The digital assets regulatory policy tracker provides a detailed account of the different national approaches to the incorporation of digital assets – particularly cryptocurrencies and stablecoins – into the supervision of market regulators.
With breakdowns across 23 countries and significant regional coverage, the tracker presents details on the regulatory treatment of financial products and services key to the operability of digital assets markets.
This includes the legal status of cryptoassets exchanges, derivatives offerings, and stablecoin designs. Information relating to consumer protection and financial stability also feature prominently in the tracker, including coverage of tax treatments and efforts at countering illicit finance alongside that of ongoing policy developments.
On the interactive map, scroll over countries to view the legal status of different digital asset services and products. Countries have been categorised according to their legislative status and regulatory approach, highlighting the growing incidence of tailored cryptoassets frameworks, particularly regarding stablecoins. More detail is featured within the country directory. Select country tabs to access information on existing and anticipated regulatory developments across jurisdictions.
The digital assets regulatory tracker was launched alongside the DMI’s digital assets report. To access a copy of the report, click here.
Bittrex Global addresses the biggest regulatory issues and questions surrounding digital assets in the EU. Click here view our discussion and learn more at global.bittrex.com.
The Digital Asset Regulatory Tracker is updated on a quarterly basis. Latest update: October 26th, 2022.

Interactive map

Country directory

View details of regulatory developments and access additional resources by clicking on the country cards below:

🇦🇺 Australia

Applying existing securities law


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, Council of Financial Regulators, Department of the Treasury

Regulatory treatment is conditional on cryptoassets classification. Financial products, as defined by the corporations act, are subjected to regulation under this and the securities and investment commission act 2001 (ASIC). Regulatory obligations are based on consumer protection, including disclosure requirements and prohibitions from unsolicited offers of financial products. Australian Financial Services also imposes licensing requirements and prohibitions on market manipulation.

Consumer products are overseen by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission under consumer law. The oversight of businesses engaged with both categories are delegated to ASIC under the same laws.

Since May 2018, digital currency exchange providers have been required by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre – the financial intelligence agency and anti-money laundering and combating the funding of terror regulator – to register and comply with AML legislation. Under this framework, DCEs are required to collect know-your-customer information and monitor transactions, reporting on suspicious transactions or those greater than £10,000.

Whilst no specific laws are yet in place, the use and categorisation of digital assets determine their treatment by the Australian Taxation Office. Generally, cryptoassets are subject to capital gains tax, while rewards for staking are categorised as ordinary income. Cryptoassets categorised as personal use assets are exempt from capital gains tax.

In December 2021, the Australian government published a white paper called ‘Transforming Australia’s Payments System’. This document outlines the strategic long-term plan for the payments system, with intentions to address DCE licensing arrangements, prudential requirements and taxation frameworks for cryptoassets by 2023.

In April 2022, the prudential regulator set out a policy roadmap for establishing long-term prudential frameworks, in which the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority stated its intention to consult on requirements for deposit-taking institutions and the management of operational risks.

Licensing and custodial requirements for secondary service providers are being developed by the Treasury. Its consultation, concluded in May 2022, proposed prudential, financial and custodial requirements to support investor confidence. Consultations on classifying cryptoassets are expected. This process is being informed by a token mapping exercise, expected to conclude by the end of 2022, which will assist with targeted regulation.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators APRA, ASIC, CFR

The Council of Financial Regulators is considering incorporating stablecoins into the proposed regulatory framework for stored-value facilities. As part of the APRA’s policy roadmap, consultation on these prudential requirements is envisioned for 2023.

🇧🇷 Brazil

Tailored law in progress


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Banco Central do Brasil, Comissão de Valores Mobiliários

Legislative efforts towards a tailored regulatory regime are underway in Brazil. In 2017, the central bank announced that there were no regulations attached to cryptocurrencies, referencing that they didn’t fall under e-money laws, though suggesting that foreign exchange rules may be applicable to transactions involving cryptocurrencies. Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission has retreated from initial statements that investment funds should not invest directly in cryptocurrencies, recommending due diligence procedures for investment managers to observe. Since 2021, exchange traded funds for virtual assets have been approved. Existing anti-money laundering rules have been extended to cryptoasset transactions.

