When currencies around the world were developed, there was a period of adjustment. For some countries, the time period was brief. For others, it took longer because the country was trying to establish its independence from another country (e.g. America). People brought over the currency from their homeland and attempted to use it for purchases. Once an official form of currency was established, purchases were streamlined. When other forms of payment were introduced (e.g.credit cards), there was another period of adjustment. The same can be said for cryptocurrency. However, cryptocurrency is a digital asset of fintech, which has revolutionised the way people make purchases. Fintech has breached a number of industries, such as real estate, retail banking, fundraising and nonprofit, and investment management. Thus, cryptocurrency is slowly being accepted in these industries and in numerous cities around the world.
In Singapore, we are already using cryptocurrency (Ducatus coin) in the network of Ducatus companies (e.g. Ducatus Cafe). There are other countries that are becoming cryptocurrency hubs as well. A cryptocurrency hub is a place where cryptocurrency is widely accepted. Below are a few countries to watch.
United States — Although the entire country does not allow cryptocurrency, there is one state that is welcoming it. Wyoming is becoming the most “crypto-friendly” state. It is positioning itself as the new “CryptoFrontier,” and has already welcomed blockchain businesses. Before it can become a cryptocurrency state, it must clarify digital assets first. In doing this, it would give banks the ability to offer custody service for digital assets. It would be one step closer to legalising crypto-related businesses. It is only a matter of time before cryptocurrency becomes legalised and widely used in this state — and in the rest of the country.
Japan — In the past five years, cryptocurrency has gained a great deal of attention. Japan began adopting cryptocurrency in 2014 with the release of Mt. Gox. It was the largest Bitcoin-based exchange not only in Japan, but also globally in handling 70% of all Bitcoin transactions worldwide. Although Mt. Gox declared bankruptcy, it didn’t slow the momentum of Japan’s cryptocurrency market. The country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) enacted the Payment Services Act in 2017, which recognises Bitcoin as a method of payment, opening the door to other cryptocurrencies. Last year, Japan created regulatory rules and began licensing trading platforms. Also, the FSA mandated that “exchange platforms must add certain securities” (e.g. cold wallet storage after a breach).
Australia — This small continent is becoming a cryptocurrency hub because it has been proactive about getting exchange registrations, which allows for the adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain. In 2017, the Australian government legalised cryptocurrency and exchanges. It ruled that cryptocurrency would be treated like property and would no longer be subject to double taxation. Further, in 2018, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre announced it would be approving more cryptocurrency exchanges. Thus, there are over 200 exchanges.
Malta — Since it recently became a fintech hub, it makes sense that it would become a cryptocurrency hub as well. The Maltese government created the Malta Digital Innovation Authority to create regulations and standards for using cryptocurrency in this island country. A number of trading platforms (e.g. Binance) have set up shop here, which is fueling Malta’s crypto market.
These countries are well on their way to becoming cryptocurrency hubs. From their successes, more countries will follow suit. There will be periods of adjustment, but they will be brief due to the innovations in fintech and blockchain.