The various steps taken by governments and regulators have established something very widely known as ‘cryptocurrency havens’. Nations are now looking to try to attract fintech and blockchain projects to their shores, in the hope of using a potential financial revolution to boost their own agendas. Here are some of the best;
Switzerland – In under a year’s time, Switzerland put in place options for companies that accumulated around $1 million in third-party funds to test out their innovative financial technology ideas without the usual regulation surrounding finance and digital currency. They also said that banking licenses would be re-evaluated in order to allow these companies earning less than $1 million to obtain licenses for depositing and allowing crowdfunding donations to be withdrawn over a period of 60 days rather than the previous seven days.
Malta – The biggest competition to Switzerland in terms of attracting blockchain companies is probably the small Mediterranean island of Malta. The biggest vindicator was probably when Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, decided to open an office in Malta due to building regulatory pressure in Japan. However, since then, there has been an impressive level of growth for ICOs and blockchain projects. The Maltese government put forward a legal framework for distributed ledger technology, which included three crypto-positive bills. These include: Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) Act, Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services (ITAS) Act, and the Virtual Currencies (VC) Act.
U.S. – The U.S. is a major player in both the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystems, with the majority of ICO projects from the last 18 months originating in the U.S. — 16 percent of all global ICOs. But the long prevailing battle with the SEC and the ICO have often raised some doubts. Despite this, there is a lot of support for crypto and ICOs coming from the government. Whether they see value in it or are willing to foster the technology, it is hard to say. The lack of an outright ban has been encouraging, neverthless The U.S. has the best investor base and the best courts in the world.
The United Kingdom – The U.K. have far more ambiguous regulations about different aspects of the ecosystem, as they continue to decide how much, or little, they need to step in. The FCA of the state, still does not regard cryptocurrencies to be a currency or a commodity under MiFID II. They do, however, admit that some firms will be regulated where they offer products or service which are caught under existing financial regulations — e.g., Bitcoin futures. With measures still being taken to identify and define what crypto assets are, competitive advantages between states and jurisdictions will emerge. Regardless of the mentioned factors, U.K. is still looking promising; but we are still seeing the majority of ICOs in the U.K. set-up through Malta, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein or Switzerland.
Others — such as Bermuda, Estonia and Liechtenstein — are also doing their best to wrest some crypto authority with their own friendly regulations.