Having been approved in April 2022, the long-awaited framework for the regulation of virtual asset service providers has entered the final stages of the legislative process. It will define digital asset classes, taking inspiration from Japanese legislation, to prevent overlaps with existing legislation. Greater clarity regarding token classifications was provided by updated guidance by the CVM in October. VASPs will require authorisation and license to operate.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators BCB, CVM

October 2022 guidance initially classifies stablecoins as asset-backed

🇨🇦 Canada

Applying existing securities law


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Canadian Securities Administrators, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, Government of Canada, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

Cryptoasset trading platforms are subject to traditional securities regulations where digital assets and exchange platforms satisfy certain securities criteria and definitions. In collaboration with the IIROC, the CSA has led its provincial subsidiaries in issuing guidance about the application of securities legislation, including relevant disclosures, to CTPs. The guidance applies to those CTPs which facilitate the exchange of cryptoasset derivatives or security tokens, do not provide immediate delivery of the cryptoasset or store cryptoassets in platform-based wallets.

Exemptions are applied on a case-by-case basis and can occur in cases where the underlying asset is not a security or derivative and contracts are settled through an obligation to immediately deliver the cryptoasset.

VASPs, including money service businesses involved in the exchange of virtual currency, are required to comply with large virtual currency transaction reporting requirements, under the proceeds of crime (money laundering) and terrorist financing act. Reporting entities are required to register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) – the financial intelligence unit and supervisory authority for the proceeds of crime legislation.

Case-by-case assessments are used to evaluate tax obligations from cryptocurrency mining, with different treatments for personal and business ventures. In the case of the latter, tax is paid on the business income from the mining activity, as well as capital gains on the sale of validated cryptocurrency.

The federal government has announced its intention, as part of the 2022 budget, to conduct a legislative review of the financial sector, with a focus on digital currencies including cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators CSA, FINTRAC

There is no formal regulatory distinction between stablecoins and other virtual assets and no regulatory authority has been granted jurisdiction over the supervision of stablecoin design, distribution, issuance or operational frameworks. Many stablecoins satisfy securities criteria outlined by provincial securities regulators, under the CSA, applying the same regulatory regimes as wider cryptoassets. Likewise, the virtual currency definition applied by FINTRAC for the Canadian travel law is applicable to dealers of stablecoins, under the proceeds of crime regulations.

As part of its 2022 financial system review, the Bank of Canada outlined the risks to financial stability posed by stablecoins. It stated that it is working with financial sector regulators at the federal and provincial level – and international partners to promote regulatory alignment – to safeguard consumers, financial system integrity and national security.

🇨🇳 China

Tailored legislation [banned]


Custody and exchange Illegal

Cryptocurrency mining Illegal

Derivatives products Illegal

Regulators China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, China Securities Regulatory Commission, National Development and Reform Commission, People’s Bank of China

China has implemented an outright ban on cryptocurrencies. Financial institutions have been banned from engaging in transactions involving cryptocurrencies since 2013. The notice from the People’s Bank of China also categorised bitcoin as a virtual commodity – a point that they would reaffirm in 2017, alongside the tightening of time restrictions on cryptoassets.

Initial coin offerings were banned because of the PBoC’s concerns around illicit financial activities and risks to financial stability. Exchanges were also prohibited from engaging in exchange activities – the trading of cryptocurrencies and their conversion into fiat – or providing trading-related services.

These provisions were strengthened again in 2021, while a simultaneous crackdown on new and existing crypto mining operations, officially conducted in the name of emissions reduction, extinguished the remnants of China’s once dominant role in global mining operations. Multiple regulators were involved in the latest expansion of restrictions in September 2021, which saw the growing list of illegal crypto-related activities expand to include services provided to citizens by virtual exchanges registered overseas.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Illegal

Algorithmic stablecoins Illegal

Regulators CBIRC, CSRC, PBoC

🇸🇻 El Salvador

Tailored legislation [legalised]


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Banco Central de Reserva de El Salvador, Superintendencia del Sistema Financiero

El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021. Under the bitcoin law, all ‘economic agent[s]’, including businesses and financial institutions, with the technological capability to do so are required to accept bitcoin. The law also allows any tax payments to be made in bitcoin.

