Crypto Currency

Which countries have made Bitcoin illegal?

In recent weeks there has been a major focus on the impact government regulation could have on Bitcoin. There are…

In recent weeks there has been a major focus on the impact government regulation could have on Bitcoin. There are fears that increased regulation could make it more difficult to buy, sell and innovate by making bitcoin illegal.

However, at present Bitcoin is only regulated in a very small number of countries, including a handful of countries where Bitcoin is illegal. The bans are structured in different ways with no real common pattern as to how the bans are being structured just yet.

This article looks at the countries which currently ban Bitcoin, showing the reasons why it was banned and how the ban works. This will help you to understand the potential impact of a ban should they become more widespread globally.

 

Algeria

 
In Algeria, the purchase, sale, and use of Bitcoin and any other Crypto is completely illegal. There is an interesting definition as to what constitutes a Crypto in Algeria.

It is described as currency is that used by internet users via the web and doesn’t have a physical form such as coins and notes which would allow payment by cheque or credit card. This is a unique definition and one which could be more widely adopted.

However, its one that could also become redundant very quickly. Bitcoin cards are now available, and you can buy physical Bitcoins although at this stage they are just a novelty. It is expected that this definition will be revised in the future but at present, it clearly represents a ban.

Any breach of the laws against Crypto Currency is punishable under Algerian law, it is not advisable to break any law in Algeria.
 

Bolivia

 
Bitcoin is also banned in Bolivia. The Central Bank of Bolivia has adopted a slightly different approach in their definition of Cryptos to Algeria. They say simply that you cannot denominate prices in any currency that are not previously approved by a part of the Bolivian government; hence in effect, you cannot use Crypto Currency or Bitcoin for anything.

Many countries have strict currency controls, so this type of approach could be adopted more widely in countries that do.

The Government of Bolivia believes that the ban is necessary to protect the Boliviano, the country’s national currency also citing a vaguer general need to ‘protect their citizens’.

Again, the ban is under Bolivian law, not something to be taken lightly. The Boliviano has historically been an unstable currency so any perceived threat to its strength would appear to be dealt with very harshly.
 

Ecuador

 
The ban in Ecuador is again unique. The Government of Ecuador banned decentralized digital/cryptocurrencies, due to the upcoming establishment of a new state-run electronic money system.

This system would be controlled by the government and tied directly to the local currency. Users will be able to pay for select services and send money between individuals.

The system is to be backed by the assets of the Banco Central del Ecuador, the nation’s central bank with the government overseeing it and integrating it into the national financial system. This is a totally unique reason for a ban to date.

Companies offering digital currency services will have to withdraw from operations or cease entirely and there will be no Bitcoin investment.
 

Kyrgyzstan

 
The ban in Kyrgyzstan was introduced with very severe language.  The government saw Cryptos, as very unstable and a completely unsuitable payment tool. Citizens who proceed to use Cryptos such as Bitcoin “assume all the possible negative consequences of the possible violation of the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic”.

That is not a sentence you want to hear in a former part of the Soviet Union. Any violation of the laws there would again likely result in severe penalties.
 

Bangladesh

 
Bangladesh is another country with a ban, but one which is tiny in the Cryptocurrency world.  Anybody caught involved with Crypto Currency could be jailed under the country’s strict anti-money laundering and foreign exchange laws, the messages from the government to date have been strongly worded but still somewhat unclear.

In Bangladesh, the transaction of virtual currencies online with any unnamed or pseudo named peer may cause a violation of the above-mentioned acts and lead clients to face various financial and legal risks.

How exactly they plan to enforce the law is however very unclear from government communications with further detail shrouded in very general statements.
 

Nepal

 
In Nepal, things are much simpler. Bitcoin and other Cryptos were simply declared illegal. End of. Nepal is tiny economically so the impact here on the wider world is minimal. The main impact is on the citizens of this isolated kingdom. You certainly will not be using Bitcoin at Everest base camp anytime soon anyway. Bitcoin investment is categorically banned.
 

