Fifty countries have placed bans on cryptocurrency, according to a report from the Law Library of Congress. The November report served as an update to research that was published in 2018.

Since 2018, “the number of countries found to have issued cryptocurrency bans has increased significantly,” the report said. As of November 2021, nine countries have placed an “absolute ban” on crypto, meaning that it’s completely illegal. Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Qatar and Tunisia have all joined China in outlawing crypto.

Seven countries – Afghanistan, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Laos – currently prohibit cryptocurrencies with a law or resolution.

Belarus, Brunei and Sri Lanka have no bans on cryptocurrency but “disallow the use of crypto for payments” under their respective laws. Larger countries like Germany, India and Japan currently make no mention of cryptocurrencies in their legal frameworks.

All other countries (the 50 others) allow some form of cryptocurrency transactions or use. The United States, for example, is one of those countries that have not banned cryptocurrencies.

In fact, the U.S. has been actively building a legal framework for blockchain technology to be used in emerging technologies such as space travel and internet infrastructure. In February 2021, lawmakers introduced two bills – dubbed the “Blockchain Promotion Act of 2019” and “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act” – to provide cryptocurrency startups with legal certainty in their operations.

Earlier this month, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published guidelines for crypto derivatives. The regulator said that it would not regulate tokens derived from cryptocurrencies provided that they did not resemble securities.

Despite the increasing number of countries that have banned cryptocurrency, the technology can still flourish in other jurisdictions. For example, Singapore has made gains as the “global blockchain capital” while South Korea is known for its love of crypto and cutting-edge financial technologies.

The report further said that virtual currencies are unlikely to be legalized in countries where there is a “high risk of corruption.”The report said: “Where there is high risk of corruption, the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrency is unlikely to be legalized as such a currency weakens governmental control over the monetary system; it also opens avenues for tax evasion and other criminal acts.”