To date, there are no globally agreed-upon rules to govern the cryptocurrency markets around the world. In fact, each specific region allows crypto-trading and mining to operate in a quasi, semi-legal state.
Before governments across the world began their implementing some form of regulatory measures to clean up the cryptocurrency market operating in their respective countries, the situation was a mess, to say the least. Now after their involvement it seems to have gotten even messier as there is no coordination and cooperation among the world’s governments in this regard.
This all may change, of course, during the next Group of 20 Meeting, a platform where global finance chiefs will discuss how best to organize policies, rules, and regulations towards digital currency. Until then, however, each country seems to have its own idea on how to best supervise the cryptocurrency market operating within their borders.
The following list gives a brief synopsis of what the major countries within each region are currently doing to tackle the semi-regulated global cryptocurrency operations in their area.
This region is really the hot-bed of cryptocurrency trading, as the majority of trading around the world is done here. To date, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines have all made firm decisions on how best to treat cryptocurrency within their country.
China; Banned all forms of cryptocurrency actions such as trading, mining, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and the like. They do not even allow their citizens access to cryptocurrency platforms outside their country.
Japan: Recently enacted a licensing policy for exchanges dealing in cryptocurrencies.
Hong Kong: Only warns crypto-trading platforms from trading anything but digital currencies. If they wish to trade any other financial asset, they must get permission from the government.
Singapore: Hands-off. Crypto-trading is left to its own devices. At this time, the government sees no need to interfere.
Taiwan: So far, nothing. Waiting to see what transpires in other countries first.
Philippines: Will deliver a new set of rules governing Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) by the end of this year (2018).
North & South America
This region has not taken as drastic a measures as Asia has to limit or regulate cryptocurrency activity. Yet, the U.S. seems hellbent on coming up with some form of cryptocurrency policy and Canada has already implemented some regulatory reforms to oversee trading there.
United States: The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has been pleading its case to Congress since February of this year (2018) to regulate, in some form or another, cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs. To date, there are have been no set reforms in place to govern such activities but it is almost certain that the SEC along with other regulatory institutions governing financial activities within the U.S. will come up with something soon.
Canada: Treats ICOs as cryptocurrencies and has labeled anything related to cryptocurrency trading as high-risk.
Brazil: Banned funds from trading in cryptocurrencies as the country does not consider them to be financial assets.
While the European Commission is still reviewing how to best regulate cryptocurrencies within the EU, regulatory officials there have already begun to impose restrictions and are planning to implement further rules in the near future.
European Security & Markets Authority: Has recently placed restrictions on Derivatives linked with digital currencies. Currently reviewing how the EU defines digital assets and how its new MiFID rules apply to such definitions. Will most likely implement a policy that makes it mandatory for any cryptocurrency exchange trading in digital coins for traditional/conventional forms of currency to identify their customers.
IRS & Cryptocurrency
It might be of interest to note that despite the SECs lack of current regulation towards cryptocurrency activity within the U.S., the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not waiting to see how it can profit from such activities as it continues to come up with new bills to extract remuneration from cryptocurrency investors.
The IRS has recently stated that cryptocurrency investors are not only liable for any gains they may have realized when they “cash out” for conventional money, but also will be taxed a capital gains rate for any purchase made with their gains, including other cryptocurrencies.
Regulators across the globe may currently be in discussions on how best to regulate cryptocurrencies but the IRS, as always, knows exactly how to collect its share without any delay or hesitation whatsoever.