The uncertainty about the future of digital assets in the West has kickstarted discussions about where the next international home of cryptocurrency will be. Currently, the biggest innovators in the sector are still in the United States, but this is likely to change very shortly due to a host of persistent and direct attacks on the industry from regulatory bodies. There’s a potential multi-trillion-dollar market to unlock in the world of cryptocurrency.
Unfortunately, it seems as though the United States is hellbent on driving innovative companies away, and there’s no shortage of countries looking to welcome these corporations with open arms. However, which countries will win the battle and unlock the colossal possibilities that lay ahead over the next ten or twenty years?
While the USA continues to tread water and organizations like the SEC fail to define the basics of what a cryptocurrency is and what a security is, entire countries like El Salvador are bringing it in as a legal currency, and some casino companies are beginning to accept it as a form of payment online.
Digital assets, by design, are forward-thinking, innovative, and more convenient than traditional finance, so gambling using Bitcoin (BTC) is the next logical step for a lot of casino operators to continue making a profit. BTC poker operates in the same fashion as gambling with traditional currency. However, when you gamble using digital assets, you remove the need for a bank to oversee the transaction in the middle, and you don’t have to store your financial information on a server.
Crypto gambling also prides itself on anonymity, so there are clear reasons why it is becoming one of the leading payment methods within the casino sector. However, this is the tip of the iceberg regarding the possibilities of crypto, and the countries we’ll be looking at today are well aware of this.
Despite its relatively small size compared to other Asian countries, Singapore has one of the wealthiest populations per capita, second only behind Luxembourg in recent statistics. Singapore’s financial regulatory authorities are well-equipped to provide a firm but fair atmosphere for investors and traders to innovate.
This is across the broad world of finance, whether in crypto or centralized, traditional banking. By embracing the disruptive financial innovation of cryptocurrency instead of pretending it’ll just disappear into the ether, Singapore could be one of the countries that reap the rewards of providing clarity and security to some of these cryptocurrency companies, which could soon transform the world we live in.
Another Asian country that is looking to bring in the wealth and presence of some of the world’s most innovative blockchain companies is Hong Kong. While several companies have already stated they are weighing up the potential of operating their businesses out of Hong Kong, regulatory bodies have responded that although they are crypto-friendly, the regulation will be robust.
There seems to be a common misconception that cryptocurrency wants to operate in a regulation-free market. However, this isn’t the case; they want clarity to adjust their business models accordingly. Ripple in the United States has been looking for clarity for years and is now embroiled in a lengthy and costly legal dispute with the SEC.
Their CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, has come out on record and stated that he now employs more overseas people than he does in the United States. So therefore, he wants to shift their entire operation away from the United States, irrespective of the court case outcome, and this is a real live case example of innovative cryptocurrency and blockchain companies being driven out of the world’s biggest economy in real-time.
Hong Kong is streets ahead of the United States regarding embracing technology and providing suitable frameworks where these companies can operate, as are other countries like El Salvador, which could have easily been featured in this article today.
United Arab Emirates
Arguably the most forward-thinking country in the world when it comes to digital assets and blockchain technology is the United Arab Emirates. In 2023, the government announced it would have a crypto and digital asset-free trade zone. Brad Garlinghouse of Ripple has already expressed a strong interest in moving his multi-billion-dollar company to the region due to their current rhetoric on cryptocurrency.
In the coming years, you’d expect waves of innovative cryptocurrency companies to set up in UAE cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Still, much of this depends on how long the US takes to regulate the industry properly and whether the regulations will choke the industry out or allow it enough flexibility to permeate our society for the greater good.
If the United States brings in a set of fair and firm regulations, it could help fuel the American economy and innovation within the sector. Still, it’s a critically important time, and it could go either way.