There are a couple of question on the site now which could have a lot of different answers depending on what country you're in.

Should questions like this be split into one question for each country or should all answers be collected in the same question?


2 Answers 2


For now, the answer is equally vague for all countries, so there isn't really a point in asking multiple questions.

I say we leave it at that for now, and if the global question becomes too cluttered we can split it up later.

  • 1
    +1 to this. Right now, the answers for legal questions are always something like "there aren't any laws". There's no need for 100 threads of those...
    – nmat
    Sep 2, 2011 at 18:46
  • 1
    Makes sense I guess. But does this mean that a question about the legal status in a specific country would be closed? There could be some good answers to such a question. "I have been in contact with [some authority] and they told me that...".
    – D.H.
    Sep 3, 2011 at 6:11
  • 1
    @D.H. - Let's see when we have such a question, and more importantly and country-specific answer.
    – ripper234
    Sep 3, 2011 at 6:48

Here's my own opinion. By collecting answers for all countries in the same question we make it harder for users to find good answers. A person looking for an answer to one of the above questions will be interested mostly in the answer regarding his/her own country ("Am I allowed to open an exchange?").

If all answers are collected in the same question there could be 100 very good answers to the question. The top 5 might be about the U.S. The good answer regarding Bolivia might be answer #50. The StackExchange concept should enable people to find the best answers by simply browsing the top ones.

So: Split up the question if the answer depends on geographic region.

Note: This doesn't mean that you can't have a question/answer summarizing the legal status around the world.

  • 3
    I think the defining point, realistically, is what level of clutter the question will provide. If someday 5 countries outlaw bitcoins and the question is "What countries have outlawed bitcoins" a bulleted list of 5 countries isn't cluttered at all. If over 200 countries have adopted Bitcoin-centric legislation and the question asks for a summary of all of them, that's too much. This is a rough question because it requires a judgement call with no easily defined boundaries. Sep 1, 2011 at 18:40
  • Yeah, I think that the "What countries have outlawed bitcoins" falls under my last note of a question summarizing the legal status. Do you agree though, that the "What are the legal processes that someone would have to go through...?" is a typical question with high clutter potential? There clearly has to be one answer per country.
    – D.H.
    Sep 1, 2011 at 19:24
  • We should also probably define what legal questions or general economics questions are actually within scope too. "Is Bitcoin legal in Germany" is clearly a constructive question, but beyond a certain point we aren't (most of us) lawyers and this isn't legal.stackexchange.com (which I don't think exists yet). We clearly need some criteria for certain specific cases that we all know will come up. Sep 1, 2011 at 19:34
  • 1
    There is also the issue of a question becoming too localised. Once of the reasons to close a question is that it is too restricted. I gave serious thought to making the "Legal Process for Exchanges" question a Community Wiki entry. This might have promoted a single answer per country with multiple contributions from local experts which would keep the answers local and relevant for people looking over them later. However, I was swayed by the fact that the forum is still very young and people would prefer to answer questions that garnered reputation.
    – Gary
    Sep 1, 2011 at 20:57

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