As part of its global expansion, Coinbase has announced that it has been granted regulatory approval from the Netherlands' national bank.
Cryptocurrency is a hot topic across the globe and while not all countries are on board the notion of an ungoverned means of payment, others have leaped at the innovation.
Here we explore three of the countries who decided to embrace the technological movement of money from central banking to decentralized blockchain in both the country and the legislation.
As one of the first countries to take significant note of Bitcoin cryptocurrency, and blockchain, Japan has become one of the world’s leaders in crypto-adoption.
The relationship became official in April 2017 when the country’s authorities made the decision to allow cryptocurrency as legal tender. The newly formed bond became even stronger when neighboring countries, like South Korea and China, took a step in the opposite direction by issuing a cryptocurrency and blockchain ban. Making things even more exciting for the country and crypto is Tokyo – the pride and joy of the cryptocurrency industry in the area – which claims its title as the blockchain hub of Asia.
If we look at the figures, Japan makes up a whopping near 50% portion of all global Bitcoin transaction. Last year, the nation’s Financial Service Agency (FSA) gave room in the market for eleven trading exchanges to convert cryptocurrencies
In 2017 Japan’s Financial Service Agency (FSA) approved 11 exchange operators to enter the Japanese markets, as well as cryptocurrencies which can be traded on these platforms and the government set up an official framework through the payments services act (PSA) to make it easy for virtual currencies to be used to make everyday payments.
Because of its widely adoptive nature towards digital currencies and blockchain, many investors and developers look to Japan for projects and business and crowdfunding initial coin offerings are prominent in the nation.
Japan received even more cryptocurrency attention in January when a major cryptocurrency exchange in the country, Coincheck, was hacked and the theft of over $534 million USD in funds was felt by its users. This might sound like a negative point for Japan’s solid relationship with cryptocurrency – it possibly would be, if not for the fact that the exchange is making every effort to refund the customers the funds that were lost during the attack.
United Arab Emirates
In a region which is known for its excessive wealth, willingness to spend and technological innovation it comes as no surprise that the United Arab Emirates is one of the cryptocurrency’s advocators.
There are several blockchain goals in the next few years for the region. The country of Dubai hopes to claim its prize as having the first “blockchain powered Government” by the year 2020. Dubai is an early adopter of cryptocurrency and the government created the country’s coin – the Dubai Coin (DBIX) at the beginning of 2016. While it might not be picking up the prices of Bitcoin, it is significant as a symbol that the UAE isn’t shying away from virtual currencies.
Looking a little ahead, the “UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021” is hoping to save the government a massive $3 billion USD annually. The initiative, in a nutshell, will do this by developing the four current governmental pillars onto blockchain – the transactions of citizen and resident happiness, government efficiency, advanced legislation, and global entrepreneurship will be managed on blockchain – saving resources and time.
Cryptocurrency is used as tender even in the real estate market and a person (who could afford it) is able to pick up a luxury apartment in the elite Aston Plaza Development for up to 40 Bitcoin tokens. A pretty penny for a pretty accommodation.
This British Overseas Territory land might not a well-known name across the globe, but it seems to look after itself well in the digital department.
The nation off the coast of Spain announced plans earlier this year to introduce regulations on initial coin offerings – a first in crypto-history. The regulations will be law formed and instituted by the country’s government who teamed up with Gibraltar Financial Services Commission to write the document. The aim is to create a space which will see the cycle of virtual currencies within the country and will regulate the “promotion, sale and distribution” of crypto tokens.
Although not a kingpin in cryptocurrencies like Japan or the UAE, Gibraltar’s regulations on initial coin offerings shows an embrace not only of the concept to blockchain and digital currencies but of a much more controversial mix of risk.
If Gibraltar is able to get the right regulations in place, it might be able to create a template for other nations which would be a game changer for the fundraising method for cryptocurrency companies.
Fun bonus fact about the country: Some UK citizens would rather sacrifice Scotland than Gibraltar for Brexit.