Several countries are racing to become the world capital of cryptocurrency technologies. Bermuda, Gibraltar, and Malta are now competing with France to lure cryptocurrency companies to establish headquarters in their respective capitals.
Advancing Initiatives to Expedite the Growth of the Crypto Industry
Tax havens and business paradises such as Bermuda, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, and Malta are fiercely strategizing about how to attract crypto entrepreneurs. These countries and territories are passing or easing legislation to make their environments more enticing for crypto businesses. The New York Times reports,
In Malta, the government passed three laws on July 4 so companies can easily issue new cryptocurrencies and trade existing ones. In Bermuda this year, the legislature passed a law that lets start-ups doing initial coin offerings apply to the minister of finance for speedy approval.
Welcome to #Malta
@binance. We aim to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies -JM @SilvioSchembri https://t.co/3qtAQjOpuQ
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) March 23, 2018
Bermuda is also aggressively putting forward initiatives to facilitate the growth of its fintech industry. Bermuda’s Digital Asset Business Act 2018, recently enacted by the House of Assembly, aims to set up a framework “to regulate persons carrying on digital asset business and for the protection of the interests of clients or potential clients of persons carrying on the business of digital asset business.”
Liechtenstein seems to be already a few steps ahead in this race. The principality’s banks can facilitate crypto transactions on behalf of their clients and provide advice on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
Yanislav Malahov, also known as “The Godfather of Ethereum,” and founder of Aeternity, illustrates how easy is to incorporate a crypto company in Liechtenstein, saying to Forbes,
“You can open a company without a bank account, just by using Bitcoin or Ethereum.”
In January 2018, Gibraltar passed legislation to facilitate fintech innovation. Specifically, the Distributed Ledger Technology Regulatory Framework aims to protect customers of cryptocurrency business in British overseas territory.
As a consequence, the local recruiting agencies such as Recruit Gibraltar are enthusiastically becoming involved in the crypto industry.
Most recently, one of Gibraltar’s soccer teams, Gibraltar United, announced that it would become the first team to pay its players with cryptocurrency.
Powerful European Countries Are Also Luring Crypto Start-Ups
Not only small countries, overseas territories, and European principalities want to incubate and lead the crypto industry. France and Switzerland also wish to be hubs of this industry.
For instance, admitting that he once was wrong regarding cryptocurrencies, the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire now calls for making France the epicenter for blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
In effect, in March 2018, Le Maire emphasized that “the interests are aligned” between the government on one side and the crypto community on the other. And, he outlined his plans to back the French blockchain and crypto industry, assuring entrepreneurs of his “total and determined support.”
Switzerland already makes it easy to attract Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into the country because of low taxes and supporting regulation. Notably, Ethereum is incorporated in the Swiss city of Zug. Moreover, for the last two years, Zug, also known as the “Crypto Valley,” has been accepting Bitcoin payments for services.
Crypto enthusiasts are encouraged because many countries are now starting to envision the amazing opportunities that Bitcoin and its technology offer to improve their economies. As a result, many of them share the same purpose, as Malta’s prime minister put it,
We aim to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world-class fintech companies.