Germany To Be The Next Blockchain Island
Malta, named as “blockchain island,” is losing its luster. The Mediterranean island, the smallest country in the European Union,has become an attraction for companies interested to take benefit of its welcoming attitude towards tax, cryptocurrencies, and passport arrangements. They include bigwigs in the crypto industry, like BitPay, Binance, and OKex.
Malta’s financial arrangements have come under investigation from international regulators. Blockchain companies are abandoning the island—three crypto exchanges have recently left its shores, and uncertainty is giving its crypto community reason to do the same.
Other countries have grabbed the opportunity offered by Malta’s troubles, with crypto havens springing up throughout the world. Puerto Rico’s “Crypto Island,” Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley, and Blockchain City, Dubai, are well recognized. Yet here are three you may not have heard about:
Germany is not precisely an Island. It has lately taken the lead in regulating cryptocurrencies in Europe. On January 1, 2020, it becomes the first country to enable banks to store and sell cryptocurrencies.
The new measures, require custody providers and crypto exchanges operating in Germany to apply for a German license, which has been welcomed with enthusiasm, and declarations that Germany is well on its way to becoming “crypto heaven.” Analysts consider that increased regulation will encourage more institutional investors to come to Germany.
Germany, also presented the first security token license earlier this year to crypto loan company ‘Bitbond.’ Many believe the German regulator’s moves declare a thaw in attitudes to blockchain projects that will expand throughout Europe.
Presently more than 30 crypto startups call Germany home. IOTA is based there, along with ‘Bosch.’ The equivalents of Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, UBS, and pharmaceutical giant Merck are all busy establishing the blockchain space.
The island province is the nation’s southernmost point, and it’s comparatively secluded, which means it’s less inclined to regulatory inspection than cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
China launched a blockchain pilot zone in ‘Haikou,’ Hainan’s capital city, in October 2018. It hosts 175 startups, including ‘Microsoft’ and ‘HP.’
Chinese crypto exchange ‘Huobi’ has reportedly shifted its operational center and 300 employees to Haikou.
“If China is to make some breakthroughs in the blockchain industry, it is most likely to happen in two places: Hong Kong or Hainan,” said Livio Weng Xiaoqi, CEO of Huobi Global.
Thunder Block Chain, Baidu Blockchain Lab, and 360 Block Chain are among those setting up a presence in Hainan. International blockchain startups such as the ‘IOST’ blockchain network are also partnering with the government to take benefit of opportunities there.
Hainan has held around 100 blockchain conferences in the second half of 2017. At the most recent conference, in November, Yang Chen, President of Hainan’s Financial Supervisory Authority said: “We hope that Hainan will become the center of offshore innovation and entrepreneurship demonstration zone, the center of national blockchain research and application demonstration as well as the national digital asset trading demonstration zone.”
Another non-island contender. Wyoming is America’s crypto haven. The least-populous U.S. state has passed 13 laws to drive the development of the local blockchain industry and bring businesses from all over the country.
Wyoming became the very first U.S. state to classify digital assets as legal property. This means that Bakkt, Fidelity, Coinbase, and other crypto businesses can work in the country without contracting legal risks.
The state hopes that its newly built crypto custody institutions, for holding cryptocurrency, will attract a steady stream of digital assets—they allow clients to obtain customers in New York without having to perform within the financial capital’s stringent state regulations.