Cryptocurrency Regulation Tracker






Since its birth in 2008, cryptocurrency has grown in popularity and become an important part of the global financial system. Cryptocurrencies may significantly alter financial structures as they exist today and transform the next generation of money and payments. However, these changes come with significant concerns around cryptocurrencies for their potential negative impacts on markets, investors, users, and the environment. Governments around the world are looking to create regulations to prevent these harms while encouraging the innovative capabilities of cryptocurrencies. 

We look at 25 countries—G20 member countries, in addition to countries with the highest rates of cryptocurrency adoption including Iran, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam. This new research categorizes and explains how the world’s largest economies are regulating cryptocurrencies.

25 countries

We analyze how 25 countries have regulated cryptocurrency in their jurisdictions. In each country, regulations apply to cryptocurrency issuers, exchanges, traditional financial institutions, service providers, or miners and foragers.

Legal status

Each country is assigned one of the following regulatory statuses: legal (where all activities are permitted), partial ban (where one or more activity is not permitted), and general ban (where all activity is limited).

Regulatory categories

Countries regulate actors in the crypto sector using tax policy, requirements to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, consumer protection rules, and licensing and disclosure obligations. The map below considers these four categories of regulation.

Click on a country to see status. Click on “see more” to view further details.

Key findings

Amongst the 25 countries we studied, cryptocurrency is legal in 13, partially banned in 9, and generally banned in 3. In ten G20 countries, representing over 50% of the world’s GDP, cryptocurrencies are fully legal. Regulation is under consideration in all G20 countries.

Tax policy and licensing requirements are the leading edge in regulatory development. In many of the countries analyzed, tax policy and licensing requirements were implemented first, followed by other rules and requirements. In others, taxation remains the only type of crypto-asset regulation.

Among the countries reviewed, there is a generally weak relationship between cryptocurrency adoption rates and regulatory restrictiveness. Six of the top ten countries in cryptocurrency adoption have partial or general bans in place.

Crypto-asset regulations are changing rapidly. Of the countries reviewed, 88% are in the process of making substantial changes to their regulatory framework, often through new, bespoke legislation addressing cryptocurrency markets.

Experimentation is widespread. Countries use regulatory sandboxes to test and co-operate with the private sector. Japan created an association of cryptocurrency exchanges and issuers in an attempt to encourage self-regulation. Canada, Italy, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia have developed regulatory sandboxes.

Countries with general bans—China, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan—have high levels of adoption across centralized, peer-to-peer, and decentralized platforms. This may be explained by enforcement lag, enforcement capacity, or political will.

Stablecoins, which are usually backed by a fiat currency, constitute the next frontier of crypto regulation. In the EU, US, UK, and Thailand stablecoin regulation is under consideration. In Mexico, financial institutions cannot issue stablecoins.

Consumer protection rules are lagging behind. Only 44% of the countries reviewed have rules in place to protect consumers. Such rules include advertising regulations, cybersecurity requirements for service providers, investor accreditation, and others. These rules can successfully prevent fraud.

Of the 25 countries analyzed, over 90% have active central bank digital currency (CBDC) projects in addition to cryptocurrency regulations. This indicates that countries adapt and update cryptocurrency regulations simultaneously as they explore CBDCs.

Research team: Ananya Kumar and Greg Brownstein

Development team: Frank Ngoga and Christophe de Jonge

Cryptocurrency adoption rates are from Chainalysis’ “Geography of Cryptocurrency 2022” report.

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