The Salvadorean government, under the Bukele administration, has also rolled out its own digital wallet, Chivo, with the objective of fostering financial inclusion and facilitate remittances. The Superintendencia del Sistema Financiero, the country’s financial and insurance regulator, oversees compliance with the bitcoin law. Bitcoin service providers are required to register with the central bank and demonstrate that they are in accordance with anti-money laundering legislation and other financial regulation.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators BCR, SSF

There is no legislation limiting the issuance or exchange of stablecoins in El Salvador. Along with the introduction of the bitcoin law making bitcoin legal tender, President Nayib Bukele also announced that the country plans to launch a national stablecoin pegged to the dollar.

🇫🇷 France

Tailored legislation


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution, Autorité des marchés financiers, Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d’information, Tracfin / European Banking Authority, European Securities and Markets Authority

Virtual currencies fall within the scope of EU regulation in accordance with anti-money laundering legislation (5AMLD), which requires providers of exchange services between crypto exchanges and wallet providers are registered with national financial intelligence units and the relevant authorities at the domestic level. The directive came into force in 2018 and had a January 2020 implementation date. France has implemented the 5AMLD.

As of 2020, federal legislation provides a framework for digital asset service providers, crypto exchanges and crypto-based fundraising, including initial coin offerings. In 2018, the financial market regulator published analysis setting out the eligibility of derivatives products under existing definitions.

Due to the energy intensity and sustainability implications of crypto mining, the European Parliament is discussing legislation to include crypto-asset mining activities within the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities by 2025. It is anticipated that legislative proposals will seek to ban the more carbon intensive ‘proof of work’ mining.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Illegal

Regulators EBA

The first comprehensive EU regulatory framework on digital assets, Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), was agreed upon in 2022 and will come into force in 2024. MiCA mandates capital requirements, partly in the form of deposits, on issuers of asset-referenced tokens or stablecoins.

🇩🇪 Germany

Tailored legislation


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) / European Banking Authority, European Securities and Markets Authority

Germany has developed a specific crypto regulation; the German banking act (KWG) was amended to include cryptocurrencies, classified as ‘units of account’, which are regulated as a new kind of financial instrument. Crypto derivatives are legal and regulated under the KWG. Crypto exchanges, VASPs and custodians must be licensed with BaFin.

Virtual currencies fall within the scope of European Union regulation, in accordance with anti-money laundering legislation (5AMLD), which requires providers of exchange services between crypto exchanges and wallet providers are registered with national financial intelligence units and the relevant authorities at the domestic level. The directive came into force in 2018 and had a January 2020 implementation date. Germany has implemented the 5AMLD.

Due to the energy intensity and sustainability implications of crypto mining, the European Parliament is discussing legislation to include crypto-asset mining activities within the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities by 2025. It is anticipated that legislative proposals will seek to ban the more carbon intensive ‘proof of work’ mining.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Illegal

Regulators EBA

The first comprehensive EU regulatory framework on digital assets, Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), was agreed upon in 2022 and will come into force in 2024. MiCA mandates capital requirements, partly in the form of deposits, on issuers of asset-referenced tokens or stablecoins.

🇭🇰 Hong Kong

Tailored legislation


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Securities and Futures Commission

Hong Kong’s regulators classify cryptocurrencies as virtual commodities, which are not regulated in Hong Kong. The Securities and Futures Commission determines the regulatory status of cryptocurrencies on a case-by-case basis and is responsible for overseeing intermediaries engaging in their sale or trade. Entities registered with the SFC, including crypto exchanges, are required to comply with AML/CTF requirements. A number of digital asset products, including some security tokens, are considered to be complex products under SFC rules whereby retail investors are unable to access them.

Amendments to the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist ordinance includes licensing requirements for digital asset service providers.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators HKMA, SFC

The HKMA released a discussion paper, ‘Crypto-assets and Stablecoins’ in January 2022, which states that the regulatory body is currently in the process of exploring the regulation of stablecoins. The HKMA holds the view that asset-backed stablecoins are more likely to be perceived as having the capacity to develop as a means of payment, and are thus the focus of regulators attention, though they do not rule out brining algorithmic stablecoins under a regulatory framework. A framework for stablecoin regulation is expected by 2023/24.

