Is Bitcoin Mining Legal?

Our guide to the legality of bitcoin mining.

For the most part, yes, bitcoin mining is most likely legal in your jurisdiction. However, there are some places around the world where possession and use of bitcoin are illegal and bitcoin mining is illegal as well.

Through North America and Western Europe, bitcoin is relatively accepted by legal authorities and some laws have been passed to better define its legal status. If you live in a jurisdiction where legal frameworks have been established around bitcoin, then bitcoin mining might be a practice that enjoys some legal protections. In many places around the world, bitcoin and bitcoin mining tend to be legal by default — because no law has been passed to determine its legality one way or another, they are not technically illegal.

Where Is Bitcoin Mining Illegal?

The map of places that have outlawed bitcoin mining is constantly evolving. If you are concerned that bitcoin mining might be illegal in your particular jurisdiction, you should consult a local lawyer or legal advisor to confirm.

In general, bitcoin mining is illegal in places where the government directly opposes bitcoin because of its ability to compete with the national currency, undermine the government’s authority at large or due to general misunderstandings about the technology.

Also, it should be noted that other cryptocurrencies can also be mined through means that are illegal in virtually any part of the world — namely, through the use of malware that hijacks other computers and uses their power to mine (sometimes known as cryptojacking). This practice sees malicious actors take over unsuspecting users’ personal computing devices remotely and instruct those devices to mine other cryptocurrency and send the rewards elsewhere, running up the victims’ energy bills. Though this is not a feasible way to mine bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies can be mined this way and then converted into bitcoin.

It should also be noted that throughout the world, even in places where bitcoin mining appears to be the most legally acceptable, governments will prosecute those who use bitcoin for what they deem as “illicit” purposes. Anyone who mines bitcoin should be aware not only of the legal status of that practice in their jurisdiction, but of the uses for bitcoin that its given government finds acceptable.

Finally, please note that this guide is not meant to constitute legal advice and that any reader who wants to know more about whether or not the use of bitcoin or bitcoin mining is illegal should consult a legal professional.