot and should not be circulated and used in the market as currencies.[PBOC, CAC, MIIT, SAIC, CBRC, CSRC, and CIRC Announcement on Preventing Financial Risks from Initial Coin Offerings (Sept. 4, 2017), (in Chinese) , archived at . ] As early as December 3, 2013, the PBOC, MIIT, CBRC, CSRC, and CIRC jointly issued a notice warning the public about the risks of bitcoin, the Notice on Precautions Against the Risks of Bitcoins. 647] The circular defined bitcoin as
by nature a special virtual commodity,which
does not have equal legal status as currenciesand
cannot and should not be circulated in the market as a currency.[PBOC, MIIT, CBRC, CSRC, and CIRC Notice on Precautions Against the Risks of Bitcoins (Dec. 3, 2013), (in Chinese) , archived athttps:// According to the notice, banks and payment institutions in China are prohibited from dealing in bitcoins. Financial and payment institutions are prohibited from using bitcoin pricing for products or services or buying or selling bitcoins, nor can they provide direct or indirect bitcoin-related services, including registering, trading, settling, clearing, or other services; accept bitcoins or use bitcoins as a clearing tool; or trade bitcoins with Chinese yuan or foreign currencies. PBOC, MIIT, CBRC, CSRC, and CIRC Notice on Precautions Against the Risks of Bitcoins (Dec. 3, 2013), (in Chinese) , archived athttps:// ICOs are banned for all businesses and individuals by order of the People’s Bank of China. Chinese ICOs that have completed their funding cycles have been requested to refund any altcoins raised. The PBoC has indicated it will investigate any company or individual found to be in violation of its ruling.
non-commercial profit) or a habitual activity (in which case it will be taxed as
industrial and commercial profit). 32] Additionally, cryptocurrencies are taken into account when calculating the basis for the French wealth tax, and the free transfer of cryptocurrencies from one person to another may be subject to the gift tax. 33] Beyond these guidelines, however, tax experts have commented that there still are a number of ambiguities that will need to be clarified by the government. 34]
virtual or digital currencies, also known as cryptocurrencies,mainly because such currencies and the entities that facilitate their transactions are not sanctioned by the government. Bank of Ghana, Digital and Virtual Currencies Operations in Ghana, Notice No. BG/GOV/SEC/2018/02 (Jan. 22, 2018), and Virtual Currencies Operations in , archived at The notice stated that [t]he Bank of Ghana wishes to notify the general public that these activities in digital currency are currently not licensed under the Payments System Act 2003 (Act 662). . . . The public is therefore strongly encouraged to do business with only institutions licensed by the Bank of Ghana to ensure that such transactions fall under our regulatory purview.
a database system in which – (a) information is recorded and consensually shared and synchronised across a network of multiple nodes; and (b) all copies of the database are regarded as equally authentic; and ‘Value’ includes assets, holdings and other forms of ownership, rights or interests, with or without related information, such as agreements or transactions for the transfer of value or its payment, clearing or settlement.] and is currently in the process of introducing draft legislation to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs). It is also considering a further regulatory framework that would address the sale and promotion of tokens to complement the DLT regulations. Statement on Initial Coin Offerings, Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (Sept. 22, 2017), , archived at On October 12, 2017, the government of Gibraltar introduced the Financial Services (Distributed Ledger Technology Providers) Regulations 2017[Financial Services (Distributed Ledger Technology Providers) Regulations 2017, Legal Notice No. 204/2017, Gibraltar Gazette No. 4401 (Oct. 12, 2017), regulations 121017 (2).pdf , archived at under the Financial Services (Investment and Fiduciary Services) Act. Financial Services (Investment and Fiduciary Services) Act 1989, §§ 5, 7, 53, 56 These Regulations entered into force on January 1, 2018. Financial Services (Distributed Ledger Technology Providers) Regulations 2017, reg 1(2). See also Press Release, Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Regulatory Framework (Jan. 2, 2018), , archived at The regulatory framework covers firms that operate in or from Gibraltar and provide DLT services, defined in the Financial Services (Investment and Fiduciary Services) Act as
[c]arrying on by way of business, in or from Gibraltar, the use of distributed ledger technology for storing or transmitting value belonging to others.[Financial Services (Investment and Fiduciary Services) Act 1989, sched. 3, ¶ 10 The regulations require these firms to apply for a license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission to become a DLT provider. Distributed Ledger Technology Regulatory Framework (DLT Framework), Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (Jan. 2, 2018), , archived at DLT license holders are also required to pay an annual fee, charged at a flat rate of £10,000 (approximately US$14,000), although an additional fee of up to £20,000 (approximately US$28,000) may be charged
depending upon the complexity of regulating the DLT Provider.[Financial Services Commission (Fees) Regulations 2016, LN 2016/071, sched. 1, http://www.gibraltarlaws. , archived at . ] Companies that are currently licensed under the existing financial legislation in Gibraltar and use DLT to improve their controls, procedures and processes will not need to obtain a separate licence under the DLT framework, unless the activities are not currently caught within the scope of the licence they hold . . . . However, if [they] are licensed as a bank, but intend to provide virtual currency wallets and/or services [they] will be required to obtain a licence under the DLT regime. Distributed Ledger Technology Regulatory Framework (DLT Framework), Frequently Asked Questions, Gibraltar Financial Services Commission DLT providers must comply with Gibraltar’s requirements concerning anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism, as well as those of any jurisdiction in which they also operate. 