Cambodia

 
The National Bank of Cambodia has stated that Crypto Currencies are illegal in Cambodia and has instructed commercial banks in the country not to accept Bitcoin and other coins in financial transactions.

The picture is somewhat confused however with nobody sure if that represents an outright ban. This is interesting as many countries may find it difficult to legislate to ban something which is essentially lines of computer code but it does make Bitcoin investment very hard.
 

Taking a step back

 
As can be seen in the article above very few countries have made Bitcoin illegal to date, the ones that have are small players in the Crypto world and tend to be in less stable parts of the world.

This could be considered a shame as the main beneficiaries of Crypto Currency are likely to be the unbanked and those without access to excellent infrastructure. Not to mention the inability of the countries citizens to interact and grow with this new technology.

However, the nature and structure of the bans outlined above offers some insight into how a ban may work elsewhere and what form it might take.

It is hard to find a pattern in any of the bans to date as they are so different, the only thing that can be learned is that the stricter the government in general, the higher the likelihood some ban will be introduced if it enters the national discussion.

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Crypto Currency

‘Fortnite’ vulnerability put millions of accounts at risk

It turns out that for the millions of people playing Fortnite, there was more than just a Victory Royale at stake.  On Jan. 16, internet security firm Check Point Research disclosed a vulnerability in the popular online video game that could have allowed malicious actors to take over practically any Fortnite account — all a…


It turns out that for the millions of people playingFortnite, there was more than just a Victory Royale at stake. 

On Jan. 16, internet security firm Check Point Research disclosed a vulnerability in the popular online video game that could have allowed malicious actors to take over practically anyFortniteaccount — all a player had to do was click a malicious link. 

“By discovering a vulnerability found in some of [Fortnite owner] Epic Games’ sub-domains, an XSS attack was permissible with the user merely needing to click on a link sent to them by the attacker,” explains the report. “Once clicked, with no need even for them to enter any login credentials, their Fortnite username and password could immediately be captured [by] the attacker.”

Epic Games confirmed the now-patc

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Crypto Currency

The sad story of a lonely alleged SIM swapper who stole millions

You probably shouldn’t feel sorry for Nicholas Truglia. It’s just that his story is so pathetic. The 21-year old Manhattan resident was arrested last November and extradited to California in December. There, he’d face 21 felony counts relating to accusations of SIM swapping his way to a million dollars worth of stolen cryptocurrency. While Truglia’s…


You probably shouldn’t feel sorry for Nicholas Truglia. It’s just that his story is so pathetic.

The 21-year old Manhattan resident was arrested last November and extradited to California in December. There, he’d face 21 felony counts relating to accusations of SIM swapping his way to a million dollars worth of stolen cryptocurrency. While Truglia’s fate remains unclear, details of his life leading up to the arrest have begun to emerge thanks to a lawsuit filled by a separate alleged victim, and oh man is it a wild ride. 

As Krebs on Security reports, a lawsuit filed by Michael Terpin — a cryptocurrency investor and self-described “thought leader” — against Truglia claims he lost over $23 million after Truglia SIM swapped him and drained his crypto accounts in January of 2018. That document, and a supporting affidavit by one of Truglia’s former friends, tells the story of a cash-flush young man who saw himself as untouchable. 

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, they also paint Truglia as kind of an asshole. 

The now-deleted Twitter profile pic of @erupts, the account allegedly once belonging to Truglia.

The now-deleted Twitter profile pic of @erupts, the account allegedly once belonging to Truglia.

Image: twitter / waybackmachine

“Nick likened himself to Robin Hood who robs from the rich but did not give to the poor,” explained Chris David, former associate of Truglia’s, in the aforementioned affidavit. 

