Cryptocurrency Legislation Landscape in Algeria, 2024

As of 2024, the cryptocurrency landscape in Algeria remains under strict regulation. The Algerian government continues to uphold the ban on cryptocurrencies, initially instituted under the 2018 Financial Law. This law explicitly prohibits the purchase, sale, use, and possession of virtual currencies, characterized by their absence of physical support such as coins, paper money, or payments by check or credit card. Violations of this law are subject to punishment under existing regulations​​.

The 2018 Finance Law serves as the primary regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in Algeria. It clearly states that any form of business activity or operation involving cryptocurrencies is illegal. This includes not only the buying and selling of digital currencies but also their exchange for other goods or services​​​​. Cryptocurrency trading is strictly prohibited, and given the overarching legal context, cryptocurrency gambling is also assumed to be illegal, though no specific laws or regulations have been released on this matter​​.

However, there appears to be a discrepancy between the official stance of the Algerian government and the reality on the ground. Despite the legal prohibitions, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained popularity in Algeria. A growing number of people are using these digital currencies for transactions, such as sending and receiving money. This increasing adoption is seen in the presence of businesses that accept Bitcoin, easing its use in everyday life​​.

While the Algerian government has not officially altered its stance or released any new regulations regarding Bitcoin, it has not declared the currency illegal. This lack of explicit illegality means there’s no risk of punishment for buying or selling Bitcoin in Algeria. Nevertheless, the government advises caution, warning investors about the unregulated nature of these digital currencies​​.

Interestingly, the Algerian government seems to recognize the potential of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. It has created a task force to study cryptocurrency, indicating a possible interest in understanding and potentially regulating this new technology. While no concrete regulatory changes have been made, Algeria’s interest in Bitcoin and digital currencies suggests that the country could become a significant player in the cryptocurrency world with appropriate regulations​​.

In summary, while the official stance of the Algerian government as of 2024 remains prohibitive towards cryptocurrencies, the practical use and growing popularity of digital currencies like Bitcoin indicate a potential for change in the future. The government’s creation of a task force to study cryptocurrency further suggests a willingness to explore this financial sector, albeit cautiously.

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