🇮🇳 India

Tailored law in progress


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchanges Board of India

India’s government and regulators are drafting legislation which, in its current form, would ban the use of cryptocurrencies in India. Crypto regulation has been strict to date: the RBI banned financial institutions from operating with or selling virtual currencies in 2018, prohibiting domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. The ban was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2020 and was overturned, legalising exchanges. As regulations are currently under consideration, the legal status of cryptocurrencies remains unclear. The legal status of crypto derivatives and futures is currently under judicial review.

‘The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill’ is still being discussed by the Indian parliament. A November 2021 Lok Sabha bulletin stated that the bill will seek to create a framework for the creation of an national digital currency issued by the RBI, while at the same time prohibiting private cryptocurrencies in India. The bill will allow for ‘certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology’ of cryptocurrencies. Concomitantly, the Securities and Exchange Board of India issued operational guidelines for distributed ledger technology in April 2022.

Entities which engage in cryptocurrency and trading are regulated by the RBI and are advised to comply with AML/CFT obligations.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators RBI, SEBI

In December 2021, the RBI published a warning against the use of stablecoins due to the risks they pose to the stability of the rupee. Regulations, including a ban on stablecoins, are currently under consideration.

🇮🇹 Italy

Tailored legislation


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Organismo Agenti e Mediatori, Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa/ European Banking Authority, European Securities and Markets Authority

There is no official definition of cryptocurrencies in Italian legislation. In practice, the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa, Italy’s securities regulator, classifies cryptocurrencies as financial products subject to some criteria, such as expectations of return, and regulates them as such. Operational from May 2022, a decree from the ministry of economics and finance established Italy’s register of crypto exchanges at the Organismo degli Agenti e dei Mediatori.

Virtual currencies fall within the scope of EU regulation in accordance with anti-money laundering legislation (5AMLD), which requires providers of exchange services between crypto exchanges and wallet providers are registered with national financial intelligence units and the relevant authorities at the domestic level. The directive came into force in 2018 and had a January 2020 implementation date. Italy has implemented the 5AMLD.

Due to the energy intensity and sustainability implications of crypto mining, the European Parliament is discussing legislation to include crypto-asset mining activities within the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities by 2025. It is anticipated that legislative proposals will seek to ban the more carbon intensive ‘proof of work’ mining.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Illegal

Regulators EBA

The first comprehensive EU regulatory framework on digital assets, Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), was agreed upon in 2022 and will come into force in 2024. MiCA mandates capital requirements, partly in the form of deposits, on issuers of asset-referenced tokens or stablecoins.

🇯🇵 Japan

Tailored legislation


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Financial Services Agency, Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association

Japanese regulation of cryptoassets is focused on intermediaries, as set out by provisions in the payment services act 2019. Intermediaries are subject to capital and registration requirements, with 31 exchanges registered across local Financial Services Agency bureaus to date. Supervisory guidance and regulation restrict traditional financial institutions’ involvement in digital asset speculation.

Consumer protection measures include compliance with advertising regulations and requirements to disclose information regarding financial risks to consumers. Intermediaries are only permitted to deal with assets which have been approved by the FSA following review by a self-regulatory organisation, such as the Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association, though there has been discussion around simplifying this process. The JVCEA issued a notice in October 2022 following a request by the FSA regarding updated recommendations of the FATF travel rule. In response to cyber risks, custodians are required to manage customer deposits in cold wallets, not connected to the internet. Derivatives businesses are regulated under amendments to the financial instruments and exchange act.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Illegal

Regulators FSA, JVCEA

Japanese authorities recently ratified a regulatory regime for ‘digital-money type’ stablecoins, defined as those pegged to, and promising redemption at, the value of a fiat currency. Legal amendments seek to address financial stability concerns surrounding the risk of runs by extending regulation to issuers, setting forth that only banks, fund transfer service providers and trusts may qualify for stablecoin issuance, with each facing redemption requirements to protect consumers.

Issuers are also expected to comply with existing requirements for user protection and AML/CFT monitoring. Bank stablecoins are issued as deposits, allowing consumers to benefit from deposit insurance. Intermediaries dealing in the exchange of such assets, in addition to the requirements facing existing cryptoassets intermediaries, are permitted to enter into risk-sharing arrangements with issuers for losses. Additional requirements, including the revocation and compensation for losses in insolvency events, aim to inspire further confidence.

