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Algerian Government Eyes Total Ban on Cryptocurrencies

by Joshua Althauser


The government of Algeria appears to be moving towards a total ban of Bitcoin and other digital currencies in the country. The government is reportedly considering the prohibition of the use, as well as possession of the virtual currencies and not just a ban on their acceptance as a form of payment.

Based on a report by local paper Maghreb Emergent, the National People’s Congress (NPC) is currently tackling the 2018 Finance Bill that will declare the usage and ownership of the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin as illegal in the country.

Part of the bill reads:

“Any violation of this provision is punished in accordance with the laws and regulations in force.”

Other key provisions of the bill

Based on the wordings of the bill, the government intends to establish tougher control on the use of cryptocurrencies in digital transactions. The bill also claims that the digital currencies may be used in such illegal activities as drug trafficking, money laundering and tax evasion due to the guaranteed anonymity of its users during a transaction.

The bill defines Bitcoin as a “so-called virtual currency” that can be utilized by Internet users. It further states that the number one digital currency is characterized by the absence of physical support like banknotes, coins, bank cards or payments by check. These features of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are the clear reasons why some countries like Algeria are showing grave concerns on their use and existence.

Other countries’ actions on cryptocurrencies

Algeria is just one of the countries that are trying to take action on the use and proliferation of digital currencies. In Indonesia, the government has announced that it will not recognize Bitcoin as a legal form of currency. Because of this, a couple of major Bitcoin payment platforms in the country have decided to voluntarily stop their operations potentially similar to what happened to halted cryptocurrency exchanges in Indonesia.