The year 2018 has witnessed a global surge in the number of blockchain-based patents, research, and applications. This puts the technology in pole position among the driving force behind the ongoing technological revolution. However, it is important to note that the larger part of these developments are concentrated in a number of countries that have made themselves relatively conducive and friendly blockchain investments and projects.
How Does a Nation Create a Conducive Environment for Blockchain?
Certain nations of the world that are presumed to have realized the potentials of blockchain technology and how it can enhance economic growth and development have been noted to put in place friendly policies and initiatives that will effectively promote the adoption of blockchain within their borders. Some of the methods adopted by these nations, as observed include:
- Introduction of tax incentives for blockchain-based firms
- Introduction of legislation that will ease the way blockchain-based firms do business
- The exploration of ways to incorporate blockchain into public service systems.
The above listed methods have been consistent across certain countries where there are concentrations of blockchain activities, especially with emerging projects. These countries include:
In May, a report revealed that Switzerland topped the list of blockchain-friendly nations. This came as no surprise as Switzerland had introduced tax policies that favor crypto and blockchain firms. In particular, a municipality in Switzerland, Zug is popularly known as “crypto valley” since it is home to some of the biggest firms in the crypto space. In addition, Switzerland was one of the first countries to introduce a regulatory framework for ICOs, as such, blockchain activities generated over $1.4 billion to its revenue in 2017.
Malta’s efforts to become one of the powerhouses in blockchain technology saw them record the highest economic growth in the European Union. The 6.6 percent rise in Malta’s GDP was attributed to its policies designed to promote blockchain-related investments. To further consolidate on this progress, Malta is planning on setting up a watchdog that will oversee crypto-related firms and investments.
Japan was one of the nations that benefited from China’s blanket ban on cryptocurrencies as it welcomed many of the crypto firms leaving the shores of China. As a result, 50% of bitcoin traded in December were linked to Japan-based crypto exchanges. In addition, bitcoin is classified as a legal tender in Japan, therefore, over 30 percent of Japan’s citizens presently use virtual money to perform basic transactions. According to Aron McDonald of Centrality, “Japan is far ahead when it comes to cryptocurrency and blockchain”.
Surprisingly, China’s persistent clamp down on cryptocurrency has not affected its commitment to blockchain’s development. Over $3.5 billion has been invested in blockchain by China-based firms and the number of blockchain start-ups in the country continues to surge. In addition, China tops the list of countries with the highest number of blockchain-related patent filings. As such, there is a number of ongoing blockchain projects sponsored by the government. One such project is the implementation of a blockchain Charity tracking system.
Needless to say, the commitment and actions of these countries have directly contributed to the explosive increase in the development of blockchain applications. They are positioned at the forefront of the ongoing industrial revolution and other nations are studiously following their footsteps.
Ifeanyi Egede is an experienced and versatile blockchain technology and cryptocurrency content writer and researcher with tons of published works both online and in the print media. He has helped several startup companies grow their businesses in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Ifeanyi has close to a decade of writing experience, and when he is not writing, he spends time with his lovely wife, Tega and adorable daughter, Chimamanda.