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BY Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez January 4, , PM UTC China made big headlines when it banned crypto last year, but it is only one of dozens of countries and jurisdictions that have either banned cryptocurrencies outright or severely restricted it over the past few years.
Forty-two other countries, including Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, and Bolivia, have implicitly banned digital currencies by putting restrictions on the ability for banks to deal with crypto, or prohibiting cryptocurrency exchanges, according to a summary report by the Law Library of Congress published in November.
The number of countries and jurisdictions that have banned crypto either completely or implicitly has more than doubled since , when the organization first published a report on the subject. Some governments that have banned crypto have said that cryptocurrencies are being used to funnel money to illegal sources and argued that the rise of crypto could destabilize their financial systems.
Although not all governments are moving to ban crypto, many are looking into how to regulate digital currency, including the U. Gensler hired a senior adviser specializing in cryptocurrency last week. The United States has no comprehensive federal data protection framework. Money Laundering Several commentators suggest that cryptocurrencies provide criminal organizations with a new way to commit fraud, money laundering, and a host of other financial crimes.
Before criminals can convert their illegally acquired cryptocurrency into cash, they have to convert it into liquid cash. The popular exchanges for this conversion are subject to anti-money-laundering rules that require firms to identify their customers.
But Chainalysis researchers suggested that criminals have found a way to circumvent these rules using over-the-counter trading OTC. Tax Implications For US federal income tax purposes, cryptocurrencies are property—not currency. This distinction means that US taxpayers cannot use cryptocurrency as a functional currency for Internal Revenue Code purposes.
However, US taxpayers are obligated to report transactions involving cryptocurrencies in US dollars on their annual tax returns. As a result, properly reporting cryptocurrencies to the IRS is burdensome for individual taxpayers because they must diligently record the price at which their cryptocurrencies were bought and sold. Moreover, the United States classifies cryptocurrencies as capital assets.
Therefore, individual investors are liable to pay capital gains taxes on any profits they realize via cryptocurrencies. This obligation applies whether or not investors purchased their cryptocurrency from the United States or from another country. Nevertheless, whether US investors who purchased their crypto holdings on foreign exchanges are required to fulfill additional reporting requirements in filing their taxes remains unclear.
The use of cryptocurrencies in IP-intensive industries raises concerns about: 1 IP ownership and authorship, 2 controlling and tracking the distribution of registered or unregistered IPs, and 3 establishing and enforcing IP agreements, licenses, or exclusive distribution networks through smart contracts.
For example, considerable uncertainty surrounds who exactly owns blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. Legal and Regulatory Concerns for Investors Since February , cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been legal in the United States—and in most other developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, Japan, and Canada.
However, although the IRS considers Bitcoin and other virtual currencies legal, some concerns still surround their legal validity. Instead, their value totally depends upon the value that other owners and investors ascribe to them. Since they are not backed by any centralized regulatory body, investors may have few legal resources if any complications arise from their crypto transactions or ownership.
This is because it is not restricted by borders or exchange rates. Finally, some people believe that cryptocurrency has the potential to become a global currency. Cons of Crypto However, there are also several significant drawbacks associated with cryptocurrency.
First, as previously mentioned, cryptocurrencies are very volatile and can lose their value quickly. This makes them a riskier investment than more stable options such as stocks and bonds. Additionally, criminals often use cryptocurrency to launder money or purchase illegal goods. This is because transactions can be made completely anonymous, making it difficult for law enforcement to track criminal activity. So, should cryptocurrency be banned?
Cryptocurrency is a controversial topic, and there are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. Ultimately, whether or not cryptocurrency should be banned is a decision that governments and financial institutions must make. However, it is essential to weigh all the risks and benefits before making this decision. Some people believe that cryptocurrencies are a valuable and innovative technology, while others feel that they pose too much security risk.
Ultimately, only time will tell whether or not cryptocurrency will become a mainstream aspect of our society. But one thing is sure — the debate surrounding this topic will continue for many years. Why should cryptocurrency not be banned? Cryptocurrency should not be banned Due to several reasons: Cryptocurrency is a valuable and innovative technology that has the potential to revolutionize global financial systems. Unlike traditional currencies, cryptocurrencies are not subject to government or central bank control, making them attractive for individuals looking for more secure investment opportunities.
In addition to its growing popularity among investors, cryptocurrency is also being used more and more to facilitate international trade and transactions. This is because cryptocurrency is not restricted by borders or exchange rates, making it an ideal currency for businesses and individuals conducting business globally.