Instead, the documents paint a picture of someone who delighted in giving to himself — in the form of a Rolex, a $6,000-a-month apartment, and a $100,000 stack of cash he kept on his credenza. But that clearly wasn’t enough for him.

According to David, Truglia operated the now-suspended Twitter account @erupts, where he lamented that his wealth didn’t bring him friends, and even bra

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Crypto Currency

Ethereum is about to get a big upgrade. Here’s what you need to know.

Ethereum, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the most popular platform for decentralized applications (dApps), is getting an upgrade on (roughly) Jan. 16.  The upgrade is called Constantinople and it makes the Ethereum network a bit more efficient, paving the way for bigger changes further ahead. It also brings some important changes for miners…


Ethereum, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the most popular platform for decentralized applications (dApps), is getting an upgrade on (roughly) Jan. 16. 

The upgrade is called Constantinople and it makes the Ethereum network a bit more efficient, paving the way for bigger changes further ahead. It also brings some important changes for miners on the network. 

Here’s an overview of what, exactly, is happening, and the steps owners of ether should undertake ahead of the fork. 

The answer to the second question is really easy: There’s no need to do anything. The upcoming upgrade, while technically a fork, will very likely be non-contentious, meaning there’s no disagreement on whether it should happen. This means Ethereum won’t split into two separate coins next Wednesday. If everything goes well — and chances are good that it will — your ether holdings will be exactly the same before and after the fork, regardless of whether your ether is located on a private wallet or an exchange. 

And no, ether holders will not be getting a new coin; if you see info about it anywhere, it’s either a scam or a mostly-irrelevant project that’s just trying to get some attention out of the confusion that surrounds every cryptocurrency fork (which is why I’m primarily calling Constantinople an upgrade and not a fork). 

Ethereum node operators and miners will have to update their software ahead of the upgrade; the links can be found here. 

Note that the January 16th date for the upgrade is approximate. The upgrade should happen when block 7,080,000 on the Ethereum blockchain is mined, which is currently approximately Wednesday, Jan, 16, 8pm UTC, but the exact time will shift a little as new blocks aren’t always found in the same amount of time. 

Paving the way for a faster future

With that out of the way, there are still a few things you should know about this upgrade. 

Constantinople consists of five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), which are documents explaining a new feature or change in Ethereum’s code. Explaining them in detail might

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Crypto Currency

Attack on Ethereum Classic Highlights a Crypto Weakness

bitcoin is that you don't need to trust the people to whom you send or receive money, because the software makes it technically impossible for anyone to cheat the system. Instead of relying on humans and their flawed judgment, you rely on the laws of mathematics. But a recent attack on the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic—not…


bitcoin is that you don’t need to trust the people to whom you send or receive money, because the software makes it technically impossible for anyone to cheat the system. Instead of relying on humans and their flawed judgment, you rely on the laws of mathematics. But a recent attack on the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic—not to be confused with the original Ethereum project—shows once again how hard it is to remove human frailty from digital systems.

Like other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum Classic relies on a decentralized ledger known as a blockchain created and shared by the machines that process transactions on the network. This ledger ensures that no one can spend their virtual tokens twice. Unless, that is, someone could take over at least 51 percent of the machines in the network. That’s what appears to have happened last weekend.

Currency exchange Coinbase said Monday it had detected double spends on the Ethereum Classic platform on Saturday and that it had suspended transactions involving Ethereum Classic. Kraken, another exchange, followed suit with a similar announcement. Coinbase security engineer Mark Nesbitt wrote in a blog post that the company had spotted 12 instances of double spending Ethereum Classic tokens, involving a total value of about $1.1 million.1Ethereum Classic is not as popular as some other cryptocurrencies: It had a total market value of $553.5 million on Friday, according to CoinMarketCap; by comparison, ether, the currency created by the original Ethereum project, had a value of $16.3 billion, and bitcoin a value of $67.5 billion.

Nesbitt told WIRED that Coinbase is “very confident” that the d

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