372] Under the Regulations the provision of DLT services without a license is an offense, punishable with a fine of up to £10,000 (approximately US$14,000). The government of Gibraltar claims that the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission is the first regulator to introduce a framework regulating Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). ress Release, Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Regulatory Framework (Jan. 2, 2018), , archived at The aim of introducing the legislation is to protect consumers and the reputation of Gibraltar as a well-regulated and safe environment for firms that use DLT, and enable Gibraltar to prosper from the use and growth of new financial technology. The government of Gibraltar has expressed concern over the use of tokenized digital assets (tokens) and cryptocurrency given by companies to raise capital and bypass the traditional, regulated, capital-raising process required by financial institutions or venture capitalists. Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, Statement on Initial Coin Offerings (Sept. 22, 2017), news/statement-on-initial-coin-offerings-250 , archived at It is currently working to develop legislation to regulate the use of tokens,
essentially those created and traded using [DLT][Press Release, HM Government of Gibraltar and Ministry of Commerce, HM Government of Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission Announce Plans for Token Legislation (Feb. 12, 2018), . gi/news/hm-government-of-gibraltar-and-the-gibraltar-financial-services-commission-announce-plans-for-token-legislation-272 , archived at that will align with the DLT regulations,[Distributed Ledger Technology Regulatory Framework (DLT Framework), Gibraltar Financial Services Commission] and expects a bill to be before Parliament by the second quarter of 2018. ress Release, HM Government of Gibraltar and Ministry of Commerce]
virtual currenciesand may refuse application to register financial service businesses if virtual currency is involved. Virtual Currencies, Guernsey Financial Services Commission (Feb. 11, 2014), article/virtual-currencies , archived at Specifically, [t]he Commission has a policy of encouraging innovation. Virtual currencies are an area of innovation which the Commission continues to monitor closely while recognising that there are currently significant risks associated with them. In the light of those risks, the Commission will adopt a cautious approach and may well refuse applications to register financial services business where the use of virtual currency is involved. However, this approach will be regularly reviewed in the light of international developments. In 2015, a report commissioned by the Guernsey government noted that the major drawback for cryptocurrencies was the difficulty in complying with international anti-money laundering standards. PricewaterhouseCoopers, Guernsey Commerce and Employment, States of Guernsey: A Strategic Vision for FinTech 28, (July 2015), , archived at . ] Three years after the issuance of the first statement, on February 27, 2018, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission issued a further statement that it believes there are
significant risks in the use of virtual or crypto currencies especially for retail customers. Nevertheless, we understand that professional investors with a high risk appetite may wish to invest in this developing sector.[irtual Currencies, Crypto Currencies and Initial Coin Offerings (
ICO), Guernsey Financial Services Commission (Feb. 27, 2014), , archived at The Financial Services Commission has stated that it will assess any application on its individual merits against the criteria used for asset types or structures, as cryptocurrencies
could interact with [the countries] regulatory laws[Laws, regulations, and codes that govern the financial sector and could have an impact on a business using or offering cryptocurrencies are available at: Legislation and Guidance, Guernsey Financial Services Commission, (last visited Mar. 20, 2018) , archived at . ] in a number of ways.[Virtual Currencies, Crypto Currencies and Initial Coin Offerings (
ICO), Guernsey Financial Services Commission, supra note 383383 Applicants must demonstrate how they will comply with the laws and rules to counter financial crime and terrorist financing, with particularly regard to establishing the identity of both investors and beneficial owners. The Commission has stated that it would continue to be cautious to approve applications for initial coin offerings that could later be traded on the secondary market due to the risk of fraud and money laundering, along with applications for any kinds of digital currency exchanges.
securitiesas defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance, without a license. The SFC also wrote to seven ICO issuers and most of them confirmed compliance with the SFC’s regulatory regime or immediately ceased to offer tokens to Hong Kong investors. The SFC stated it would continue to police the market and engage in enforcement actions when necessary, and also urged market professionals to do proper gatekeeping to prevent fraud or dubious fundraising, and to assist the SFC in ensuring compliance with the law. SFC Warns of Cryptocurrency Risks, Securities and Futures Commission (Feb. 9, 2018), edistributionWeb/gateway/EN/news-and-announcements/news/doc?refNo=18PR13 , archived at The new alert follows a statement on ICOs issued by the SFC on September 5, 2017. Securities and Futures Commission, Statement on Initial Coin Offerings (Sept. 5, 2017), EN/news-and-announcements/policy-statements-and-announcements/ , archived at That statement explained that, depending on the facts and circumstances of an ICO, digital tokens that are offered or sold may be
securitiesas defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance, and therefore subject to the securities laws of Hong Kong. Securities and Futures Commission, Statement on Initial Coin Offerings (Sept. 5, 2017), EN/news-and-announcements/policy-statements-and-announcements/ , archived at According to the statement, [w]here the digital tokens involved in an ICO fall under the definition of
securities, dealing in or advising on the digital tokens, or managing or marketing a fund investing in such digital tokens, may constitute a