Cryptocurrency also has the potential to become a global currency. This would allow people from all over the world to transact without worrying about different currencies and exchange rates. Despite the various criticisms against cryptocurrency, it is essential to note the many benefits associated with this digital currency. For example, many people believe that cryptocurrency is more secure than traditional stocks and bonds since transactions cannot be traced or manipulated by government agencies or central banks.
The unexpected growth in Bitcoin BTC , Ripple XRP and other digital currencies stunned investors and regulators, forcing them to look at the factors that are driving prices higher. While blockchain technologies have solved the problem of time and higher costs in cross-border payments, their anonymous features have opened the doors for criminal activities — allowing criminals to move their wealth through online transactions without showing the original identity.
This is because several prominent names in the financial sector suggested a complete ban on digital currencies. Countries like China, India, and Bangladesh has banned cryptocurrency trading and all the activities related to ICO's to protect the country economy from the illegal movement of money to other countries. China has announced that they will not allow any form of cryptocurrency trading platform , while Indian authorities have ordered cryptocurrency exchanges to stop their operations for the indefinite time.
China has announced that they will not allow any form of cryptocurrency trading platform , while Indian authorities have ordered cryptocurrency exchanges to stop their operations for the indefinite time. South Korea has also initially decided to ban virtual currencies; they retreated from their earlier stance and only presented laws that will bar anonymous transactions.
The global authorities are yet unsure what to do with these alternative currencies, the idea of imposing the complete ban wouldn't be easy for authorities considering the vast popularity and several positive aspects related to these currencies. Regulations Will Help The Crackdown On Illegal Activities The Bank of England governor presented the firm idea of regulating cryptocurrencies to start the crackdown on illegal activities.
Other than illegal activities there is nothing wrong with cryptocurrencies. They are designed to bypass the financial system and all its controls. They cannot be traced or confiscated or frozen by governments. Bitcoin accounts for 42 per cent of this market capitalisation.
Why cryptocurrency is not a currency? Firstly, currency always has an issuer, usually a trusted entity like the sovereign. Even when gold is used as a currency, the gold coins had to be issued by a sovereign entity. Secondly, historically, a currency has always been either a commodity with intrinsic value or a debt instrument.
Cryptocurrencies do not conform to this understanding of a currency as they do not have an issuer, they are not an instrument of debt, or commodities nor do they have any intrinsic value. Currency needs trust, not everything that can be trusted is a currency. So even if technology as in a blockchain provides the trust for cryptocurrencies, they can at best perform the role of a currency within the private and closed environment of that cryptocurrency.
They do not, and should not, automatically become a currency for the larger society. There is an effort to treat cryptocurrencies as a commodity. But commodities are tangible and have utility. Cryptocurrencies have neither. Cryptocurrencies are very much like a speculative or gambling contract working like a Ponzi scheme. The volatility of many cryptocurrencies precludes them as an efficient medium of exchange. Besides, a priori there is no ground to believe that people place the same trust in them as they do in legal tender currencies.
While there is anecdotal evidence of businesses using Bitcoin, there really is no reliable data available. By all indications their use as a currency appears to be negligible. What are the risks posed to society or the economy? The fundamental risks of cryptocurrencies are two. Historically, private currencies have resulted in instability and therefore have evolved into fiat currencies over centuries.
Every private currency will eventually replace the Rupee to some extent. Consequently, the role of the Rupee as a currency will be undermined. With one or more private currencies being allowed, there would be parallel currency system in the country.
When that happens, India loses not just its currency, a defining feature of its sovereignty, but its policy control of the economy. With loss of traction for monetary policy, the ability to control inflation would be materially weakened. Credit creation in convertible currencies would be impervious to monetary policy. In the extreme case where a major part of deposits and credit shift to cryptocurrencies, the result would be a weakened, even crumbling, banking system, impairing financial stability.
There are already indications that private cross-border flows are taking place in cryptocurrencies. If this trend is legitimised, a part of the flows related to trade payments, personal remittances or cross border investments would be made in these cryptocurrencies. Also, such cryptocurrency payments can take place outside the ambit of capital account regulations. This would adversely affect the integrity of the capital account regime, as policy control on capital flows would be eroded.
The consequence of this on foreign exchange reserve accretion and exchange rate management raises serious macroeconomic stability issues. Should cryptocurrencies be permitted and regulated in India? Various arguments have been extended to permit cryptocurrencies and subject them to close regulations. Banning cryptocurrencies would affect the absorption of DLT technology in India.
Counter-argument: Creating native cryptocurrencies is just one way of implementing a blockchain. It can be viewed as just one use case of the blockchain technology.