When looking at the top 10 countries searching globally for the term ‘bitcoin’ on Google you will find that African countries make up 3 of the top 10. These countries: South Africa (#1 worldwide), Ghana (#7) and Nigeria (#10) ranking so high on Google trends speaks volumes about the popularity of cryptocurrency rising in Africa. Be that as it may, how do the authorities in Africa look at cryptocurrency? Are they being regulated or even straight up banned? In this post, we will be going over the top 5 Bitcoin countries in Africa.
Despite the South African Revenue Service (SARS) cracking down on crypto traders, Bitcoin is completely legal in South Africa. As it stands, bitcoin and cryptocurrency have no legal status, nor a regulatory framework in South Africa. As a result, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are unregulated. People are free to buy and sell cryptocurrencies to their heart’s content in South Africa.
In South Africa, SARS doesn’t regard cryptocurrencies as a currency eligible for income tax purposes. Instead, they regard cryptocurrencies as assets of intangible nature. Despite this, SARS stated that for the 2018 annual budget review, VAT treatment for crypto assets will go under review.
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The bank of Ghana released a statement in January 2018 saying the trading and use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in Ghana was not legal yet. This is because it is not a legitimate form of currency in this country. Be that as it may, around the same time this statement was made, a bill called the Settlements and Payments hit the surface. This could result in better adoption of cryptocurrencies if Ghanaian officials pass the bill.
Similarly to Ghana, cryptocurrency is unregulated in Nigeria. The Central Bank of Nigeria announced a ban on virtual currencies in Nigeria. However, they have since clarified this statement, saying:
Central bank cannot control or regulate bitcoin. The Central Bank cannot control or regulate blockchain. Just the same way no one is going to control or regulate the Internet. We don’t own it
Users are free to trade and transact in bitcoin in Nigeria like any other country.
— Bitcoin Kenya (@BitcoinKE) October 11, 2018
In an article by Nigerian Law Today, it was made apparent that cryptocurrency companies operating in Nigeria are not required to pay more tax than any other companies. Be that as it may, Nigerian startup companies and consumers will have to sit on the sidelines while they wait for the Nigerian government to release a legal framework for the regulation and taxations of crypto assets. Nigeria, like South Africa, want to be on top of the list of bitcoin Countries developers want to go to.
The trend of unregulated cryptocurrencies continues in Kenya. It’s not illegal to transact and trade cryptocurrency in Kenya, however, there is no regulatory framework in place to protect you. Despite this, in July 2018, the Kenyan parliament gave Kenya’s Treasury Secretary the task of investigating the state of cryptocurrency. They were to analyze cryptocurrency adoption within the country and advise the parliament on how to move forward with cryptocurrency regulation.
Dr. Patrick Njoroge, the governor of The Central Bank of Kenya was originally against cryptocurrencies in the past. But in an article published in May 2018, it seems as though banks are coming to grips with cryptocurrency and warming towards the idea of adopting it. The article read: “CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said the regulator was open to introducing cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as alternative payment vehicles with the opportunity to reduce fraud.”
Despite cryptocurrencies not being legal tender by the Central Bank of Kenya, any earnings from cryptocurrencies are not exempt from taxation. Any income generated from unregulated activity such as cryptocurrency mining are subject to taxation. All wins and losses from trading and mining are expected to be reported.
Actually, no. Cryptocurrency is illegal in Morocco.
In November 2017, Morocco officially outlawed cryptocurrencies. This happened following an announcement by Moroccan digital services company, MTDS, that it would be accepting Bitcoin payments. As a result, if any Moroccan citizens are caught making transactions in cryptocurrency, they will subject to being fined.
Did you like our list of top bitcoin countries?
While cryptocurrencies are mostly unregulated across Africa, it’s left to cryptocurrency exchanges to protect themselves. As a result, these exchanges are using Anti Money Laundering solutions (AMLs) and Know Your Customer (KYC) in order to protect their customers, and protect their trading platforms from being used for criminal activity.
It may seem tedious having to prove your identity to your cryptocurrency exchange, but know that it is to aid in protecting your funds from any attackers.
Will you be trading cryptocurrency in Africa? If so, whereabouts are you, and would you consider the state of crypto to be in a good spot at present? Let us know in the comments below. We would like to know which are your top 5 bitcoin countries.
This article is intended to educate and should in no way be seen as investment advice or an enticement to use the ice3x.com platform. Bitcoin is highly volatile with big profit opportunities but you should also remember that you could lose part or all of your investment whenever you take part in any high risk investment. Bitcoin trading is not a regulated industry in South Africa, which in itself carries additional risks. IF YOU ARE NOT AN ASTUTE BITCOIN TRADER, SEEK INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVICE BEFORE MAKING ANY INVESTMENTS.