regulated activity. Parties engaging in a
regulated activityare required to be licensed by or registered with the SFC irrespective of whether the parties involved are located in Hong Kong, so long as such business activities target the Hong Kong public. Securities and Futures Commission, Statement on Initial Coin Offerings (Sept. 5, 2017), EN/news-and-announcements/policy-statements-and-announcements/ , archived at On January 8, 2014, in replying to a question raised at the meeting of the Legislative Council on the use of bitcoin, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury said virtual currencies such as bitcoin are not considered as legal tender but are virtual commodities in Hong Kong, and warned about the risks of using virtual currencies. Press Release, Government of Hong Kong, LCQ1: Monitoring the Use of Bitcoins (Jan. 8, 2014), http://www. , archived athttps:// According to the Secretary, [i]t would be quite risky to convert, trade or hold such virtual currencies as their value is not backed by any physical items, issuers or the real economy. There are specified upper limits to the overall size of the issue of such virtual currencies, but no guarantee of their convertibility into a legal tender or commodities in the real economy. Also, the price of virtual currencies may be susceptible to significant fluctuations due to individual speculative activities. Press Release, Government of Hong Kong, LCQ1: Monitoring the Use of Bitcoins (Jan. 8, 2014), http://www. , archived athttps:// On March 25, 2015, the Secretary responded to another question on the regulation of bitcoin trading activities raised at the meeting of the Legislative Council. Press Release, Government of Hong Kong, LCQ4: Regulation of Trading Activities of Bitcoins (Mar. 25, 2015), , archived at In the statement, the Secretary reiterated there were no specific regulatory measures on virtual commodities such as bitcoin in Hong Kong, but existing laws provide for sanctions against unlawful acts such as money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, pyramid schemes, and cybercrimes, with or without virtual commodities being involved. The police will take enforcement action if they find criminal conduct involving virtual commodities by conducting patrols, including searching for relevant information via public platforms on the Internet, the Secretary said. The Hong Kong Government and financial regulators will also keep a close watch on the development of bitcoin and other virtual commodities, he said. Press Release, Government of Hong Kong, LCQ4: Regulation of Trading Activities of Bitcoins (Mar. 25, 2015), , archived at
i) derivatives trading for purposes other than hedging; ii) foreign exchange transactions carried out between residents and non-residents without the intermediation of a financial undertaking; and iii) in certain instances, foreign-denominated lending by residents to non-residents.[Press Release, Central Bank of Iceland (2017)] It is possible that trade and investments in cryptocurrencies would be limited by these regulations. Because cross-border transactions with Icelandic krónur are allowed, however, bitcoins would not be limited for this reason alone. Compare Press Release, Central Bank of Iceland (2014),]
Aðrar eignir áður ótaldar(Other Assets). Ríkisskattstjóri (RSK), Leiðbeiningar Skattframtal einstaklinga [Guidelines on Tax Return for Individuals] 15 (2018), , archived at The value of cryptocurrency holdings is based on the prevailing exchange rate on December 31 of the tax year. Reportedly, members of Parliament are considering adopting legislation that would tax companies that mine cryptocurrencies in Iceland, based on their usage of natural resources (electricity). Stan Higgins, Icelandic Lawmaker Floats Bitcoin Mining Tax, Coindesk (Feb. 12, 2018), https://www.coindesk. com/icelandic-lawmaker-floats-bitcoin-mining-tax/ , archived at
vulnerable to bubble risks,and
susceptible to be used for money laundering and terrorism financing.Bank Indonesia therefore considers that such currencies
can potentially impact financial system stability and cause financial harm to society.[Undang-Undang Nomor 7 Tahun 2011 Tentang Mata Ung [Law Number 7 of 2011 Concerning Currency], 7 Tahun (in Indonesian) , archived at . An unofficial English translation of this law is available at id/lgso/translations/Laws/Law No. 7 of 2011 on Currency (MoF).pdf , archived at It also refers to Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 18/40/PBI/2016 on Implementation of Payment Transaction Processing[Peraturan Bank Indonesia Nomor 18/40/PBI/2016 Tentang Penyelenggaraan Pemrosesan Transaksi Pembayaran, (in Indonesian) , archived at and Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 19/12/PBI/2017 on Implementation of Financial Technology[Peraturan Bank Indonesia Nomor 19/12/PBI/2017 Tentang Penyelenggaraan Teknologi Finansial, (in Indonesian) , archived at in affirming that, as the payment system authority, the Bank forbids all payment system operators and financial technology operators in Indonesia from processing transactions using virtual currencies. This statement was supported by the Minister of Finance who, in a press conference on January 23, 2018, warned that virtual currencies are a high-risk and speculative investment and said that
[w]e will also continue to function as a government that conveys the view that it is not in accordance with the Law to be used as a means of transaction.[Minister of Finance: Bitcoin is Not in Line with the Law, Kementerian Keunangan [Ministry of Finance], (Jan. 25, 2018), , archived at ] The Bank’s statement follows an earlier press release in 2014, in which it encouraged caution with respect to virtual currencies and stated that
[i]n view of the Act No. 7 Year 2012 [sic] concerning Currency and Act No. 23 Year 1999[[Act No. 23 of 199 Concerning Bank Indonesia, (unofficial English translation) , archived at ] which has been amended several times, the latest with Act No. 6 Year 2009,[[Act No. 6 of 2009 Concerning Stipulation of Government Regulation in Lieu of Act No. 2 of 2008 Concerning Second Amendment to the Act No. 23 of 1999 Concerning Bank Indonesia into Act, (unofficial English translation) , archived at ] Bank Indonesia states that bitcoin and other virtual currency are not currency or legal payment instrument in Indonesia.[Press Release, Bank Indonesia, Statement of Bank Indonesia Related to Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency (Feb. 6, 2014), , archived at
