Crypto legalization has not hit the mainstream stage yet. Most countries are either reluctant to adopt the technology or stand against it. In this article, we shall explore regions where cryptocurrency is legal.
Governments, for the most part, have no direct benefit from cryptocurrencies. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that crypto is illegal in several countries, even if it’s against the self-interest of the citizens.
After all, it undermines the government’s economic control, and hence, their sovereignty over their citizens.
Fortunately, some countries choose to see the opportunity rather than be swayed by fear or self-preservation tendencies.
Above all countries, Malta has established itself as a key player in the crypto industry and blockchain space. In fact, the majority of trading volume in the entire crypto market comes from Malta-based exchanges.
The small European country has an open door policy towards crypto, as exemplified by its willingness to adopt three blockchain bills.
- Digital Innovation Authority Bill — this enables the Maltese government to secure validity for cryptocurrencies
- Technology Arrangements and Services Bill — administers a legal framework that enables crypto companies to easily start their business
- Virtual Financial Assets Bill — oversees regulatory tasks for all things crypto including token offerings, exchanges, wallet developers, fund managers, etc.
After the bills have been legislated, Malta became a land-grabbing destination for all sorts of crypto companies, especially exchanges and STO/ICO startups.
The Malta AI and Blockchain summit is also a world-leading event for emerging technologies like blockchain. Crypto enthusiasts from all over all the globe gather in Malta every year to discuss the latest trends and cutting-edge technologies.
The Switzerland government has a very positive view towards cryptocurrencies, with some municipalities even accepting Bitcoin for tax payment purposes.
The country also allows crypto banking and securities services, with their regulatory supervision. This means that institutional or professional crypto clients can avail of banking services when necessary.
Despite having stringent AML regulations, Switzerland is considered one of the most welcoming countries for crypto businesses.
A remarkably popular crypto destination is Zug, which is dubbed “Crypto Valley” due to the sheer number of established crypto startups in the region. More than 800 blockchain-based firms call it home.
The number of crypto jobs have increased from 3,300 in 2018 to 4,400 in 2019, and it still continues to grow and flourish.
The top 50 crypto companies have raised around $4 billion, valuing them to a total of $25.3 billion.
Fun fact: Zug houses five giants in crypto: Ethereum, Bitmain, Facebook’s Libra, Dfinity, and Polkadot.
Singapore is a global financial powerhouse and is considered of the world’s top crypto havens.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has focused its efforts in regulating cryptocurrencies to protect its citizens, at the same time granting crypto companies enough flexibility to operate without being hindered.
The government has a neutral stance when it comes to cryptocurrency transactions. On the other hand, crypto exchanges and service providers only need to register to local authorities before they can do business.
It needs to be noted though that the government does not necessarily promote cryptocurrencies. They are more excited about blockchain and are encouraging more people to continue developing this technology.
MAS also spearheaded a blockchain project called Ubin, which explores the use of blockchain and DLT in creating a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
Japan is another notable country where cryptocurrency is legal. The land of the rising sun is home to the world’s former largest crypto exchange, Mt Gox, and has been a crypto hub for a long time.
Japanese people are also hefty traders. Despite a mere population of 127 million people, the Japanese yen comprises 11% of the global trading volume for BTC. Furthermore, the country has 21 approved crypto exchanges.
The Japanese government has also legalized cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. However, they aren’t too fond of privacy coins. They see cryptocurrencies like Monero as a tool for criminals to launder money.
For this reason, they banned the use of privacy coins in the country.
Hong Kong views cryptocurrency as a virtual commodity but has not finalized any legislation to define its terms. Its government believes that many virtual currencies do not fall under “securities”. However, new regulations are coming later this year.
Anyone is allowed to transact with cryptocurrencies freely as long is it done in good faith. No money laundering is allowed of course.
Running an ICO or STO, however, does require some compliance measures but is perfectly doable in the country.
Whether crypto should be regulated or not is one of the most heated debates in the industry.
Many die-hard crypto influencers like Andreas Antonopoulos stand against it because they believe it simply can’t be regulated. After all, crypto is a decentralized system, and hence, you couldn’t control it no matter how hard you try. Well, decentralized cryptocurrencies, that is. However, the regulation does help prevent fraud and money-laundering activities.
Do you think countries should accept crypto with no laws whatsoever?
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