Mapping Bitcoin's Legality Around The World

Bitcoin slid below $10,000 Tuesday for the first time in months as lingering fears that regulators in some of the cryptocurrency’s biggest and most vital markets were considering a crackdown.

Overnight reports from South Korea started it; European regulator comments extended it this morning and Shanghai "scrutiny" headlines just sparked another slam as cryptocurrencies are getting hammered today...


Given that fears that regulators might turn decisively against the cryptocurrency revolution have continued to plague valuations in the new year, it seems appropriate that decided to create this interactive map showing the various levels of legality that bitcoin enjoys around the world.


Green countries are legal Bitcoin markets. Orange represents neutral markets that are not outright legalizing Bitcoin, but do not have any major restrictions against the use of cryptocurrency. Light pink countries are restricted Bitcoin markets that may have lots of red-tape, regulations, and government attempts to slow the use of cryptocurrencies. Dark pink countries represent markets where Bitcoin has been made completely illegal and criminalized. Lastly, some countries have yet to comment on Bitcoin’s legality, which are represented by gray color.

Eastern countries appear a lot more closed off to Bitcoin than their Western counterparts. Russia is currently the largest country where bitcoin trading is illegal, though lawmakers are working on legislation to set up a legal framework for cryptocurrency trading.

Meanwhile, China and South Korea are the latest two countries to step up their scrutiny and regulation of Bitcoin use.

Here is a breakdown of the chart, based on the global legality of Bitcoin out of 246 countries:

  • Legal and Neutral (Green and Orange): 99 Countries or 40% of World
  • Restricted (Light Pink): 7 Countries or 3% of World
  • Illegal (Dark Pink): 10 Countries or 4% of World
  • No Information (Gray): 130 Countries or 53% of World

Overall, a majority of the world still has yet to comment on the legality of Bitcoin. The emerging industry is still not fully understood by global regulators, which may explain why some countries have yet to comment on the movement. Though this will likely change as time passes and regulators grow increasingly worried about cryptocurrencies being used by criminal organizations.