Clouds are gathering over future prospects of cryptocurrencies in some countries. Someone can not figure out the legal status of digital assets, and some are simply banning all innovations in this area. However, some places seem more than ready to embrace crypto and blockchain. Crypto-cities, crypto-capitals and even crypto-beaches are starting to appear all over the world. You will definitely find a place for yourself. Gather up your suitcase, we're going on a journey!
First, let's go to the Southern Hemisphere and the Australian city of Brisbane. This warm attitude towards cryptocurrencies can be seen as soon as one steps off the plane. The local airport is the first in the world to announce support for crypto. Travelers can pay in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in shops and restaurants in two airport terminals using the TravelbyBit payment system.
Here in Brisbane is the office of the leading Australian bitcoin-platform - Living Room of Satoshi. The company has a program called Pay Anyone, which allows bitcoin users to transfer money to their friends, service providers, even if the recipient has no clue on what is crypto. The Living Room of Satoshi gives you the opportunity to pay utility bills with digital money, pay off credit card payments, tuition fees, for communication services and even taxes. The company was awarded the TechCrunch in the category "Best New Startup in Australia", as well as "Best in the state of Queensland".
If you drive 400 kilometers north of Brisbane, you will find yourself in Agnes Water, a place that declared itself the first cryptocurrency city. More than 30 local companies - from hotels and tour operators and restaurants - started accepting cryptocurrencies for payment. The idea of turning Agnes Water into a crypto сity was suggested by a local real estate agent. He saw how his colleague wanted to take payment from the client in bitcoin, but didn’t know how to process it. Then local businessmen decided to adopt the experience of Brisbane Airport. For the launch of the digital payment infrastructure in Agnes Waters also supported TravelbyBit. Crypto startup says that many companies across Australia use their developed applications for working with cryptocurrencies, but their highest concentration is in Agnes Water.
Now let's fly over not just to a city, but a whole ‘blockchain island’. Of course we are set for Malta, which is rapidly becoming one of the most attractive places in the world for fintech, crypto companies that are already taking full advantage of the regulatory decisions of local authorities. For example, Malta has welcomed the likes of OKex, Binance and BitBay exchanges as well as many other firms dealing with crypto.
The government is confident that it will be the cryptocurrencies that will form the basis of the future world economy. Officials of the state also understand that the advantages of cryptocurrency can be used right now. In July, the Parliament of Malta passed three bills regulating the industry of crypto and blockchain. Thus, the island state became the first jurisdiction in the world, providing legal certainty in this area. New laws will help calm investors, and crypto companies will receive the necessary tools for action in the legal field.
Also in Malta a first decentralized bank will soon begin to operate. Founders Bank will be completely unique, as it does not belong to any corporations, individuals or legal entities, instead anyone who buys tokens of the bank will become an owner. Such a system will allow owners of tokens to participate in management of the bank through a smart contracts system. Fundraising for the project will be carried out on the Neufund platform. It is assumed that the core customer base of the bank will comprise of technological and fintech companies.
And we move to an even hotter place of Dubai, which has all the chances to become the center of the fintech among the countries of the Middle East. Here, blockchain technology is already widely used for a variety of services. A few years ago it became known that the government of Dubai will transfer all state document circulation onto the blockchain by 2020. As a result, residents of Dubai will need to enter personal data or business data only once in the blockchain, where they will be kept unchanged.
The transfer of state document circulation to distributed ledger technology is part of a broader initiative to create standards for smart cities of the future. In addition, the ultimate goal of the initiative, which is implemented by the government of Dubai, will be the distribution of a successful blockchain-platform to other cities around the world.Within the framework of this program, the Ministry of Department of Economic Development (DED), with the support of the administration of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the initiative group Smart Dubai and IBM, has developed a commercial block registry for business. A platform called Dubai Blockchain Business Registry is designed to simplify the process of registering and operating companies in Dubai. It will also ensure compliance with regulatory standards and help firms in obtaining foreign direct investment.
Recently it became known that the courts of Dubai International Financial Center (DIFS), regulating civil and commercial disputes in the financial sector, are planning to launch a blockchain-based platform. Not only will the system settle blockchain-related disputes but it would also streamline legal operations. This will allow different vessels to share information through a decentralized network.
Canton Zug, Switzerland
Now we are moving to an equally wonderful place, but be warned, some warmer clothes may be needed,but we can not pass up an opportunity to visit Canton Zug in Switzerland. It has become a global center for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology and even though it has only 23,000 inhabitants, the city houses a staggering 12,000 companies. Several years ago, local authorities agreed to take bitcoin as payment for public services. As a result, cryptocurrency and blockchain-companies flocked to Zug, among which is the Ethereum Foundation and Shapeshift.
Due to the Crypto Valley, Switzerland plans to become "crypto nation". The purpose of the Valley is to build the best ecosystem in the world for blockchain and other related technologies. In addition, thanks to Zug, the country last year ranked second in the world after the United States in terms of the volume of funds raised through initial coin offerings (ICO).
Canton Zug is considered one of the best places for conducting cryptocurrency business due to its friendly regulatory environment and the policy of attracting technological startups for doing business in the region. However, the process of registering a company in the canton is time-consuming and expensive. It’s also worth noting that the cantonal authorities do not strive for breakthrough growth, but are moving towards crypto on a step by step basis. According to authorities, Zug has not plans to rapidly become a smart city, like Dubai.
The glory of the canton Zug obviously gave a few sleepless night to some in South Korea. So we hope you have you have your swimsuit ready since up next is the "Crypto Beach." In June 2018 it became known that a technology town with this name will be located on the beach of Haeundae in Busan in the southeast of the Korean peninsula.
Haude is a popular place for recreation, where every summer thousands of tourists come. It is assumed that "Crypto Beach" will be classified by the government as a commercial research center. At the moment, South Korean startups are forced to conduct ICO outside the country due to restrictions imposed by the authorities. This causes concern for officials. In their view, this shows that the state lacks understanding of mechanisms of how the new technology operates and the advantages it can give.
And now let's go through the RewardExpert analyzed search traffic and geographical data to find out which U.S. states are most interested in cryptocurrencies. Researchers utilizes Google trends traffic for five keywords: “cryptocurrency”, “bitcoin”, “ethereum”, “ripple”, and “litecoin” to determine the states most interested in cryptocurrencies. They also used GIS data containing the locations of all known establishments that accept bitcoin as a form of payment, as well as bitcoin ATMs, revealing states where customers can use cryptocurrencies for purchases and other transactions.
California tops the ranking, which comes as no surprise, as it is one of the major technology hubs in the U.S. The state has over 500 establishments where bitcoin is an accepted form of payment. There are also no surprises when it comes to the second place, which is New York. Local residents’ interest in litecoin and ethereum helps boost New York’s overall trends score for interest in specific currencies to 96.25 of 100. New Jersey falls behind New York by a fraction of a percentage point, coming in third overall.
Washington, D.C. however tops the list of states that use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with 4.49 ATMs per million residents, and 2.39 establishments per million residents that accept bitcoin as a form of payment. New Hampshire is in second place, with 62 organizations accepting the top cryptocurrency as a form of payment statewide. Georgia comes in third - the state has the most locations where you can automatically convert cryptocurrency into fita moneys. There are also 24 bitcoin ATMs available statewide.