Global Acceptance: Cryptocurrencies Legal in 119 Countries Worldwide

The latest CoinGecko report sheds light on the global status of cryptocurrencies, highlighting legalization, regulations, and adoption trends in various countries. This document provides fascinating insights into the extent of digital asset acceptance, the regulatory landscape, and countries that have either embraced or banned their use.

According to CoinGecko’s latest findings, cryptocurrencies are legal in 119 countries and four British Overseas Territories. This means that over half of the world’s nations have accepted cryptocurrencies. Notably, 64.7% of the countries that have legalized digital assets are from developing economies in Asia and Africa.

Europe leads in legalization, with 39 of the 41 countries analyzed (95.1%) recognizing its legitimacy. On the other hand, North Macedonia remains the only European country where cryptocurrencies are illegal, and Moldova’s stance still needs clarification.

In the Americas, 24 out of 31 countries (77.4%) recognize crypto as legal, with Bolivia being the only exception. Several American countries, including Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Uruguay, have yet to establish their official stance on digital assets.

Africa has seen fewer countries legalizing cryptocurrencies, with only 17 out of 44 (38.6%) acknowledging their legitimacy. Meanwhile, in Asia, 35 out of 45 countries (77.7%) have embraced these assets.

Increase in Cryptocurrency Regulation

Out of the 119 countries where cryptocurrencies are legal, only 62 (52.1%) have comprehensive regulations. This is a significant increase compared to 2018, when only 33 jurisdictions had regulations. According to CoinGecko, half of the countries with established regulations are advanced economies, while the other half are emerging and developing economies.

The report notes that instead of creating new regulations, some countries have adapted existing frameworks, such as tax laws and anti-money laundering regulations, to include cryptocurrencies. Major advanced economies like France, Japan, and Germany have successfully implemented regulatory frameworks. However, countries such as Italy, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom encounter difficulties in establishing comprehensive regulations due to the involvement of multiple government bodies and regulatory complexities.

El Salvador and the Central African Republic are the only countries that have legalized digital assets as a means of payment. El Salvador made history by legalizing Bitcoin as a legal tender, but CoinGecko notes that adoption remains relatively low.

Countries in the Grey Area of Regulation

A total of 25 countries are categorized as “crypto-neutral,” not assigning a clear legal status to the use of cryptocurrencies. Among these countries, the majority have banned or expressed significant concerns and restrictions, while Uruguay takes a cautiously optimistic approach, actively assessing crypto pilot projects and proposing regulatory frameworks.

22 countries explicitly banned the use and transaction of digital tokens within their territory. Most of these are in Africa, with North Macedonia (Europe) and Bolivia (America) as exceptions. Despite the bans, the report suggests that some of these countries, including China, Egypt, Nepal, and Morocco, show significant levels of adoption.

Overall, the adoption of digital assets as a legal means of payment remains limited to a few countries. As the industry evolves, regulatory frameworks and global consensus will play a key role in shaping its future and adoption.

Photo by Traxer on Unsplash

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