The pioneers: Top 10 Most Crypto-Friendly Countries in the World Right Now
Around the globe, usage and awareness of blockchain and cryptocurrency are steadily advancing. However, the adaptation does not go everywhere at the same pace. Some countries have recognized the potential of the new technology earlier and jumped on the crypto train, while others lag behind and others in the opposite direction and try to limit the spread of crypto-adaptation.
Today, let’s first look at the countries that are at the forefront of adopting blockchain applications. In doing so, we consider the state of regulation of cryptocurrencies and the underlying ecosystem as well as initiatives to use the blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies. Here are the top 10 most crypto friendly countries in the world.
If one thinks of countries that are often associated with cryptocurrencies, one would probably have come late to the Arab Emirate of Dubai. However, since this list is equally about the acceptance of cryptocurrency and the use of blockchain technology, the emirate has earned a place in the top 10. For more than two years Dubai has been working to become a Smart City with the help of Blockchain.
In the meantime, the desert state has taken some steps in this direction. By 2020, for example, all government documents are to be managed on Blockchain. The Land Registry already made a start with the land registration, which has been running completely over the Blockchain for almost a year. The emirate has already been awarded a prize for its blockchain initiatives.
Bermuda is known as a tax haven that offers fairly relaxed rules for businesses. While this reputation in many cases seems dodgy, the island state is trying to counteract and to set a direction, especially in the blockchain industry. In a position paper on cryptoregulation, Blockchain companies are asked to act according to clear rules on Bermuda.
In addition, Bermuda and Binance managed to land the world’s largest crypto exchange. As stated in a joint agreement, the Binance Charity Foundation plans to invest a total of $ 15 million in crypto programs and blockchain start-ups.
The city-state of Singapore is open to both cryptocurrencies and blockchain and its multiple uses. The government and the central bank are pursuing a clear blockchain strategy aimed at connecting central banks worldwide through distributed ledger technology. Also in port logistics, the state in the South China Sea wants to make the blockchain more usable.
In terms of cryptoregulation, they had long opted for a free-hand policy for crypto companies, which in addition to many good projects also attracted dubious business models. However, as the central bank stopped a scam ICO this year and called on the stock markets to abide by rules, it set an important mark for law and order.
While the acceptance of the bitcoin is still struggling in other countries, a monument has already been erected in Slovenia. In the city of Kranj, you can drive around a huge Bitcoin coin in a roundabout. In this way, every traveler should be made aware that the small Balkan state is serious about becoming one of the European Blockchain hubs.
The country is already well on its way. Supported by the government, Slovenia is home to a whole host of innovative blockchain start-ups. It is also a popular location for initial coin offerings thanks to friendly legislation. In addition, the crypto-adaptation is advancing: in Slovenian shopping centers, you can already pay for your coffee in Bitcoin.
6. Hong Kong
Hong Kong, strictly speaking, is not a separate state, but merely has the status of Special Administrative Region within the People’s Republic of China. Since Hong Kong is allowed to shape its own fate in financial and economic policy, we are still opening the city here. In particular, in its role as Special Administrative Region with special economic freedoms, it fulfills an important function in the Chinese crypto-ecosystem.
Hong Kong, for example, was a safe haven for crypto trafficking following the state-enforced voluntary closure of crypto exchanges in the country. The largest Chinese crypto exchanges moved to Hong Kong. Thanks to their physical and cultural proximity, they were able to continue to facilitate trading in cryptocurrencies.
For Gibraltar, the situation is quite similar to Hong Kong. The lintel in the very south of Spain is officially part of the United Kingdom but has largely free hand over economic policy. The small state would like to use these freedoms to become the blockchain hotspot in the Mediterranean.
The main goal here is to help with crypto-friendly regulation. First, Gibraltar began issuing a license for FinTech companies last year to attract blockchain start-ups. This year, they went one better and put regulation of ICOs on the way. This should encourage these blockchain companies to launch their token from Gibraltar. At the same time, legal conditions protect investors and customers.
Malta is the jurisdiction that argues with Gibraltar for the crown in the Mediterranean — and currently has the nose ahead. Similar to Gibraltar, Malta provides a framework for crypto companies with Blockchain-friendly legislation. The island state still has another ace up its sleeve.
The former Chinese crypto exchange Binance, the world’s largest market for cryptocurrencies, moved to Malta this year. Together with the Exchange and some other investors, the first decentralized bank based in Malta is now opened. In the future, Founders Bank will offer a token system with which investors can participate in the company.
The Japanese crypto community is one of the largest in the world and has profited disproportionately from the crypto-defensive attitude of the Chinese government. Accordingly, a clear regulation of the crypto market is necessary. Unlike smaller, deregulated locations such as Malta and Gibraltar, Japan — the world’s fourth largest economy — opted for a “hard but fair” approach.
For example, last year a law came into force, which includes an increased control of all companies active in the crypto market, especially crypto exchanges. Thus, the financial market regulation FSA is possible to implement targeted anti-money laundering guidelines (AML) and know-your-customer principles (KYC). Bitcoin has also been declared a legal tender under this law.
After a thorough review, eleven crypto exchanges received an official license from the Financial Regulator as of October 2017. This created clear conditions for the trading venues as well as for the many crypto enthusiasts in Japan and eliminated uncertainties. Even after the hack of the Crypto Coincheck reacted and pulled the black sheep out of the race under the Exchanges. Thus, the Japanese government builds confidence in its own crypto-ecosystem and lays a foundation for the sustainable development of cryptocurrencies in the country.
The Representative for the whole of Switzerland could simply be the “Krypto-Valley” train. The mix of innovation-promoting legislation and the slowly establishing adaptation of cryptocurrencies makes the Swiss canton a popular starting point for numerous cryptoprojects. Between 50 and 100 companies and start-ups are said to have their headquarters there.
Mayor Dolfi Müller wants to turn Zug into a “global village” known in the global fintech industry. In addition to an ICO Code of Conduct, which should direct the issue of own tokens in regulated ways, they also launched a test attempt with elections on the Blockchain.
But also at the federal level, Switzerland plays a leading role. So she set up a blockchain taskforce at the beginning of the year to explore possible fields of action in the field of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Shortly thereafter, generous guidelines for ICO regulation were produced. Only one of their own national cryptocurrency is still waiting — this was once again refrained from.
Estonia climbs the top spot on the list, which may seem surprising to many at first sight. In fact, the Baltic country has been part of the European avant-garde for quite some time when it comes to digitization. Of course, the blockchain technology will not go undetected by the Estonian government.
Estonia was one of the first countries to consider issuing its own cryptocurrency. In addition to the already existing eResidency program, they wanted to establish an Estcoin for payment processing. If the European Central Bank had put a stop to the efforts (Reason: In the euro-zone, there may be no other legal tender than the euro) — who knows, maybe the Petro would have been spared us as the “first state cryptocurrency”.
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Marko Vidrih @cryptomarks
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