Asian Countries And Their Take On Regulating Virtual Assets

Virtual assets have become the new mainstream medium of financial transactions for a while now. However, the stand of Asian countries towards virtual assets varies greatly, mainly with respect to crypto assets. For instance, the SouthEast Asian nation of Cambodia is underway to integrate the underlying technology, blockchain, into their public goods, whereas China has banned it over concerns of high energy consumption. So, what is the take of Asian nations on cryptos? Let’s find out!

First Off, What Are Virtual Assets?

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

Some of the most important and essential types of virtual assets are crypto assets, specifically Bitcoin and Ethereum, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and stable coins. 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, How Do Asian Countries Respond to Virtual Assets?

As we know, Asia is the world’s largest continent, which covers approximately 30% of the world’s land area with almost 60% of the world’s population. Today, Asia is home to as many as 48 countries, including some major economies, namely India, Japan and China. And the continent is quite abuzz with cryptos and other virtual assets.

However, the countries in the continent maintain different stances on virtual assets. While some have banned it, others promote its use.

Digital Assets Regulation in Asian Countries in Detail

Let’s dig into details to understand to what extent are the Asian countries divided on the concept of virtual assets and what are the different digital asset regulations in Asian countries – 

  1. Singapore

Singapore has maintained a balance between regulatory and legal status for crypto assets. There is a financial body known as The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)  that has been vested with the power to regulate the crypto ecosystem and also to manage/ monitor any risks associated with crypto activities.

  1. China

China has changed its stand on crypto assets. Initially, it did allow its citizens to trade or mine crypto coins. However, from June 2021 onwards, a total ban has been imposed on all the crypto activities citing environmental concerns.

  1. Thailand

Thailand, too, has prohibited the use of crypto as a means of payment for goods and services as it believes that wider use of the same may pose a threat to the financial system and economy of the nation.

  1. Philippines

In 2017, the Philippines became the first nation in Southeast Asia to have announced certain guidelines regarding crypto. In the Philippines, virtual currencies are legalised, and crypto exchanges are regulated by the central bank of the Philippines.

  1. India

 At present,  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

  1. Pakistan

Cryptos are not officially regulated in Pakistan. However, they are neither illegal nor banned in the country as 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.

  1. Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, Bitcoin is considered a commodity, not a security or currency, under the laws of the nation. Thus, Bitcoins can be legally mined and traded on a local commodity exchange.

  1. Uzbekistan

 Uzbekistan, on 2 September 2018, legalised crypto trading, making it absolutely tax-free. Recently, several acts have been signed by the nation in order to support the development of crypto activities.

  1. Japan

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.

  1. Malaysia

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


It can be concluded that with regard to Asian countries specifically, the concept of crypto assets is still evolving, and it is with the advancement of new technology on the global level that various nations will streamline their approach towards virtual assets. If you are planning to invest in crypto, wait no further. Start trading on Zebpay and begin your crypto journey today!

Disclaimer: Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Each investor must do his/her own research or seek independent advice if necessary before initiating any transactions in crypto products and NFTs. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not to ZebPay or the author’s employer or other groups or individuals. ZebPay shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions, or losses incurred by the investors. ZebPay has not received any compensation in cash or kind for the above article and the article is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.

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