When blockchain technology was introduced in 2009, very few countries attempted to explore its huge potential. This has since changed, and in 2019, many countries are taking regulatory measures meant to bolster blockchain ecosystems and encourage blockchain adoption.
Here are the countries that have embraced blockchain technology and are using it to solve various problems:
Malta has positioned itself as the ‘blockchain/cryptocurrency island’ thanks to its progressive approach to blockchain technology. In 4th July 2018, the Malta parliament passed one of the most blockchain-friendly regulatory frameworks in the world. Early on, on 12th March 2018, they had approved an equally friendly legal framework for distributed ledger technology.
Malta is also helping improve and enhance new regulations that are friendly to ICOs (Initial coin offerings) and blockchain startups. Thanks to the nurturing environment, major cryptocurrency exchanges like OKEx, BitPay, and Binance have moved to the island. According to the Malta prime minister, Joseph Muscat, Malta hopes to be a pacesetter in adoption and regulation of blockchain technology.
The Japanese where are among the first to start mining and using Bitcoin way before it gained real-world value. Taking a cue from the Japanese cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the Japanese government played a key role in shaping blockchain and cryptocurrency regulations thanks to its swift reaction to the rise of Bitcoin.
Now, Japan is among the few counties in the world with a properly defined cryptocurrency regulation. In April 2017, Japan passed a law recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender. And as per the records, over 3.5 million Japan citizens trade cryptocurrencies — the Japanese Yen accounts for half of the fiat currency BTC volume and it’s the most used currency for BTC trading.
Japan’s tech-oriented population and government are encouraging blockchain technology and pushing Japan to the forefront of the blockchain revolution.
According to Blockshow, in 2018, Switzerland was the most crypto-friendly country in Europe. It’s also home to Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss non-profit that developed one of the largest blockchain platforms, Ethereum.
The Swiss government policies offer excellent services to companies pursuing blockchain powered businesses. Also, Switzerland is home to the world’s leading blockchain labs — TU Delft (NL) and ETZ Zurich (CH).
The most attractive regions of blockchain in Switzerland are Zurich, Zug, and Geneva. Zug, popularly known as ‘cryptovalley’ in the blockchain community, offers a tax-free haven for crypto investors.
Thousands of blockchain-based startups are based in China. The Chinese government also supports its own cryptocurrency and smart contract platforms like NEO, Qtum, VeChain, TRON, and others.
China was the leader in crypto mining before the government banned cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs. But even with the ban, blockchain technology is thriving in China. Chinese blockchain patent applications have quintupled since 2016 and now China is leading when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrency patent ownership.
The US is a leader in both blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystems. 16 percent of all global ICOs originate in the US. The US also holds the largest number of blockchain startups.
A lot of US-based financial firms are investing in blockchain technology in order to streamline their operations and to create more efficient channels for processing financial transactions. And, some of the largest US companies like Subway and Microsoft now accept a digital currency.
Also, both the federal and many of the state governments are exploring or implementing blockchain based public service projects.
Countries that invest in the adoption and development of blockchain technology are set to gain huge economic benefits.
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