Bitcoin being outlawed is not a new thing. The new-ish digital currency had many bumps on the road since it’s inception back in 2009.
One of the first that actually outlawed it, was Iceland which used an existing legislation made in 2008 to protect the local currency (Krona) against value loss. Bitcoin is illegal to sell and buy in Iceland, with one exception – Bitcoin that’s been mined in Iceland may be bought and sold freely.
The two other countries that explicitly outlaw the popular crypto-currency are Ecuador, and Bolivia. Both governments/central banks quote the usual excuses against Bitcoin – being the rapid fluctuation in value (ignoring the fact that their local currencies are just as unstable and usually lose value over time, while bitcoin mostly goes up), and the possible use for criminal purposes. Naturally, the real reason behind this move, comes from the fear the Bitcoin will become more popular than the state currency and will bring a collapse in value as well as loss of control over their financial systems.
Other countries, such as China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Jordan, and Lebanon restrict the use of Bitcoin with different levels of severity. They have similar concerns, but prefer to keep a close eye on the situation rather than outlaw Bitcoin all together.
One of the biggest concerns of all countries is the difficulty in taxing Bitcoin based transactions. As it is all done on an open-source, peer-to-peer platform over the global internet, taxation of such deals, as well as monitoring of global transactions is quite difficult to say the least.
Does, and will it stop or even slow down Bitcoin, especially in these countries that choose to outlaw it? probably not, for the reasons I mentioned previously. It will drive it to be an underground asset, but won’t slow it down.
People today have no better way of transferring money from one point on the globe, to any other point on the globe within minutes with little to no fee. Western Union and similar money transfer services take a hefty fee and are also exposed to legal scrutiny as well as taxation. But bitcoin can go under the radar, with its ability to be moved either over the internet, using usb memory sticks, or even on a single piece of paper (paper wallet).
Here you got a live map of the world and the current legal status of Bitcoin in each of the countries:
What do you think? Will Bitcoin depend on the good will of governments and become harnessed in heavy handed regulation, or will it continue to be a free option for the people of the world?