Before discussing the legality, we’d like you to know exactly what is Bitcoin mining is and how does it work.
Bitcoin mining refers to the process of adding transaction records to a public ledger called Blockchain. In this ledger, every single Bitcoin transaction is recorded, and the record is always open for the public access. The record of these transactions is organized into blocks.
The creation of these blocks is what Bitcoin mining is based on. Every time a new block is created, it is added to the Blockchain for public to see it. However, it does not reveal the identity of parties involved in the transaction.
The block creation is done through solving mathematical algorithms using powerful computers.
So Why Would It Ever Be Considered Illegal?
There may be several reasons as to why people consider it illegal. More than often Bitcoin mining is confused with counterfeiting the money, which is completely false.
You are not counterfeiting your national currency, but rather creating a completely new currency.
Another reason behind some governments opposing Bitcoin is due to it being decentralized. Due to the fact that Bitcoin cannot be regulated or controlled, several governments view it as a threat to their national currencies. Some governments also believe that Bitcoin is actually undermining the government itself by offering non-state currency.
Moreover, the Bitcoin cryptocurrency can be mined illegally. One of the most common examples is the miners hacking your PCs through malware and using their processors to mine coins.
In Which Countries Is Bitcoin Mining Illegal?
The governments all around the globe have a mixed stance on this subject. For example, in Russia, the possession, as well as the use of Bitcoin is illegal. In fact, Russia is considered to be one of the biggest anti-Bitcoin countries out there. Presumably because of the current financial crisis brought about by low oil prices and the sanctions instituted as a result of Russian activities in Ukraine.
Ecuador is another country to oppose Bitcoin, but interestingly enough, has launched its own digital currency. The currency is designed to lower the government’s reliance on fiat currency.
Another country to outlaw Bitcoin is Iceland. Then there are other governments such as Indian government that have made negative comments against Bitcoin but haven’t launched any official bans on the mining/ownership of the currency.
Legal Bitcoin Mining:
The majority of governments seem to be okay with Bitcoin and have not made any negative remarks or launched an official ban as of yet. US, China, South Korea are few to name.
In these countries, you can legally mine the coins by using your own Bitcoin mining hardware and electricity resources. However, stealing the said resources may still result in prosecution.
For more information on mining hardware, Read our guide on how to set up a bitcoin miner.
In all, Bitcoin mining is completely legal and safe for the users. Although there are some countries that have outlawed the currency, many countries remain to be silent on the issue and have passed no legislation for or against the most widely used cryptocurrency.