The Legislative Landscape of Cryptocurrency in Syria Prior to 2023

The legislative environment for cryptocurrencies in Syria leading up to 2023 was marked by a significant lack of clarity and specific regulation. This article explores the key aspects of Syria’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation during this period.

Ambiguous Legal Status

In Syria, the legal status of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Tether, Cardano, USDT, XRP, and Monero has been a topic of much debate. The Syrian government had not officially recognized or regulated cryptocurrencies, leaving their legal status uncertain. This absence of regulation led to a legal grey area, where the status of cryptocurrencies remained unclear and associated with high risks​​​​​​.

Lack of Specific Laws and Regulations

There were no specific laws in Syria governing the use, possession, trading, or mining of cryptocurrencies. The Syrian government had not passed any specific laws regarding the use or trading of cryptocurrencies, and there were no penalties or law enforcement actions defined for cryptocurrency-related activities. However, this did not mean that the use of cryptocurrencies was without risk, as the government had issued warnings about potential dangers​​​​​​.

Existing Legislation and Cryptocurrency

The Syrian Currency Act of 2002 stated that the Syrian pound was the only recognized legal tender currency, and the authority to issue it was vested solely in the Central Bank of Syria. Thus, cryptocurrency was not classified or recognized as a currency under Syrian law. Furthermore, the Act on Foreign Currency Entry and Exit and Acquisition of Syrian/Foreign Currency and Precious Metals No. 6 of 2000 did not include cryptocurrencies as foreign currencies, as these are defined as money printed or minted and issued by a central bank. Additionally, cryptocurrencies could not be classified as a security under the Securities Act of 2005 or as a commodity under the Domestic Trade and Consumer Protection Act of 2015 in Syria​​​​​​.

Presidential Decree and Sanctions

Presidential Decree No. 54 of 2013, amended in 2020, explicitly prohibited the use of any currency or precious metals other than the Syrian pound for payments, commercial transactions, or debt repayment. This effectively imposed a prohibition on dealing with currencies other than Syrian pounds. Furthermore, since the uprisings beginning in March 2011, the U.S. government’s sanctions against Syria have impacted the country’s approach to cryptocurrencies. These sanctions have not directly addressed cryptocurrencies but may influence Syrian law regarding them​​​​.


In summary, the legislative landscape for cryptocurrencies in Syria prior to 2023 was characterized by an absence of specific laws or regulations, warnings from the government, and a general lack of legal clarity. This created an environment where cryptocurrency activities were neither fully illegal nor officially sanctioned, leading to a situation where individuals and businesses operated in a regulatory vacuum with respect to digital currencies. The absence of clear guidance or a regulatory framework meant that those engaging in cryptocurrency in Syria did so at their own risk, with little to no protection against the associated risks.

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