Uncertainty about the future of digital assets in the West has sparked discussions about the location of the next international cryptocurrency hotbed. Currently, the biggest innovators in the industry are still found in the United States, but that is set to change very soon due to a host of persistent and direct attacks on the industry from regulators. There is a potential multi-trillion dollar market to unlock in the cryptocurrency world.
Unfortunately, it seems that the United States is determined to drive out innovative companies, and there is no shortage of countries to welcome these companies with open arms. However, which countries will win the battle and unlock the colossal opportunities before us over the next ten or twenty years?
As the United States continues to tread water and organizations like the SEC fail to define the basics of what is a cryptocurrency and what is a security, entire countries like El Salvador the are introducing as legal tender, and some casino companies are beginning to accept as a form of online payment.
Digital assets, by design, are cutting edge, innovative, and more convenient than traditional finance, so gambling using Bitcoin (BTC) is the next logical step for many casino operators to continue making a profit. Bitcoin Poker works the same way as the game with a traditional currency. However, when you play 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 main payment methods in the casino industry. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities of crypto, and the countries we will be reviewing 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 regulators are well equipped to provide a firm but fair atmosphere for investors and traders to innovate.
This relates to the broad world of finance, whether in crypto or centralized traditional banking. By embracing the disruptive financial innovation of cryptocurrency instead of pretending it will simply disappear into the ether, Singapore could be one of the countries that reaps the rewards of clarity and security in some of these cryptocurrency companies, which could soon transform the world we live in.
Hong Kong is another Asian country looking to attract the wealth and presence of some of the most innovative blockchain companies in the world. While several companies have already said they are assessing the potential of operating their business from Hong Kong, regulators have responded that although they are crypto-friendly, regulation will be robust.
There seems to be a common misconception that cryptocurrency wants to operate in an unregulated market. However, this is not the case; they want clarity to adjust their business models accordingly. Ripple in the US has been seeking clarity for years and is now embroiled in a long and costly legal dispute with the SEC.
Their CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, has publicly stated that he now employs more people overseas than in the United States. Therefore, he wants to move all of their operations out of the United States regardless of the outcome of the court case, and this is a real case example of innovative cryptocurrency companies and of blockchains driven out of the world’s largest economy in real time.
Hong Kong is ahead of the United States in terms of adopting technology and providing the right frameworks in which these companies can operate, just like other countries like El Salvador, which could have easily feature in this article today.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is arguably the most forward-thinking country in the world when it comes to digital assets and blockchain technology. In 2023, the government announced that it would have a trading zone free of crypto and digital assets. Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse has previously expressed strong interest in moving his multi-billion dollar business to the region due to their current cryptocurrency rhetoric.
In the coming years, you expect waves of innovative cryptocurrency businesses to settle in UAE cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Yet much depends on how long it takes for the United States to properly regulate the industry, and whether regulation will stifle the industry or allow it enough flexibility to permeate our society for the greater good.
If the US introduces a fair and strong set of regulations, it could help fuel the US economy and innovation in the sector. Still, it’s a hugely important moment, and it could go either way.