Algorithmic stablecoins are not categorised as ‘digital-money’ stablecoins, though the FSA has not unequivocally ruled out their approval on a case-by-case assessment in the future. In the meantime, these could be classified as cryptoassets like traditional tokens. Under advertising rules, it is illegal to present these assets as if redemption at parity is without risk.

Full implementation of Japan’s bespoke regulatory framework is set to occur by June 2023.

🇲🇽 Mexico

Applying existing securities law


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Banco de México, Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores, Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público

Joint communication from the three regulatory bodies in 2019 stated that virtual currency does not substitute legal currency.

In addition to provisions on ‘virtual assets’ including cryptocurrencies in the 2018 law to regulate financial technology companies, the comprehensive law regulating financial technology institutions, or fintech law, was enacted in 2021. As outlined in the fintech law, the only financial institutions entitled to operate with virtual assets are banks and fintech institutions defined under the legislation. Banxico has the authority to determine the criteria which virtual assets must fulfil to be used by financial entities.

There are number of regulatory sandboxes in place for the development of various technologies relevant to cryptocurrencies, including DLT and blockchain, which benefit from looser regulation.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Illegal

Algorithmic stablecoins Illegal

Regulators Banxico, CMNV, SCHP

A 2021 communication from the Banxico, finance ministry and financial regulatory banned the use of stablecoins.

🇳🇬 Nigeria

Tailored law in progress


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission

Based on a 2020 statement by Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission, crypto assets are distinguished from fiat currency and e-money, and treated as commodities or securities based on their categorisation.

Updated guidance in 2022 from the SEC , the ‘New Rules on Issuance, Offering Platforms and Custody of Digital Assets’, sets out new rules applicable to digital service providers. Financial institutions looking to offer crypto products and services are required to register with the regulator, involving compliance with anti-money laundering standards, obtaining permits and settling various fees.

Exchanges cannot facilitate the trading of any cryptocurrency or digital asset until having received a ‘no objection’ from the SEC. Exchanges are, therefore, effectively required to submit applications for each listed asset.

This stance of the regulator is particularly noted for its contrast to the stark warnings of Central Bank of Nigeria. In 2021, the CBN published a reminder to banks of its 2017 notice forbidding their involvement in cryptocurrency activities.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators CBN, SEC

Digital asset regulation in Nigeria does not differentiate between stablecoins and other types of digital assets.

🇷🇺 Russia

Tailored legislation


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Central Bank of Russia, Ministry of Finance, Rosfinmonitoring

Federal legislation, ‘On Digital Financial Assets’, passed in 2020, legitimised the sale, mining and exchange of cryptocurrencies through a regulatory framework, but determined that they cannot be used as a means of payment. In this sense, cryptocurrencies are regulated as an asset rather than a currency. Penalties for violating the ban are included alongside other policy proposals included in a consultation published by the central bank in January 2022. Prohibiting the exchange and issue of cryptoassets in Russia and bans on financial institutions involvement were also accompanied by suggested penalties.

Shortly thereafter, in February, and at odds with the policy proposals contained in the central bank consultation, the Russian government approved regulations on the circulation of digital currency. Directives outlined in the proposals set out the concepts of a regulatory framework to ‘bring the digital currency industry out of the shadows’, including licensing requirements for exchanges.

Russia’s financial crime and anti-money laundering agency, Rosfinmonitoring, is responsible for monitoring crypto transactions.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Illegal

Regulators CBR, Ministry of Finance

While the framework introduced in 2022 does not differentiate between stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies, the legislation mandates safety nets ‘in terms of liquidity and capital adequacy’, effectively banning the issuance and sale of algorithmic stablecoins.

🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia

Tailored legislation [banned]


Custody and exchange Illegal

Cryptocurrency mining Illegal

Derivatives products Illegal

Regulators Saudi Central Bank, Capital Markets Authority

In 2018, the standing committee for awareness on dealing in unauthorised securities activities in the foreign exchange market, a subdivision of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, issued a warning against the risks of virtual currency. Officially, the decree declared all digital assets illegal inside the kingdom; in practice, however, the regulation is opaque, failing to differentiate between ownership, issuance and/or exchange of digital assets and cryptocurrencies, and lacks an outlined enforcement mechanism.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Illegal

Algorithmic stablecoins Illegal

Regulators SAMA, CMA

🇸🇬 Singapore

Tailored legislation


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Monetary Authority of Singapore, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has issued guidelines that detail the applicability of existing legislation to digital assets. For example, issues and offers of digital assets are regulated under the securities and futures act where they qualify as capital markets products, including securities and derivatives. The main body of regulation governing service providers in Singapore has centred around countering financial crime risks. VASPs, including exchanges, are required to be licensed, under the payment services act of 2019, for which they are rigorously screened by MAS, and are subject to its KYC and AML/CTF provisions. MAS employs rigorous screening of prospective service providers as part of this process. There are currently six service providers licensed under the payment services act in Singapore.

In January 2022, MAS issued guidelines to service providers outlining additional expectations for promoting digital assets. Given the risks to retail investors associated with investments in cryptoassets, VASPs are restricted from promoting their services outside of their own domains, including via third parties or in public areas. The regulator has said that the ‘trading of [digital payment tokens] is not suitable for the general public’ and any advertisements should not trivialise these risks.

While there are no capital gains taxes in Singapore – such that long term investments in digital assets are not subject to tax – businesses are liable to be taxed on profits derived from trading in cryptoassets and are subject to income tax rules where cryptoassets are used for remuneration.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators MAS

As highlighted by the Financial Stability Board, the introduction of stablecoins challenged the initial definitions set out by MAS in the payment services act, prompting a public consultation on their regulatory treatment. Stablecoins are currently treated as digital payments tokens under the act.

In the wake of the collapse in value of the algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD, MAS restated that it was reviewing its approach to stablecoins and expects to consult with the public in the future on the ‘merits of a regulatory regime tailored to the specific characteristics and risks of stablecoins, such as regulating the reserve requirements and the stability of the peg’. A consultation for a regulatory framework regarding the quality of underlying assets is expected imminently.

🇿🇦 South Africa

Applying existing securities law


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Financial Sector Conduct Authority, Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group, South African Reserve Bank, South African Revenue Service

In October 2022, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority published its declaration of a crypto asset as a financial product in the government gazette. The amendments to the financial advisory and intermediary services act defines crypto assets as a financial product – broadly as tradable digital representations of value not issued by the Reserve Bank – and requires that VASPs register with the FSCA from June 2023.

Mining operations are not subject to supervision at this legislative stage, given a relatively indirect implications for consumer protection.

Bringing crypto assets under the existing regulatory framework is seen as crucial to risk mitigation in the interim phase, in line with the legislative roadmap set out by the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group’s 2021 policy position report, as well as addressing some of the concerns identified by the Financial Action Task Force. South Africa faces the risk of being grey-listed unless sufficient progress towards adherence with FATF recommendations is made.

As set out in a 2014 position paper, the South African Reserve Bank does not regulate or supervise crypto assets, and does not consider them legal tender. The South African Revenue Service states that normal income tax rules apply to crypto asset earnings, though provisions for cost adjustments can be made in the cases where capital gains is applicable.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators IFWG, FSCA, ZARB, SARS

🇰🇷 South Korea

Tailored legislation


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Illegal

Regulators Financial Services Commission, Financial Supervisory Service, Financial Intelligence Unit

Cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea are primarily overseen by the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Supervisory Service, under the broad oversight of the Financial Services Commission.

Virtual asset service providers are required to register with the FSC’s financial intelligence unit. Most recently, the virtual asset investigation division was established in 2021, tasked specifically with the management and supervision of VASPs. In August 2022, the FIU announced it had brought action against 16 unregistered VASPs.

Financial institutions operating within South Korea are banned from hosting trades of bitcoin futures. Overseen by the FIU, a 2021 amendment to the special payments act also effectively banned the trade of privacy coins, a specific type of anonymous coin designed to facilitate private transactions, by delisting all of their tokens from domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.

Amendments to the act on reporting and using specified financial transaction information in 2020 has provided a more robust anti-money laundering framework. Since March 2022, the FSC has been responsible for the application of the travel rule, in accordance with FATF recommendations, for VASPs involved in digital transfers in excess of KRW1 million.

