It’s only been over a decade ago since Bitcoin, the first ever cryptocurrency, was released to the public. It was met with speculation, skepticism, and distrust as many users couldn’t begin to wrap their heads around a form of intangible money which only exists in a digital wallet.
As the years passed, plenty of other cryptocurrencies joined the mix, and there are now more than 2,500 different kinds of virtual tokens in circulation globally. While initially met with resistance and even labeled as a scam, more and more people were able to understand blockchain technology and how this makes cryptocurrencies a secure alternative to Fiat money.
Fast forward to today—cryptocurrencies have advanced to a point where they are now being adopted commercially. Different countries have embraced existing altcoins, while some even plan to create their own.
Below is a list of countries that have opened their doors to cryptocurrencies and how this decision is benefiting their nation.
Countries Embracing Cryptocurrencies
This Southern European nation is one of the most Bitcoin-friendly countries in the world, as well as a frontrunner in the global cryptocurrency industry. While Malta still primarily uses Euros, they have plans of becoming “The Blockchain Island.”
Their Prime Minister has expressed his goals for the country, stating that he wants Malta to be a trailblazer in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and be home to world-class fintech companies. This led to the formation of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) in February 2018. The MDIA aims to improve the verification processing for crypto platform users as well.
As a result, a lot of crypto companies are looking to invest in Malta. Binance, one of the top ten cryptocurrencies worldwide, already decided to set up their headquarters in Malta. It won’t be long before other businesses join in, and the Maltese economy will thrive because of these altcoins.
It’s probably not all too surprising to see Japan on this list, as the Asian country is a pioneer and innovator in virtually all things tech. The world’s first Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, is based in Tokyo. The inventor of Bitcoin even had a Japanese screenname: Satoshi Nakamoto.
In fact, Japan was the first country to officially recognize Bitcoin as “legal money” in 2017. By 2018, they had already regulated the cryptocurrency exchange, influencing other countries to do the same. 50% of Bitcoin’s trade volume reportedly comes from Japan in Yen.
The effects of embracing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency will translate into a boost in the Japanese economy and GDP as well. It has already created more jobs and will encourage traders and investors to continue developing this industry.
Estonia is one of the countries that embraced Bitcoin early on. Their government isn’t just open to Bitcoin but various cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology as well. Things are looking exciting for Estonia as they plan to develop their own digital currency for trading and purchasing goods.
The open-minded approach of Estonia to cryptos led them to further explore the blockchain tech that powers altcoins and apply it to other industries. Currently, they are planning to incorporate blockchain in their health and banking sectors to streamline their government services.
Switzerland, dubbed Crypto Valley, is also famous for cryptocurrency businesses. Shapeshift and Xapo are just two of the top crypto businesses that operate here. The country is all about taking a progressive approach towards cryptocurrency, going as far as approving Bitcoin for utility bills payment and ticket payments nationwide.
The introduction of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology lead the Swiss government to experiment with the improvement of their financial systems. Voting and banking are the top two sectors currently being revolutionized by blockchain in the country.
Hong Kong is another Asian powerhouse when it comes to adopting cryptocurrencies. It was reported that although China had already banned Bitcoin, Hong Kong is a Chinese administrative country whose attitude towards altcoins is more open.
The Hong Kong government is mainly discussing the implementation of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in their financial systems, especially banking. They are also open to blockchain-related businesses setting up their HQ there. The government is very active in discussing the future of altcoin investments to boost its economy and grow its tech industry as well.
Hong Kong is also looking forward to further capitalize on various new blockchain applications, such as cloud storage, messaging, and various other peer-to-peer transactions.
Cryptocurrencies Will Continue to Rise
As time goes on, people are starting to trust cryptocurrencies and understand the gap that they’re trying to fill in the market. It won’t be surprising to find out that the list of countries open to cryptocurrencies will reap a myriad of benefits that will empower its people. Some states are already creating their own altcoins and recognizing them as legal tender, such as the Marshall Islands and Venezuela.
We won’t be seeing the last of digital currencies any time soon. As different industries and countries are continually investing and testing its feasibility, the cryptocurrency industry is bound to grow.