Despite its growing popularity, there are few consumer protections and regulations for cryptocurrency. In general, the Commodities Futures Exchange Commission (CFTC) regulates the trading of cryptocurrency futures and spot markets, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) monitors emerging cryptocurrencies, including initial coin offerings (ICOs), to ensure they are not designed as securities. We will look at the issues associated with cryptocurrency laws and what is planned for regulation. The CFTC also kept its word, saying after the BitMEX exchange that it had not registered the platform. Many crypto enthusiasts are excited that the regulation could mean a possible Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) – something the SEC hasn`t wanted to implement for some time. A few exceptions have emerged: Chile, for example, introduced a cryptocurrency bill in April 2019, but since then it has given few details about the legislation or how it will work when it comes into force. In 2022, Chile`s central bank announced that it would make the decision to launch its own digital currency to keep up with the rapid spread of cryptocurrencies. Mexico also announced plans to launch its own digital currency by 2024 to leverage advances in payment technology to promote financial inclusion. Bitcoin was legal tender in the country by the Bitcoin law, which was passed on June 8, 2021, and came into effect on September 7, 2021.   Switzerland requires a registration process for cryptocurrency exchanges that require approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to operate. ICOs are also subject to Swiss cryptocurrency regulations and FINMA applies existing financial legislation to offerings in various areas – from banking to securities trading and collective investment schemes (depending on the structure).
In 2019, the Swiss government also approved a motion calling on the Federal Council to align existing financial regulatory provisions with cryptocurrencies. In September 2020, the Swiss Parliament passed the Blockchain Act, which further defines the legality of cryptocurrency exchanges and the operation of cryptocurrency exchanges in Swiss law. Wyoming is a very crypto-friendly state – a state that legally recognizes cryptocurrencies as money. The state allows crypto companies to become special purpose deposit-taking institutions (SPDIs), a type of bank that can lend digital assets, offer crypto custody, and provide other types of services. While cryptocurrencies are used in Russia for various payments and services, Russian authorities have continued to propose new laws that would restrict the development of cryptography across the country. In November 2019, the central bank said it would support a ban on crypto payments. In early 2020, new bills were introduced that would ban the issuance and exploitation of digital currencies in the country, including the spread of new crypto. With the entry into force of the PSA, crypto companies in Singapore are broadly compliant with recent FATF recommendations. However, it is likely that the MAS will adopt additional rules to further align its position.
These regulations may include new regulations for the financial sector with stricter AML/CFT standards for cryptocurrency service providers and higher technology risk management requirements in financial institutions. The regulations governing cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea are strict and include state registration and other measures overseen by the South Korean Financial Tracking Service (FSS). Although a rumor of a ban never materialized, in 2017, the South Korean government banned the use of anonymous accounts in cryptocurrency trading and banned local financial institutions from hosting Bitcoin futures. Similarly, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) imposes strict reporting requirements on banks with crypto exchange accounts. In June 2018, the European island passed a number of blockchain-friendly laws, including one detailing registration requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges. In early 2020, the Malta Financial Services Authority published a document dealing with issues related to the offering of security tokens. As of April 1, 2022, the Thai government will no longer allow the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for goods or services. The regulation does not prohibit the possession or trading of cryptocurrencies, although commercial banks have been warned against any direct involvement in digital assets.  For U.S.
federal income tax purposes, cryptocurrencies are property, not currency. This distinction means that U.S. taxpayers cannot use cryptocurrency as a functional currency for the purposes of the Internal Revenue Code. However, U.S. taxpayers are required to report cryptocurrency transactions in U.S. dollars on their annual tax returns. This requirement means that U.S. taxpayers would have to determine the fair market value of their cryptocurrencies (by converting virtual currency to U.S.
dollars) on each transaction date. As a result, properly reporting cryptocurrencies to the IRS is tedious for individual taxpayers, as they must carefully record the price at which their cryptocurrencies were bought and sold. In June 2021, China banned all domestic cryptocurrency mining and banned cryptocurrencies completely in September 2021. The new regulation effectively banned the use of all cryptocurrency exchanges (foreign and domestic) and resulted in a massive token sale. Although domestic cryptocurrency exchanges are subject to a blanket ban in China, workarounds are possible through certain foreign platforms and websites that China`s internet firewall does not capture. Financial institutions are not allowed to facilitate Bitcoin transactions.  Regulators have warned the public that Bitcoin does not enjoy legal protection “because the currency is not issued by any monetary authority and therefore is not entitled to any legal claims or conversion guarantees.”  Even though Bitcoin is legal, most laws that apply to other assets also apply to Bitcoin. Tax law is the area where most people are likely to get into trouble. For tax purposes, Bitcoin is generally treated as property rather than currency. However, there are exceptions, such as El Salvador, which in June 2021 became the first county to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender.
The main idea behind the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies is that there is no way to determine the actual location of a ledger. As a result, transactions made on the blockchain offer more privacy than transactions made on traditional platforms. However, this advantage poses a complex legal challenge. First, because the nodes of a crypto transaction are located in different jurisdictions, they may be subject to conflicting legal frameworks. Second, the “country of residence” for cryptocurrency software is difficult to determine because the ledger has no physical location. Third, the transnational nature of blockchain makes it extremely difficult to determine applicable laws and choose the appropriate jurisdiction for blockchain-related disputes. For any national regulator, law enforcement between blockchain users, transactions, or projects is a Herculean task due to the cross-border reach of the technology.