Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are heavily regulated or restricted in a number of countries around the world.
Bitcoin has been controversial since its beginning in 2009, as have the subsequent cryptocurrencies that followed in its wake.
While widely criticised for its volatility, its use in nefarious transactions and for the exorbitant use of electricity to mine it, Bitcoin is being seen by some, particularly in the developing world, as a safe harbour during economic storms.
But as more people turn to cryptos as either an investment or a lifeline, these issues have manifested in an array of restrictions on their usage.
The legal status of Bitcoin and other altcoins (alternative coins to Bitcoin) varies substantially from country to country, while in some, the relationship remains to be properly defined or is constantly changing.
Whereas the majority of countries don’t make using Bitcoin itself illegal, its status as a means of payment or as a commodity varies with differing regulatory implications.
Some countries have placed limitations on the way Bitcoin can be used, with banks banning its customers from making cryptocurrency transactions. Other countries have banned the use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies outright with heavy penalties in place for anyone making crypto transactions.
These are the countries that have a particularly fraught relationship with Bitcoin and other altcoins.
Algeria currently prohibits the use of cryptocurrency following the passing of a financial law in 2018 that made it illegal to buy, sell, use or hold virtual currencies.
There is a complete ban in place on the usage of Bitcoin in Bolivia since 2014. The Bolivian Central Bank issued a resolution banning it and any other currency not regulated by a country or economic zone.
A woman walks past an advertisement for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency in Hong Kong.Vincent Yu/Associated Press
China has cracked down on cryptocurrencies with increasing intensity throughout 2021. Chinese officials have repeatedly issued warnings to its people to stay clear of the digital asset market and have clamped down hard on mining in the country as well as currency exchanges in China and overseas.
On August 27, Yin Youping, the Deputy Director of the Financial Consumer Rights Protection Bureau of the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), referred to cryptos as speculative assets and warned people to "protect their pockets".
Efforts to undermine Bitcoin - a decentralised currency outside the control of governments and institutions - are largely seen as an attempt by the Chinese authorities to float their own e-currency.