Within the last year, we’ve seen the coveted wealth that cryptocurrency has brought to many. Unlike brokerages, central banks, and other mainstream financial products, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology propel the world towards anonymity and security. Because of this, many crypto advocates wonder where the next hub will be. Will it be somewhere cold with low electricity costs for currency mining, or tropical with a Wall Street, ritzy feel? This answer is all the above.
Countries around the globe are racing to build an ecosystem around digital assets and blockchain technology. Here are three standouts.
The Philippine government has had mixed reactions to the dynamic blockchain industry. Earlier this year, the country’s central bank did not allow for the use of cryptocurrencies due to its potential for use in money laundering and other illegal activities.
Recently, however, the Philippines reversed its stance on the matter. It plans to license ten companies to work within the country’s Cagayan Economic Authority Zone (CEZA). These international companies specialize in mining, filing ICO’s and trading. Licensed companies will be required to invest $1 million or more and pay $100,000 in regulatory fees, according to Coindesk.
Switzerland is synonymous with concealing the names of all bank account holders and has become a financial haven. Now, the country takes on a new challenge: to become the next cryptocurrency hub.
The country repealed bank secrecy laws on January 1, 2018, amid a lot of international pressure. But, it’s clear that Switzerland still chases the inherent values of monetary anonymity.
Currently, Switzerland has a variety of companies engaged in building the first blockchain hardware. Sirin Labs, which recently announced its Swiss headquarters, is building the world’s first blockchain smartphone and desktop.
Zug, a city otherwise known as “Crypto Valley,”is a WeWork-style FinTech incubator. It is home to the Ethereum foundation and currently houses 200 blockchain startups. According to Cryptoslate.com, many startup owners say that the country’s cryptocurrency-friendly tax code is the biggest driver of the movement.
Malta, a tiny country nestled in the Mediterranean, may be the most prepared for the onset of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
On June 26, 2018, the Maltese Parliament laid out legislation to pave its way to becoming an international crypto hub. Pieces of legislation, titled 43, 44, and 45, layout regulations and reporting protocol for companies involved in crypto trading, ICOs, and mining. The former head of the country’s housing authority, Stephen McCarthy, will lead the country’s new watchdog – the Digital Innovation Authority.
Companies are absolutely ecstatic. Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, has committed to making Malta its headquarters. OKEx, another large exchange, also pledged its alliance with the Maltese government. Although the island has a tiny population of 440,000 people, it is in a great position to capitalize on its dream of becoming the next crypto hub.
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