Emerging Blockchain Markets: The Global Perspective

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>> This article is for informational purposes only and is not financial advice. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.

Cryptocurrency adoption nearly doubled by the end of 2018, but for cryptocurrency to develop into a daily tool used by the masses, these numbers will need to increase rapidly. Compared to global markets, the US has lagged behind in establishing cryptocurrency regulations although Wyoming and other states have made progress in creating legislation. So far, up-and-coming crypto markets from around the globe have instead led the charge on cryptocurrency as an everyday tool.

The reasons for the increased adoption rates in these emerging markets vary from mistrust of financial organizations and higher inflation rates to chasing innovation and bettering the local economy. Global spending on blockchain technology is estimated to reach $11.7 Billion by 2022, and these markets are capitalizing on this growth to draw investor and development interest. These are the countries to watch as emerging blockchain and crypto spaces:

Venezuela

Since 2014, Venezuela has been caught in the grips of hyperinflation due to ongoing local crises. With the value of the Bolivar rapidly declining, Venezuelans turned en masse to Bitcoin, Dash and other established altcoins to continue with their daily transactions while the national currency fluctuated wildly in value. Of the over 3000 Dash-accepting merchants worldwide, more than half call Venezuela home, a number increasing week by week as new vendors join the network.

The adoption of Dash in Venezuela is particularly interesting as the local crypto community and vendors have contributed proposals to the Dash development team, many of which have been implemented. Venezuela continues to be in a unique position where crypto is less volatile than the local currency and the community is actively contributing improvements to the network and aiding adoption by introducing more members.

Zimbabwe

On the African continent, Zimbabwe has been earmarked as a center of growing crypto adoption. The crypto market in Zimbabwe has grown out of necessity much as it has in Venezuela; the country is also plagued by hyperinflation and locals often face issues such as struggling to acquire USD, the preferred method of payment over the devalued local currency.

John Mangundya, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, has publicly come out in support of cryptocurrency and blockchain implementation, as has the new finance minister Mthuli Ncube. Zimbabwe is also one of the few African countries to currently have Bitcoin ATMs available, and the country’s largest exchange Golix is rapidly expanding into Kenya, Uganda and other surrounding countries.

Apart from using cryptocurrency to trade and make payments, Zimbabweans are also increasingly depending on crypto to store their life savings due to the mass loss of savings that took place during the 2008 financial crisis.

Malta

Malta has become popular as the “Blockchain Island” due to their advancements in creating regulatory frameworks for the technology, and the crypto world has certainly taken notice. This openness to innovation by lawmakers has led to local events like the growing Malta Blockchain Summit and bigger exchanges like Binance and OKEX opening offices in the area. These crypto-welcoming regulations have created a high-potential space not only for crypto and blockchain investors, but also for AI and other technologies to develop, and the Maltese government is pushing to be the leader in the space.

Recent reports have indicated Malta as having the highest number of cryptocurrency trades in the world in December 2018. Malta has also surpassed Hong Kong and the United States in crypto trade volume due to these legislations, and experts predict big things for the island in 2019.

Estonia

Since becoming one of the first EU jurisdictions to legislate cryptocurrency, Estonia has developed into a mini Baltic crypto haven. At first gaining ground as a home to crypto adoption due to the efforts of local legislators, the local Estonian government have granted over 900 licenses to cryptocurrency companies and blockchain startups in 2018 alone.

This development has in part also been fueled by Estonia’s groundbreaking e-citizenship program, which has greatly aided the necessary KYC compliance of local crypto businesses. Estonia has also moved towards putting citizens’ electronic health details on the blockchain to safeguard from data leaks and hacks, and have plans to put the tech to use in more community-impacting ways.

Outside of the US which has lagged in regulation, there are many new and still developing blockchain and cryptocurrency hubs across the globe to pay attention to. These hubs shine some light on what large scale adoption would be like in different use-cases and circumstances, and what is needed to reach the next frontier. Whether turning to crypto due to hyperinflation and financial crises, or to create new economic potential, these countries are setting an example in the possibilities of the technology.

— What do you think is the most interesting emerging crypto hub?

Disclaimer: Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not financial advice. Future profits are not implied nor guaranteed, past performance does not guarantee future outcome. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest. Caviar tokens are not, and will not, be registered with the SEC, and are not offered or sold to persons and entities from the USA and the Cayman Islands.

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