formulating the monetary and credit system of the country, formulating the regulations pertaining to outflow as well as repatriation of Iranian and foreign currency, [and] foreign exchange transactions.Laws & Regulations, Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, (last visited Mar. 19, 2018) , archived at although a directive passed by the Money and Credit Council, the most important policy decision-making organ of the CBI,
[had] deemed non-physical and virtual transactions against the law, meaning that Iranian [currency exchanges could] not deal in cryptocurrencies.[No Bitcoin Trade for Moneychangers, supra note 507; Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Central Banking in Iran, at 12–13, (last visited Mar. 19, 2018) , archived at The Bank’s decision to ban the use of cryptocurrencies by financial institutions is a blow for those in Iran who viewed virtual currencies as a means of overcoming problems related to the banking industry and international sanctions, and who see them as
currently shaping the future of bankingand, when precisely and transparently regulated, of preventing people in the country from buying and selling them secretly and using them fraudulently. ran’s Banks Banned from Dealing in Crypto-currencies, BBC News (Apr. 23, 2018), news/ technology-43865105 , archived at ; Iranian Banker Calls for Cryptocurrency Recognition, Financial Tribune (Jan. 7, 2018), https://financial , archived at ; Iranian Banker Calls for Cryptocurrency Recognition, Financial Tribune (Jan. 7, 2018), https://financial , archived at ; No Bitcoin Trade for Moneychangers,] Before the ban was announced, the CBI’s Information Technology Chief had reported that, along with the adoption of a framework that should be adhered to for using cryptocurrencies, the Central Bank was considering the adoption of a national virtual currency, either to be generated by the Central Bank or another entity. Iran’s CB Issues Warning over Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies, Financial Tribune (Nov. 14, 2017), , archived at ] One of the motivations for developing such a currency was that it could potentially be used to replace the US dollar, an attractive prospect for Iran because US sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program bar Iran from using the US financial system. CBI Governor Urges Caution on Bitcoin Trade, Financial Tribune (Dec. 31, 2017), https://financialtribune. com/articles/economy-business-and-markets/78986/cbi-governor-urges-caution-on-bitcoin-trade , archived at
financial assetsto obtain a license from the Supervisor of Financial Services. Supervision on Financial Services (Regulated Financial Services) Law 5776-2016, §§ 2 &12, Sefer Hahukim [Book of Laws, official gazette] 5776 No. 2570 p. 1098, as amended (in Hebrew) The definition of
virtual currency.A license will generally be issued to an Israeli citizen or a resident who has reached the age of majority, is legally competent, and has not been declared bankrupt or, in the case of a corporation, is not required to dissolve. Additional licensing requirements include that the licensee has a minimum specified amount of equity and, if an individual, has not been convicted of an offense that due to its nature makes the licensee unfit to handle financial transactions. A statement issued by Bank of Israel and several regulatory agencies on February 19, 2014, warned the public against dealing in virtual currencies. The warning laid out the dangers associated with trading in virtual currencies, including fraud, money laundering, and financing of terrorism, among others. id. ¶ 4, Bank of Israel Capital Market, Insurance and Saving Branch, Tax Authority, Securities Authority and the Prevention of Money Laundry and Financing of Terrorism Authority, Public Announcement Regarding Possible Risks Contained in Virtual Coins Such as Bitcoin (Feb. 19, 2014), PublishingImages/190214/ (in Hebrew) , archived at In addition, the Bank of Israel said in a January 2018 statement that
it would not recognize virtual currencies such as bitcoin as actual currency and . . . it was difficult to devise regulations to monitor the risks of such activity to the country’s banks and their clients,according to Reuters. Steven Scheer, Bitcoin Is an Asset, Not a Currency - Israel’s Central Bank, Reuters (Jan. 8, 2018), , archived at
means of virtual paymentand subject to taxation. Israel Tax Authority, Taxation of Activity by Means of Virtual Payment (Known as ‘Virtual Currencies’), Israel Tax Authority Circular No. 05/2018 (Jan. 17, 2018), (in Hebrew) , archived at Specifically, for the purpose of income tax and value added tax requirements, virtual currency is viewed as
an assetand is taxed in accordance with relevant transaction classifications under the Income Tax Ordinance (New Version), 1961, and the Value Added Tax Law, 5736-1975. Id. §§ 3.1–3.2; Income Tax Ordinance (New Version), 1961, 1 Laws of the State of Israel (LSI) (New Version) 1967 and the Value Added Tax Law, 5736-1975, 30 LSI 46 (1975/76), both as amended Accordingly, [u]nlike a regular currency, the Israel Tax Authority will regard an increase in the value of a cryptocurrency as a capital gain rather than an exchange fluctuation, making it subject to capital gains tax. Individual investors will not be liable for value-added tax, but anyone engaging in cryptocurrency mining will be classified as a
dealerand subject to VAT, according to the circular. Anyone trading as a business will be classified as a
financial institutionfor tax purposes, meaning that they will be unable to reclaim VAT on expenses but will be subject to an extra 17 percent
profit taxapplied to financial institutions. Matthew Kalman, Israel Taxman’s Guidelines Killing Cryptocurrency Boom?, BNA (Feb. 21, 2018), , archived at The Israel Tax Authority requires documentation of trade transactions involving virtual currency to enable verification of their existence and scope. Israel Tax Authority Circular No. 05/2018] Each time a bitcoin is sold, the seller would have to pay a capital gains tax of 25%. Miners, traders of bitcoins would be treated as businesses and would have to pay corporate income tax as well as charge a 17% VAT.
