It’s high time cryptocurrency projects around the world stand up for themselves. A group of enthusiasts in Australia led by a law firm is filing a lawsuit against corporations like Facebook, Twitter, and Google for not allowing crypto ads on their platforms. In the US, crypto-related companies have asked the banks to reconsider their attitude towards blockchain and crypto.
Except for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, there is no universal guideline that would fit every country and everybody has to come up with a strategy of their own.
Some countries are more successful in working out the protocols than others. And obviously, this initiative results in a rising number of blockchain projects of all sorts.
So which countries, besides the US, are the most open-minded and supportive when it comes to crypto?
From a free environment for operating crypto exchanges to a clear taxation system (Bitcoin is considered as ‘goods’) to BTC carpool payments, Singapore is one of the most crypto-accepting countries in Asia. And this does make sense as it stands along with Hong Kong, London, and Japan, as the world’s most important financial hubs.
No wonder these areas defined their regulation policy earlier than everyone else. Crypto trading is huge in these places and controlling it is a must. Although speculation itself is not driving innovation, it facilitates progress indirectly.
Singapore has been exploring what blockchain has to offer for a while. Since 2016, Singapore’s Monetary Authority has been testing out blockchain tech to integrate it with its banking system. And recently the country’s central bank decided to cooperate with China on the subject of creating its digital currency.
Just a brief look at the map that lists merchants accepting crypto payments is enough to see that Australia is one of the countries that embraced the tech wholeheartedly. The country’s government even consults with the blockchain community on the possibilities of driving adoption of the tech in the supply chain and credentialing.
The idea is to create working groups that will figure out the obstacles on the way to adoption and come up with a collaborative strategy on how to overcome them, as well as determine the most popular use cases.
The far-reaching plans are not the only notable thing about Australia’s special relationships with crypto. As of today, you can pay with Bitcoin in the country’s post offices and use it at vending machines. If that’s not crypto adoption at its finest, then what is?
According to research done by Coinmarketcap there has been a significant growth of cryptocurrency users in nine countries this year, and Nigeria is at the top of the list. It seems like African countries have gained trust in blockchain tech and many people, including Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, think that the continent will become a new frontier for crypto.
At the moment, the official attitude towards crypto is different across the continent, but the majority of countries have yet to figure out their official position. South Africa, for instance, is currently thinking about introducing a strict regulatory framework for crypto, probably because of the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency among the general public. If you look at Google Trends, you’ll find that apart from South Africa and Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Ghana are also topping the list of the most ‘crypto-curious’ countries.
Although adoption is still not there at full speed, chances are that Africa will benefit from the crypto space the most.
When talking about crypto-friendly countries, China would be the last one that comes to mind. However, this is not entirely true – the country files the most blockchain patents in the world and they are supported by powerful allies like banks, tech companies, and other major corporations. It’s another matter that the country is not too keen on accepting any crypto or blockchain project from the outside world as they would rather create and control their own.
The main goal of the Chinese crypto strategy is to make a coin that will become better than Bitcoin or any other digital asset that has been created so far. There were a lot of talks about a digital yuan and although it looks the government is going through with it, it’s probably going to take a few years before we see the results.
As for the blockchain sector, it is also a bit different in China. The country’s official blockchain service network (BSN) that is used to create blockchain apps on top of it at a lower price is not decentralized and blockchain tech is only used in it to a degree.
Russia has been rather indecisive towards cryptocurrency. First, there were rumors that Bitcoin and other coins would be banned, then the government created a workgroup for exploring the topic and especially the possibilities of mining. And recently, a new law passed which declares cryptocurrency legal and acknowledges it as an investment asset. However, they are not accepted as a means of payment.
Despite the huge interest of Russians in the blockchain and crypto field, the confusion in the regulatory model drives entrepreneurs out of the country and many of them prefer to launch their fintech startups in a more stable legal environment in the EU area or the US.
The Bottom Line
In an ideal world, governments would act a little faster. Clearer crypto regulation policy leads to the expansion of the number of institutional investors and that, in turn, makes the whole industry safer, more stable, and fast-growing.
That’s why those areas whose economy depends on how well finance, even though digital, is regulated have quickly come up with specific guidelines and pushed adoption one step further.