Asian Countries and their take on legalising virtual digital assets

Virtual assets are fast emerging as one of the new and mainstream medium of financial transactions. This has been happening for a while now. However, Asian countries have adopted varying stance towards regulating virtual assets, especially crypto.

For instance, the SouthEast Asian nation of Cambodia is in the process of integrating the underlying technology, blockchain, on to their public goods. China, on the other hand has completely banned it owing to concerns such as high energy consumption. So, in this blog we will explore the take of Asian nations on cryptos? So, here we go:

First Off, What Are Virtual Assets?

Virtual Assets are the digital representation of an asset that is capable of being traded digitally. Further, virtual assets can be transferred besides being used for payments or investment purposes. In today’s rapid-paced world, virtual assets enable all of us to make financial transactions in an easy, faster and hassle-free manner.

Crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and stablecoins are some of the most important and essential forms of virtual assets. Today, the global crypto market is worth over $2 Trillion. A majority of this traction comes from Asia, which is touted as the next financial hub of the world.

So, What is the response of Asian countries towards Virtual Assets?

As you know, Asia is the world’s largest continent, covering approximately 30% of the world’s land area and almost 60% of the world’s population. Today, Asia is home to major economies such as India, Japan and China. And the continent is buzzing with cryptos and other virtual assets.

However, various countries in the continent have been maintaining different stances on virtual assets. While some have banned it, others promote its use. So, here we dwell further on regulation of digital assets in Asia:

Digital Assets Regulation in Asian Countries in Detail

Let’s dig into some depth to understand the extent to which Asian countries are divided on the concept of virtual assets. We will also look at the different digital asset regulations in Asian countries –

  1. Singapore: monitoring the potential risks emerging from crypto activities

Singapore has been maintaining a balance between regulatory and legal status for all its crypto assets. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the financial body of Singapore, has been vested with the power to regulate the crypto ecosystem. It is also tasked with managing and monitoring any potential risks emerging out of crypto activities.

2. China: imposes a total ban

China has changed its stance on crypto assets. Although, initially, it allowed its citizens to trade or mine crypto coins, however, starting June 2021 onwards, the nation has imposed a total ban on all the crypto activities by citing environmental concerns.

3. Thailand too prohibits crypto

Thailand, on its part has prohibited the use of crypto as a means of payment for goods and services. This is because it believes that the wider use of the same could pose a threat to the financial system and economy of the nation as a whole.

4. Philippines regulates Crypto trade

In 2017, the Philippines was one of the first nations in Southeast Asia to announce certain guidelines pertaining to crypto. In Philippines, virtual currencies have been legalised, and crypto exchanges are regulated by the central bank of Philippines.

5. India imposes tax on crypto

At present, in India, as per the Central Board of Direct Taxation, any person making a profit from crypto trade is liable to pay taxes on them which shall be 30%.

Read About: Crypto Tax in India

6. Pakistan does not officially regulate crypto

Cryptos are not officially regulated in Pakistan. Pakistan has neither made crypto illegal nor banned it in the country. Prominent Pakistani bloggers and social media influencers are publicly involved in trading Bitcoin and publishing content on social media in favour of regulating crypto assets. It was in December 2020 that Pakistan passed a resolution to legalise crypto assets in the country.

7. Kyrgyzstan makes Bitcoin mining legal in local commodity exchanges

In Kyrgyzstan, Bitcoin is only considered as a commodity. Under the prevailing laws of the nation it cannot be treated as a security or currency. However, Bitcoins can be legally mined and traded on a local commodity exchange.

8. Uzbekistan legalises Crypto trading

Uzbekistan, on 2 September 2018, legalised crypto trading. The country also made it absolutely tax-free. Several acts have been signed recently by the nation in order to support the development of crypto activities.

9. Japan regulates Crypto exchange businesses

Crypto exchange businesses have been regulated in Japan since April 2017 by the Payment Services Act. However, crypto exchange businesses need to get them registered, store records of all transactions and undertake appropriate measures to protect their users.

10. Malaysia does not recognise Bitcoin as legal tender

Malaysia had issued a statement on 6 January 2014 that Bitcoin cannot be recognised as a legal tender in the country. The Central Bank of Malaysia does not even regulate Bitcoin operations.


It can be concluded that among Asian countries the concept of crypto assets is still evolving, and various nations will streamline their approach towards virtual assets only with the advancement of newer technologies at the global level. So, If you are planning to invest in crypto, look no further. Just Start trading at Zebpay and begin your crypto journey now!



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