Caution to the Public on Virtual Currencies such as bitcoin.The notice stated that virtual currencies are not legal tender and remain unregulated in Kenya, which means that
no protection exists in the event that the platform that exchanges or holds the virtual currency fails or goes out of business.It outlined the risks associated with the use, holding of, and/or trading of virtual currencies as follows: Transactions in virtual currencies such as bitcoin are largely untraceable and anonymous making them susceptible to abuse by criminals in money laundering and financing of terrorism. Virtual currencies are traded in exchange platforms that tend to be unregulated all over the world. Consumers may therefore lose their money without having any legal redress in the event these exchanges collapse or close business. There is no underlying or backing of assets and the value of virtual currencies is speculative in nature. This may result in high volatility in value of virtual currencies thus exposing users to potential losses. The notice concluded with a warning to the public to
desist from transacting in Bitcoin and similar products., archived at ">Source
the platforms and networks used for the issuance and trading in such currencies are not subject to any laws or regulations.[Notice No. 900, 19 Dec. 2013, Banque du Liban, (in Arabic) , archived at Riad Salameh, Governor of the BDL announced in October 2017 that the institution intended to launch its own cybercurrency. He is quoted as saying: We understand that electronic currency will play a prominent role in the future. But BDL must first make the necessary arrangement before taking this step and develop [a] protection system from cybercrime. Both the Special Investigation Commission and Banking Control Commission are cooperating to prevent such electronic crimes. Brooke Anderson, Salameh: Central Bank to Launch Digital Currency, The Daily Star (Oct. 27, 2017), , archived at Salameh explained that the new currency will be monitored by the BDL and be subject to Lebanese law, but did not state how this will be done or provide a time frame. Salameh also again expressed his opposition to the use of bitcoin, explaining that its use, which is not regulated, constitutes a threat to consumers and to the payment system in Lebanon.
does not oversee, supervise or regulate the cryptocurrencies, their systems, promoters or intermediaries,and stated that [a]ny activities related to the acquisition, trading or use of cryptocurrencies is at the user’s sole and independent risk. Members of the public are therefore notified that in the event of losses or similar eventualities, there shall not be recourse to the Central Bank of Lesotho. The Bank also warned the public of the risk of exposure to criminal charges that may result from the use of cryptocurrencies, stating it is important to highlight that cryptocurrencies expose participants to violation of: Anti-money laundering and combating of terrorist financing laws; Tax laws; and Exchange control laws Which are prosecutable transgressions. Press Statement, Central Bank of Lesotho, The Emerging and Growing Promotion of Cryptocurrencies (Nov. 9, 2017), , ] The Bank issued a follow-up statement in February 2018, where in addition to providing information that reinforced the contents of the previous statement, it noted that cryptocurrencies are neither legal tender in Lesotho nor considered foreign currency. Press Statement, Central Bank of Lesotho, The Emerging and Growing Promotion of Cryptocurrencies (Feb. 7, 2018), , archived at . ] It also barred the operation of individuals and entities that promote investment in cryptocurrency because any and all investment advisors must be licensed.
Organizing ICO is not regulated by specific legislation,the finance ministry explains in the Regulatory section, adding that
taking into account different ICO models and different characteristics of tokens, in some cases, such activity may be subject to the requirements of the legislation of the Republic of Lithuania and supervision of the Bank of Lithuania.Furthermore, the ministry notes that
If funds collected during ICO are intended for the formation of the capital of a newly established FMP [Financial Market Participants] – the capital formation requirements applicable to a specific form of financial institution shall apply.
virtual currency is recognized as current assets that can be used as a settlement instrument for goods and services or stored for sale.For VAT, it is
considered as the same currency as euros, dollars etc.For other tax purposes,
other types of instrument, e.g. certain types of tokens, may be recognized as a virtual currency as well.The document details: Income received from individual purchases and sales of virtual currencies will be taxed standard 15% fixed income tax for crypto mining, the finance ministry states that
When virtual currency is mined, no goods/services are usually supplied for consideration, therefore, the mining of virtual currency is not subject to VAT,emphasizing that
the sale of such [crypto] currency in Lithuania is VAT exempt.
Accounting of tokens circulated by the token promoter depends on whether they are attributed to payment, utility and securities tokens,the finance ministry noted, adding that
Accounting of acquired tokens also depends on the type of tokens.The document also highlights the accounting and
evaluation of cryptocurrencies used as payment means according to Business Accounting Standards (Lithuania GAAP).
