Cryptocurrencies raise brows of many governments and are not welcomed in every nation with open arms. It is in some countries where Bitcoin is legalized, while in others it is banned. Governments ban digital currency for the fact that it has been linked to drug trafficking and the financing of terrorism. However, bitcoin which has the potential to sharply reduce transaction costs while allowing instant payments is welcomed by many financially developed countries
- The United Stated
- The Netherland
- South Korea
Cryptocurrencies raise brows of many governments and are not welcomed in every nation with open arms. It is in some countries where Bitcoin is legalized, while in others it is banned. Governments ban digital currency for the fact that it has been linked to drug trafficking and the financing of terrorism. However, bitcoin which has the potential to sharply reduce transaction costs while allowing instant payments is welcomed by many financially developed countries. There are countries where cryptocurrency owners feel at ease and which offer opportunities to investors in Bitcoin to conduct businesses with existing firms or invest in a Bitcoin startup. Here’s a list of 10 most Bitcoin-friendly countries in the world.
The list of countries, however, is not prepared on the basis of any particular order as every country has its own idiosyncrasies, differences in population, internet connectivity, etc. All of the listed countries have welcomed Bitcoin’s innovative technology, whether on behalf of the population, the government or both.
The United States
The US has been at the forefront when it comes to Bitcoin as the country hosts the highest number of cryptocurrency users and Bitcoin trading volumes in the world. Moreover, the country is home to numerous cryptocurrencies, blockchain related startups and has the highest number of Bitcoin ATMs in the world. Hence, many other nations across the world look to the United States for guidance on the regulation of cryptocurrency.
The Netherlands has many reasons to be on the list of most Bitcoin-friendly countries in the world. The first thing to mention is that in Netherlands a whole city, Arnhem, was nicknamed “the city of bitcoin” in honor of the eponymous project. Here, a Bitcoiner could probably get everything he wants including gas, accommodation, or even a haircut – all using the cryptocurrency. Secondly, cryptocurrencies are currently not regulated under the Act on Financial Supervision of the Netherlands. This has led to the establishment of numerous startups, Bitcoin ATMs and even a Bitcoin Embassy in the heart of Amsterdam. Moreover, the Netherlands regularly host bitcoin-related events.
One of the most developed countries, Denmark seeks to eliminate paper money in favor of 100% digital currency. Here digital currency is used extensively. According to Danish Central Bank, bitcoin is not a currency, and therefore, it is neither regulated nor is its transactions subject to taxation. Besides, Denmark is the home to many bitcoin startups and exchanges, such as CCEDK. Also, Denmark became the first Scandinavian country in March of this year where the purchase of real estate has been carried out using bitcoins.
In regard to freedom of bitcoin circulation and its popularity, UK ranks quite high. Bitcoin and blockchain related startups and ATMs are present in abundance, creating a Bitcoin-friendly environment. Taking a step further, the country is about to set off a blockchain technology to enhance its state institutions.
The UK government started to treat bitcoin as a personal asset since March 2014 which means that any services or goods purchased for Bitcoin are subject to VAT. While similar to the US, profits and losses on cryptocurrencies are subject to capital gains tax.
To enhance its monetary system, the Bank of England has sought public ideas and suggestions. According to Barclays Bank, UK, “It is becoming increasingly clear that Bitcoin is part of an even bigger story: financial institutions, including Barclays, are now considering how the technology underpinning digital currencies – the blockchain – could itself revolutionize finance.”
A country which is a technology hub and houses many tech giants must also be a Bitcoin-friendly nation. Both as an investment and means of exchange, the country is quickly taking up Bitcoin. Numerous startups are growing in the country owing to the fact that there is no law in the country regulating Bitcoin. As a result startups like Korbit, which is service to use, accept, and buy bitcoin are emerging. Moreover, the country also hosts various bitcoin conferences.
Canada has been very friendly toward bitcoin as two cities, namely Toronto and Vancouver can be reckoned as “Bitcoin hubs”. Bitcoin is lightly regulated in Canada under the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws. Several Bitcoin ATMs and startups can be found here, like Decentral and the Vanbex Group.
The native land of Skype, Estonia has a history of adopting the latest technological innovation. Innovations like blockchain technology are implemented in sectors like healthcare and banking, creating a tech-friendly environment. The small Baltic nation of Estonia was also one of the first to use a blockchain based e-voting that allows people to become shareholders of Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange. The country is bitcoin-friendly also because it stands among countries with highest internet penetration rates in the world. It boasts a number of Bitcoin ATMs and startups like Paxful.
Sweden has been very hospitable to bitcoin as the country is in a race to eliminate cash. The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) has legalized bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country declaring them as an asset, but not money. The country has become the home to many bitcoin startups like the Safello bitcoin exchange and Stockholm-based KnCMiner, a well-known mining hardware developer.
Despite the fact that major banks of Australia have been unreceptive towards bitcoin, the country has been quite friendly towards it. Recently, a relief from unfavorable taxation and bank account freezes came as the country removed double taxation on bitcoin. Now, crypto currency continues to be unregulated in the country. The governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, said, “There would be nothing to stop people in this country deciding to transact in some other currency in a shop if they wanted to. There’s no law against that, so we do have competing currencies.”
When it comes to bitcoin use and acceptance, Finland does not lag behind its Scandinavian neighbors. The home of Nokia boasts plenteous Bitcoin ATMs as well as exchanges like FinCCX exchanges, Bittiraha and LocalBitcoins. In fact, according to Cointelegraph reports, the country is one of the three world leaders, in terms of using bitcoins per capita. Besides, in Finland, the most expensive bitcoin sale of Telsa S car worth more than €140,000 took place in 2016. The Finnish Central Board of Taxes (CBT) regulator has classified Bitcoin as a financial service, exempting bitcoin purchases from VAT.
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