The implementation of a tax on capital gains from cryptocurrency trading (20% on amounts higher than $2.5m), which was intended to be introduced in January 2022, has been delayed until 2023.

Legislation which would enhance the FSC remit through disclosure and investigation authority is currently in its preliminary phase.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators FSC, FSS, KoFIU

The FSC does not differentiate between stablecoins and other virtual assets. Following the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin, the creation of a digital assets committee is being discussed, with the initial objective of developing a draft of non-binding/voluntary guidelines for listing and delisting digital tokens, including stablecoins, as well as other crypto investor protections

🇪🇸 Spain

Tailored legislation


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Illegal

Regulators Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores/ European Banking Authority, European Securities and Markets Authority

At present, Spain does not have national cryptocurrency regulation. The regulation of digital assets falls under Spain’s general securities and investments laws.

In May of 2022, Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, the financial regulator, prohibited the e-currency platform Binance’s sale of crypto derivatives until the entity was registered and obtained the necessary accreditation to operate within Spain. The case has effectively left the sale of crypto derivatives in regulatory limbo. The outcome of Binance’s registration is likely to set the precedent for the regulation (or prohibition) of crypto futures and derivatives trading in Spain.

In January 2022, Spain’s financial regulator was granted permission to regulate crypto advertising, including social media influencers. The country is the first EU member state to implement a crypto advertisement restriction.

Virtual currencies fall within the scope of European Union regulation, in accordance with anti-money laundering legislation (5AMLD), which requires providers of exchange services between crypto exchanges and wallet providers are registered with national financial intelligence units and the relevant authorities at the domestic level. The directive came into force in 2018 and had a January 2020 implementation date. Spain has partially implemented the 5AMLD.

Due to the energy intensity and sustainability implications of crypto mining, the European Parliament is discussing legislation to include crypto-asset mining activities within the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities by 2025. It is anticipated that legislative proposals will seek to ban the more carbon intensive ‘proof of work’ mining.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Illegal

Regulators EBA

The first comprehensive EU regulatory framework on digital assets, Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), was agreed upon in 2022 and will come into force in 2024. MiCA mandates capital requirements, partly in the form of deposits, on issuers of asset-referenced tokens or stablecoins.

🇨🇭 Switzerland

Applying existing securities law


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators State Secretariat for International Financial Matters, Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority

Federal legislation has established a legal framework for trading rights via digital ledgers and adapted securities laws, segregating cryptoassets in the event of bankruptcy. The implementation of such cryptoasset and VASP regulation falls under the jurisdiction of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and categorises digital tokens as payment tokens, utility tokens and asset tokens. Asset tokens, as well as utility tokens judged by regulators to serve investment purposes, are categorised as securities. In 2018, FINMA published guidelines relating to the application of legislation to initial coin offerings.

Concerns around anonymity and transactional benefits as a mechanism for evading existing anti-money laundering legislation and the reputational risks associated, has led to an extension of these fiat-based rules to financial institutions dealing with payment tokens, and other cryptoassets.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators FINMA

Stablecoins are not governed by specific regulations, in so far as they are distinct from the broader regulatory framework applied by FINMA to digital asset tokens. Supplementary to ICO guidelines, FINMA published guidelines on stablecoins in 2019. Regulations are consistent with principles applied to wider digital tokens – same risks, same rules  – whereby focus is given to the economic purpose and structure of each coin, often with assessment made on merit. Guidance identifies where, conditional on these factors, certain market laws might apply. For example, it is noted that where redemption claims can be levied against the issuer, transactions may be subject to licensing requirements under Banking or Collective Investment Scheme Acts. FINMA states that enforcement measures are ‘probable’ when projects involving dubious stabilization mechanisms are conducted domestically.

🇹🇷 Turkey

Tailored law in progress


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Capital Markets Board, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, Financial Crimes Investigation Board

In April 2021, Turkey’s ‘Regulation on the Disuse of Crypto Assets in Payments‘ came into force. The legislation classified cryptocurrency as an asset and banned its use as a payment method.