they are accepted as a means of payment for goods and services by a sufficiently large circle of people.He also stated that there was currently no regulation
from a monetary perspectiveregarding cryptocurrencies, but that cryptocurrency dealers in Luxembourg are bound by the same rules as any other financial service providers with regards to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. L’État garde un œil sur la monnaie virtuelle [The Government Keeps an Eye on Cryptocurrencies], L’Essentiel (June 26, 2017), , archived at More recently, Gramegna publicly welcomed the establishment of BitFlyer, a major bitcoin trading platform, as a fully licensed payment service provider in Luxembourg. Pierre Sorlut, Monnaies virtuelles: Pierre Gramegna se félicite de l’arrivée de BitFlyer [Cryptocurrencies: Pierre Gramegna Satisfied by the Arrival of BitFlyer], Luxemburger Wort (Jan. 27, 2018), economie/monnaies-virtuelles-pierre-gramegna-se-felicite-de-l-arrivee-de-bitflyer-5a6c3646c1097cee25b7c821 , archived at ] In an interview shortly thereafter, Gramegna stated that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology were both an
unavoidable phenomenon that brings added value and efficient services to consumers.[Pierre Sorlut, Ce qu’en pense le ministre des Finances: Les monnaies virtuelles, «un phénomène incontournable» [What the Minister of Finances Thinks of It: Cryptocurrencies, an
Unavoidable Phenomenon], Luxemburger Wort (Jan. 31, 2018), , archived at Much work remains to be done to provide a legislative and regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, however, as such a framework is largely inexistent at this time. During the welcoming ceremony for BitFlyer, the company’s founder noted that it had taken them two years to obtain their license and that
the regulation is unclear. There is no specific law and one must nevertheless protect the consumer.[Pierre Sorlut, Ce qu’en pense le ministre des Finances: Les monnaies virtuelles, «un phénomène incontournable» [What the Minister of Finances Thinks of It: Cryptocurrencies, an
Unavoidable Phenomenon], Luxemburger Wort (Jan. 31, 2018), , archived at
Any trading of these commodities involves considerable risks, including but not limited to those relating to money laundering and terrorism financing, against which all participants should remain vigilant,the statement said. According to the statement, the AMCM had issued a notice to banks and payment institutions in Macau to warn them not to participate in or provide, directly or indirectly, any relevant financial services, following a similar ban by Chinese authorities on the mainland on initial coin offerings (ICOs). AMCM, Alert to Risks of Virtual Commodities and Tokens (Sept. 27, 2017), . php?DataUcn=117182&PageLang=C (in Chinese) , archived at , English translation at , archived at Previously, on June 17, 2014, the AMCM issued a statement warning about the risks of bitcoin transactions. According to that statement, bitcoin is a type of virtual commodity that is neither legal tender nor a financial instrument subject to the supervision of the AMCM. The AMCM warned the general public that trading in virtual commodities such as bitcoin
involves considerable risks, including but not limited to those relating to money laundering and terrorist financing.[AMCM, Caution Against Engagement in Bitcoin Transactions (June 17, 2014), ?DataUcn=79457&PageLang=C (in Chinese) , archived at , English translation at , archived at
[t]o provide the necessary legal certainty to allow this industry to flourish.[Ivan Martin, Malta Digital Innovation Authority Unveiled: Government Working on Green Paper on AI and Internet of Things, Times of Malta (Feb. 16, 2018), local/malta-digital-innovation-authority-unveiled.670847 , archived at In October 2017, the government issued a consultation document that proposed a regulatory framework for collective investment schemes and investment in cryptocurrencies. As a result of the consultation, Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) published conditions that apply to professional investor funds that invest in cryptocurrencies on January 22 and 29, 2018. Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services et al., Malta: A Leader in DLT Regulation 9 (2018), available at FSDEI - DLT Regulation Document , archived at In November 2017, the government published the Discussion Paper on Initial Coin Offerings, Virtual Currencies and Related Service Providers, which noted that while some cryptocurrencies might fall within the scope of existing financial services legislation, others would be outside the scope and thus unregulated. In January 2018, the government issued a further discussion paper that
present[ed]a conceptual framework through which DLT Platforms can be subject to certification in Malta.[MFSA, Discussion Paper on Initial Coin Offerings, Virtual Currencies and Related Service Providers, MFSA Ref: 08-2017 (Nov. 30, 2017; closing date Jan. 11, 2018), , archived at The government has issued a statement that it intends to facilitate a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency-related activities and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Press Release, Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, PR172729 (Nov. 29, 2017), , archived at Malta is currently considering three bills that would provide a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency and is following a principles-oriented approach to this legislation to help prevent the laws from becoming rapidly obsolete, or from stifling technological development The three bills are as follows: The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill (MDIA Bill) would establish the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA), which would
focus on innovative technology arrangements and their uses such that Malta can take the greatest advantage of new technology arrangements while at the same time protect[ing] the public interest.One of the first objectives for the MDIA would be to promote government policies that favor technical innovation, particularly with reference to digital ledger technology and its adoption by the government in systems of public administration. Other objectives would include maintaining Malta’s reputation and protecting consumers. The MDIA would also bear responsibility for certifying technology arrangements and registering technology services providers under the
TAS Billwould establish a regime for the registration of technology service providers and provide for the certification of certain technology arrangements. This regime will initially cover distributed ledger technology platforms and related contracts. 274] The proposals would require technology service providers that provide services for any distributed ledger technology platform in or from Malta be certified by the MDIA. Those who provide these services in other specified cases may voluntary register with the MDIA. The Virtual Currency Bill would establish a framework for ICOs and a regulatory regime that would apply to certain services relating to cryptocurrencies, such as brokers, wallet providers, and virtual currency exchanges. The Times of Malta has reported that the government is considering introducing its own cryptocurrency
