BitLegal tracks the evolving regulatory landscape of digital cash/bearer assets and distributed ledger technology around the world.

Virtual currency, digital currency (‘currency’ is used to describe its medium of exchange function), cryptocurrency. These terms may be used interchangeably on this site, as there is no agreed definition and regulators, governments, publications use different terminology.

Understandably, digital cash/ bearer assets, in general, invite greater regulatory scrutiny due to AML/CTF concerns and capital control circumvention. It is on that basis that we have devised this map, to reflect the evolving regulatory status and offer greater clarity/perspective to users, regulators or otherwise. 

Scope of Map

Decentralised Digital Currencies:

  • Bitcoin;
  • Monero;
  • Dash;
  • Ether;
  • or similar digital cash systems.

Decentralised Digital Assets:

  • bearer promissory notes (debt instruments) with a face value indicated in currency, commodities or other;
  • bearer shares, bonds, equities, or other bearer investment instrument;

Key features for above:

  • 100% bearer asset, ownership NEVER attributed to identity of possessor;
  • Typically operates over decentralised validation systems (whether mining or other consensus protocol system);
  • Components of anonymous transfer.

Key Questions

The BitLegal map answers key questions surrounding the use of digital cash.

These are summarised as follows:

  • how are digital currencies regulated?
  • where are digital currencies legal?
  • how is digital currency taxed?
  • how are intermediaries handling digital currencies regulated?

Copyright Notice

By way of background this map was the first map to track global regulations of bitcoin under the previous name bitlegal.io. All information produced here is the copyright of Merkle Tree Limited (Merkletree).

Unauthorised reproduction may be prosecuted. Contact info@bitlegal.io should you wish to integrate the digital cash regulatory map to your website or for any approval requests for reproduction of content. In the event that you need to reproduce content urgently, Merkletree provides you with a licence to do so as long as you provide a clear acknowledgement of the source. 


Merkle Tree provides information about a developing area of the law and it is designed to help users make decisions about their own legal needs. Use of this site, or the information contained herein, does not create an attorney-client relationship. The content on this site is not offered as, does not constitute, and should not be relied upon it as a source of legal advice. Legal information is not the same as legal advice. Legal advice is the application of law to an individual’s specific circumstances. Nothing on this website should be considered a substitute for professional legal advice.

Online users should not act or rely upon any information in this site without first directly consulting legal counsel of their own. We recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. Please submit a request for services if you need a specialist and we will put you in touch with one of our lawyers.

While the authors make the best effort to maintain accurate and timely information, no responsibility is taken for any damages which occur based on factual inaccuracies associated with Merkle Tree content.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 12.08.05Diacle is a fintech, Digital Currency and Distributed Ledger legal/regulatory firm based in Hong Kong, London and the US. Diacle provides global policy, strategic advice for startups and established fintech businesses involved in the sector. The founder of Diacle is Adam Vaziri (a UK qualified lawyer), who is also elected director of the UK Digital Currency Association.




AlphaPoint is a technology company that powers digital currency exchanges and provides institutions aggregate access and order routing to digital currency markets. Its secure, scalable, and customizable platform can process nearly 1 million transactions per second, enabling customers to innovate, differentiate, and transform their businesses. As the world’s leading white label exchange provider, AlphaPoint powers several of the largest Bitcoin exchanges worldwide, and is led by a seasoned team with 35+ years in financial technology. AlphaPoint has offices in New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. For more information, please visit AlphaPoint.com

logoThe Chamber of Digital Commerce is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association dedicated to promoting the understanding, acceptance and use of digital assets and blockchain-based technologies. The Chamber provides authoritative information to policymakers on digital assets. For more information, please visit: www.DigitalChamber.org.