Is It Possible For Countries To Ban Bitcoin?

By Aleksandra Wilson
3 min read October 1, 2021

Since the big boom of crypto over a decade ago, there have been concerns that a country could potentially ban Bitcoin. Rumors have been around for over a decade, but the chances of it actually happening seemed to be getting smaller and smaller as time went by. At least that was the general consensus until last week when China declared all the crypto transactions illegal. However, to ban Bitcoin or any other crypto for that matter is quite a challenge. Some technologies can enable users, even in repressive countries, to access Bitcoin. 

The Background

There have been many concerns over the years since the beginning of Bitcoin. The main one is that it might be only a matter of time before governments worldwide start banning cryptocurrencies. Banks say that crypto like Bitcoin is a significant threat to the monetary systems as we know them. They are not far from the truth; they have the power to potentially erode banks’ control over the supply of money. The central institutions argue that money laundering, drug trafficking, and ransomware are also significant risks implied. In the end, it depends on each region to make the call, whether they want to ban Bitcoin, crypto in general or not.

China Among Others

The question is whether it’s actually possible for nations to ban Bitcoin? The answer has already been given. Crypto has already been officially banned in various countries around the world. To the day of writing this article, a few countries have banned Bitcoin by forbidding owning, interacting with, or using the crypto in any form. Examples of these countries are Algeria, Egypt, Ecuador, Pakistan, and Nepal. Some others like Taiwan and Saudi Arabia have placed partial bans on the crypto by blocking some financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions.

The Red Dragon

Out of the countries that have made their position against Bitcoin very clear, China has the most confrontational approach. This year, the red dragon nation has made pretty aggressive moves against the token and cryptos in general. Committed to carbon neutrality, China has hit firmly on the pockets of mining companies as well as in those of independent miners. The country has held a ban on trading crypto for a long time now, but this year, the government actually forced crypto miners to close their operations. Miners were forced to relocate to other countries. Meanwhile, the PBoC made it official through a mandate that payment platforms and banks had to stop all crypto activities. 

Is the USA Next?

BTC is currently legal in the US. In 2015, it was declared a commodity by the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission. Since then, Bitcoin has been treated like other commodities such as gold. As a commodity, it’s subjected to its regulations. Although keep in mind that there’s always the risk of a blanket ban, chances are low, but in today’s fast-paced world, things can change in a brief period.

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