within a ‘controlled framework,’ which would enable regulators to test possible controls and legislation for the technology.The Virtual Currency Bill aims to regulate ICOs that relate to virtual currency not falling within the existing legislation. The bill will ensure that the offerings meet transparency requirements and will incorporate obligations that apply to initial public offerings that the issuer must follow. The MFSA has also proposed a
financial instrument testthat would enable individuals to determine, with regulatory certainty[,] . . . whether, based on its specific features, an ICO or a VC [virtual currency] falls within the scope of the existing legislative framework, reflecting EU law on the subject, or if not, whether this will be required to comply with the new regulatory framework being proposed by the MFSA. The test proposed would be a two-stage test, the first of which would determine whether a cryptocurrency is a financial instrument within existing Maltese or European Union legislation. The second stage would determine if the cryptocurrency was an asset under the proposed Virtual Currency Bill. The MFSA would be the regulator for the financial services contained in the Virtual Currency Bill, and would have regulatory and investigatory powers that reflect those contained in the country’s other financial services laws, including the authority to suspend an ICO or trading of a cryptocurrency. The government has also established a National Blockchain Strategy Taskforce to advise the government on a framework for distributed ledger technologies. Press Release, Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, PR172729 (Nov. 29, 2017), , archived at After one of Malta’s largest banks, the Bank of Valletta, blocked cryptocurrency transfers, the government of Malta stated that it does not
interfere with individual banks’ operational policies, which are dictated by circumstances which they are best placed to assess.Many residents of Malta expressed surprise at the actions of the Bank, particularly as the government of Malta is its largest shareholder, owning approximately 25% of the Bank’s shares. Bertaind Borg, BOV Turns Against Cryptocurrencies, Times of Malta (Nov. 28, 2017), https://www.timesof , archived at The Malta Gaming Authority has also stated that it is
committed to allow[ing] the use of crypto-currencies by its licensees in the immediate future,[Malta Gaming Authority, A White Paper to Future Proof Malta’s Gaming Legal Framework 28 (July 2017), Overhaul Consultation with , archived at . ] and a new Gaming Bill is currently being considered that includes virtual currencies under the definition of
money and, or money’s worth.[Gaming Bill 2018, cl. 2(1), , archived at . ]
legal tender of the Marshall Islands for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.It will circulate as legal tender in addition to the US dollar. The SOV will be introduced in a forthcoming initial currency offering (ICO), after which residents of the Marshall Islands will be provided with the means to hold, save, and conduct transactions with the SOV, and merchants in the Marshall Islands will be given access to a computer application that will enable them to receive payments made with the SOV. The Minister of Finance will appoint a person or corporation to conduct the ICO. News reports indicate a financial technology company named Neema, which spearheaded the initiative, is likely to be awarded the contract to conduct the ICO.
Position on Distributed Ledger Technologies and Virtual Currencies in Namibiain which it noted that virtual currencies are not considered legal tender and are currently unregulated in the country. The Bank outlined the risks associated with the use of virtual currencies, including credit risks, liquidity risks, operational risks, and legal risks. It warned that individuals who hold or trade in virtual currencies do so
at their own risk and should exercise caution.The Bank further stated that because the country’s relevant laws do not envisage their existence, virtual currency exchanges cannot be established or operate in Namibia. Bank of Namibia, Position on Distributed Ledger Technologies and Virtual Currencies in Namibia (Position Paper, Sept. 2017), , archived at
all transactions related to or regarding bitcoins are illegal.[Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Bitcoin Notice, (in Bangladeshi) , archived at ; see also Atit Babu Rijal, Op-Ed., The Future of Cryptocurrencies, Kathmandu Post (Dec 27, 2017), , archived at ] In early October 2017, a police team from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of the Nepal Police
for the first time arrested seven persons for allegedly running bitcoin exchange business from various parts of the country,the Kathmandu Post reported. 7 Nabbed for Running Bitcoin Exchange Business, Kathmandu Post (Dec. 27, 2017), http://kathmandu , archived at
will still be subject to general consumer protection laws in New Zealand, for example prohibitions against misleading and deceptive conduct and fraud or other criminal conduct.[Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, , archived at With regard to cryptocurrency services, the FMA guidance states that businesses based in New Zealand that provide a
financial servicerelated to cryptocurrencies must comply with the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008. Cryptocurrency Services, FMA, (last visited Mar. 5, 2018) , archived at ; Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008, , archived at It then explains how different types of businesses might be considered to be providing a financial service and the obligations of such businesses. The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has not yet issued any guidance or rulings regarding the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies. Its public rulings work program for the 2017–2018 financial year includes
GST and Income tax – Tax treatment of crypto-currenciesas being an item currently in progress, as of February 9, 2018, with
[p]reparatory work on issuing public guidancebeing underway. Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Public Rulings Work Programme 2017–18: Monthly Update – Position as at 9 February 2018, , archived at According to a news report in January 2018, the IRD indicated that people should
