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Regulation of cryptocurrencies around the world: Africa and Oceania

Regulation of cryptocurrencies around the world: Africa and Oceania

Cryptocurrencies have gone from being something that was discussed in small geek forums to an issue that for many governments is state policy. In view of the demand that continues to increase, many countries have had to give legal answers to frame the use, purchase and sale of both cryptocurrencies and ICOs within legal assumptions that provide legal security to their citizens.

In this post, we will describe how different countries and governments around the world are working, legally speaking, with cryptocurrencies. It is also important to clarify that this post will be of a dynamic nature because the law is a branch that is constantly evolving and the treatment that it makes with the technology Blockchain will change.

The different countries that we will place here will be catalogued according to their status of legality. This is how the characterization of each country will work:

10 Countries favorable to crypto-currencies
  • Legal: Legal bodies have been issued with the objective of regulating the use of cryptocurrencies, the operation of Exchanges in their territory.
  • Legal ambiguity: The use of cryptocurrencies is not regulated, nor has any legal regulation been issued in this regard. However, based on the Principle of Legality which states that citizens can do anything that is not legally forbidden, citizens of these countries can use cryptocurrencies.
  • Illegal: The use of cryptocurrencies is strictly forbidden by legislation and its implementation can lead to sanctions, fines and prosecutions.

We will start our journey in Africa and Oceania.


South Africa

Status: Legal ambiguity

In the rainbow nation, a position has not yet been taken from the point of view of jurisdiction, however, in 2014 the Reserve Bank of South Africa promulgated its position on cryptocurrencies. As stated, cryptocurrencies are authorized to be used for business and exchange and are recognized as a store of value to be equated with gift cards in their operation as legal tender. The only negative is that it was not recognized as a legal form of payment.


Status: Legal ambiguity

In Nigeria, we cannot see a law either but we also find the position taken by the Central Bank of this country. In a statement, the Central Bank in question issued a warning to banks in 2017 that it would not provide tools to allow the commercialization of Bitcoin cryptocurrency within Nigerian commerce. The Nigerian SEC also issued warnings but for merchants and indicated that care should be taken when trading in cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
For the time being, Nigerian legislators are interested in enacting a legal framework to regulate cryptocurrencies and have put pressure on the authorities in charge of the regulatory issue so that they can provide the necessary technical details to properly regulate this market.


Status: Legal Ambiguity

The Kenyan Central Bank has issued warnings about the use of cryptocurrencies but has not pressed legislators to issue a law making the use and trade of cryptocurrencies illegal.

This is a market that we should be constantly watching because Kenya is one of the countries that has some of the largest Bitcoin holders in the market. According to studies, 2.3 of all Bitcoins are owned by people located within the territory.



Status: Legal

In Australia, cryptocurrencies are recognized as legal tender. Operations that leave a profit in cryptocurrency are subject to the payment of taxes. Regulations for Exchanges that want to operate there are also under discussion.

New Zealand

Status: Legal ambiguity

New Zealand authorities have said that cryptocurrencies and ICOs are values. They classify ICO tokens in four categories: debt securities, managed investment products, derivatives and equity securities.