A May 2021 presidential decree amended the ‘Regulation on Measures Regarding Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime and Financing of Terrorism’, requiring crypto firms to comply with AML/CFT obligations in accordance with FATF recommendations. This was accompanied by guidance from the Treasury’s financial crime watchdog, MASAK.

A proposed amendment to the capital market law introduced in December 2021 presents a framework for the custom regulation of cryptocurrencies under the purview the Capital Markets Board.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, CBRT

There is no legislation limiting the issuance or exchange of stablecoins in Turkey.

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

Applying existing securities law


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Illegal

Regulators Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority, HM Treasury

Regulatory strategy in the UK has been outlined and subsequently organised by members of the cryptoassets taskforce – HM Treasury, the Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority – who published the roadmap for regulatory development in 2018. The UK regime categorises cryptoassets according to structure, with cryptocurrencies akin to payments tokens determined by an initial consultation to fall outside of the FCA’s remit. As such, access to consumer protection mechanisms is likely to be limited.

Currently, cryptoassets in the UK are only regulated for anti-money laundering purposes, for which VASPs are required to register with the FCA. The financial watchdog recently took additional steps to safeguard against suspicious activity. From August 2022, approval is required for persons acquiring at least one-quarter of a digital service business, while annual financial crime reports were mandated in March. From September 2023, cryptoasset businesses will also be expected to comply with updated Financial Action Task Force recommendations for the travel rule.

Citing the vulnerabilities of retail investors, the FCA prohibited the sale of cryptoasset derivatives in 2021.

In January 2022, the government announced its intention to incorporate cryptoassets within existing rules for advertising financial products.

Elsewhere, the Law Commission published a consultation in July 2022 concerning the legal foundations for digital assets, including property rights. Earlier that year in February, HM Revenue and Customs released an update to its tax manual for cryptoassets.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators BoE, FCA, HM Treasury

Regulators are expected to consult on proposed regulatory models in 2023, following recent efforts coordinated by the members of the cryptoassets taskforce. In June 2021, the Bank of England evaluated a series of regulatory models against its expectations for stablecoins. Broadly, these expectations include equivalence on regulatory and payments standards, which reflect the Bank’s financial stability considerations. This discussion paper has been supplemented by a March 2022 publication on financial stability.

HM Treasury, which published the response to their stablecoins consultation in April, have proposed bringing future stablecoin regulation under the remit of the Bank. Given the nature of the prospective regulatory models, algorithmic stablecoins are likely to be excluded from future frameworks.

🇺🇸 United States

Tailored law in progress


Custody and exchange Legal

Cryptocurrency mining Legal

Derivatives products Legal

Regulators Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Securities and Exchanges Commission, US Department of the Treasury

The Securities and Exchange Commission treats cryptocurrencies as securities, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission treats them as commodities. The SEC requires most tokens to be registered as securities in accordance with its Howey test criteria. This is an onerous requirement. The CFTC treats cryptocurrencies as commodities and allows derivatives to be traded on regulated exchanges.

The October 2022 report from the FSOC draws attention to this regulatory arbitrage. The report acknowledged additional gaps in the regulatory framework facing virtual markets, including limited oversight of non-securities in spot markets. The passage of recently tabled legislation would place the cryptocurrency spot market under the supervision of the CFTC. One month prior, an executive order on the responsible development of digital assets urged collaboration between regulators to address the risks facing consumers by the development of digital assets.


Deposit-backed stablecoins Legal

Algorithmic stablecoins Legal

Regulators FCEN, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, SEC, Working Group on Financial Markets

Most stablecoins, unless remunerated, are exempt from SEC securities regulation. The report on stablecoins, published by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office for the Comptroller of the Currency and Working Group on Financial Markets in November 2021 , noted that there are no consistent prudential standards governing stablecoin arrangements.

Some deposit-backed stablecoins are observable at the state level, issued by trust companies, such as those licensed under New York banking law, special purpose depository institutions, of which four have been chartered in Wyoming. Typically, these require segregated accounts for customers’ fiat deposits.

Stablecoin issuers, wallet providers and exchanges that host stablecoin wallets generally have to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as money services businesses. This requires compliance with KYC and AML regulation but is less stringent than SEC broker/dealer requirements. US enforcement agencies may apply these requirements to instruments not based in the US if they are offered to US-based persons.

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