treat money made buying and selling cryptocurrencies in the same, or similar, way they would money made buying and selling gold. That is, pay tax on the profit made by selling a currency, only if that currency was bought with the intention of resale.[enée Tibshraeny, The IRD Says People Should Consider Money Made Selling Cryptocurrencies – Bought with the Intention of Resale – As Taxable, Until it Releases Specific Guidance on the Matter, (Jan. 11, 2018), , archived at It directed the author to an information sheet on gold, which explains that amounts derived from its disposal will be income if the gold was acquired for the dominant purpose of disposal. RD, Question We’ve Been Asked: Are Proceeds from the Sale of Gold Bullion Income? (QB 17/18) (Sept. 20, 2017), , archived at In addition, a spokesman for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (its central bank) was quoted in a December 2017 news article as stating that cryptocurrencies would be included in the bank’s major review of its currency operating model and supporting infrastructure, which is currently underway. He explained that This project is focused on demand drivers, distribution models, and cash substitutes. It includes looking into crypto-currencies, blockchain technology and distributed ledgers. The Reserve Bank doesn’t regulate bitcoin. Whatever legal status bitcoin has is under ordinary law relating to contracts, tax obligations etc. Jonathan Underhill, IRD Sets its Sights on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, New Zealand Herald (Dec. 22, 2017), , archived at An analytical note issued by the Reserve Bank in November 2017, which does not serve as an official policy position, discusses the technology involved in cryptocurrencies, their attributes and mechanics, and
the implications of cryptocurrencies for consumers, financial systems, monetary policy, and regulatory policy.[Aaron Kumar & Christie Smith, Crypto-currencies – An Introduction to Not-So-Funny Monies 2 (Reserve Bank of New Zealand Analytical Note Series, AN2017/07, Nov. 2017), Files/Publications/Analytical%20notes/2017/ , archived at . ]
cryptocurrencies.It also urged Omani citizens to be cautious when dealing with cryptocurrencies, asserting that the Central Bank is not responsible for any financial consequences stemming from dealings in cryptocurrencies. Press Release, Central Bank of Oman (Dec. 12, 2017), (in Arabic) , archived at ]
is currently investigating the traders of digital currencies for tax evasion and money laundering,according to news sources. Mubarak Zeb Khan,] Moreover, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has
launched operations against the people dealing in the cryptocurrencies,according to a February 10, 2018, news report. Nozair Hanif Mirza, FIA Springs Into Action Against Cryptocurrencies, One Held, Daily Pakistan (Global) (Feb. 10, 2018), , archived at . ]
single payment spacein the Eurasian Economic Union to oppose the Eurozone.
very cautious and diligentin dealing with digital currency investments. Press Release, Central Bank of Samoa, Beware of These Get Rich Quick Schemes and Digital Currency (June 12, 2017), , archived at As part of a broader warning against get-rich schemes, it advised people to ensure that they fully understand how a venture works and the risks and benefits of investing, and to contact the Bank if they are uncertain. No other government statements or regulatory actions were located.
anyone investing in bitcoins or engaging in any other activity involving virtual currencies shall do so at their own liability, bearing all financial risks and risks in terms of noncompliance with regulations governing foreign exchange operations, taxation, trade, etc.The Bank explained that bitcoin is not legal tender in Serbia and cannot be subject to sale and purchase by banks or licensed exchange dealers. The Bank said that a particular issue is the use of virtual currency to acquire other goods and services, adding that the law requires prices to be expressed in Serbian dinars and that expressing the prices of goods or services in virtual currency would be against the provisions of the law. Maja Zivanovic, Serbian Bank Advises Caution Over Bitcoin Fever, BalkanInsight (Dec. 26, 2017), , archived at The Bank said it would consider, in cooperation with other state authorities, whether there is any need for designing a regulatory or other response in relation to cryptocurrencies. Press Release, NBS, Bitcoin Will Not Replace Euro or Any Other Currency, ]
securitiesregulated under the security laws. MAS’s position is not to regulate virtual currencies.
However, MAS has observed that the function of digital tokens has evolved beyond just being a virtual currency,the statement said. Press Release, MAS Clarifies Regulatory Position on the Offer of Digital Tokens in Singapore (Aug. 1, 2017), , archived at Following the August statement, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister in Charge of MAS (DPM) responded to questions from the Parliament for its sitting on October 2, 2017, on the regulation of cryptocurrencies and ICOs. According to the DPM, although the MAS does not regulate virtual currencies per se, it regulates activities involving the use of virtual currencies that fall under MAS’s regulatory ambit, such as money laundering and terrorism financing. The MAS is working on a new regulatory framework for payments that will address the risks associated with virtual currencies, the DPM said. With respect to ICOs, the MAS has not issued specific legislation, but will continue to monitor developments and consider more targeted legislation when it becomes necessary, the DPM added. MAS, Reply to Parliamentary Question on the Prevalence Use of Cryptocurrency in Singapore and Measures to Regulate Cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings (for Parliament Sitting Oct. 2, 2017), News-and-Publications/Parliamentary-Replies/2017/ , archived at With respect to the new payment regulatory framework, the MAS issued a consultation paper proposing the Payment Services Bill in November 2017. The proposed Bill would expand the scope of regulated payment activities to include virtual currency services and other innovations. Under the new framework, entities carrying out virtual currency services including buying or selling virtual currency would be required to be licensed. Press Release, MAS Launches Second Consultation on New Regulatory Framework for Payments (Nov. 21, 2017), , archived at
short-term financial assets other than moneyand priced at market value at the time of transaction, and that cryptocurrencies directly obtain from mining shall be kept off-balance sheet until they are sold or traded. Methodological Guideline, supra note 309 Earlier the Finance Minister had noted that trade in cryptocurrencies, which is unregulated and anonymous, involves risks of terrorism and organized crime. Finance Minister Plans to Start Taxing Bitcoin, The Slovak Spectator (Jan. 8, 2018), c/20733083/ , archived at In 2013 the National Bank of Slovakia issued a warning to inform the general public that virtual currencies are not national currencies and that unauthorized currency production constitutes a criminal offense. Press Release, National Bank of Slovakia, Národná Banka Slovenska’s Warning to the Public on Bitcoin (Nov. 26, 2013), , archived at