The crypto race is on. Following the explosive and exceedingly public gains of Bitcoin in 2017, it should come as no surprise that countries have moved quickly to try to fit the growing cryptocurrency sector into their existing regulatory frameworks. But not all regulatory strategies are seen equally. For blockchain startups and cryptocurrency investors alike, a clear framework which allows for both growth and exploration is key to operations.
It is for this reason that many startups seem to crop-up in countries that might not be the first guess of someone trying to pinpoint the homeland of their favorite project. Binance, for example, has begun operations in blockchain and crypto hub Malta, to the interest of many. Other companies have even considered moving out of more confusing regulatory scenes—such as the United States—in an effort to more closely follow the law and flourish in more favorable conditions.
But with all the pressure put on businesses to bend and twist around existing metrics for regulation, equal thought must be allotted to the countries vying for the attention of cryptocurrency investors. For nations that successfully draw the interest of both retail investors and near-institutional cryptocurrency organizations, the economic impact could be major and fantastic. For a while, it was Asia and the United States which sat at the top of the crypto pile.
According to new reports, however, Europe has seen an incredible increase to their token sale value, nearly totaling up to an amount higher than both all of Asia and the United States put together. In simplest terms, it seems that Europe is quickly on its way to become the next cryptocurrency hub in the growing global crypto sector.
The Fabric Ventures Report
Venture capitalist investment fund Fabric Ventures released an official study detailing what they believe to be some of the main contributory reasons behind the massive expansion of public interest in ICO funding in 2018 within Europe. In particular, the report highlighted the willingness of countries in the EU and in all of Europe to set out clear regulatory boundaries as one reason that the industry continues to flourish.
Additionally, the separation of European Union economies and the efforts of the EU to continue to develop countries and economies all over the continent have both been factors in the astonishing increase to overall interest in Initial Coin Offerings. In total, ICOs operating in Europe have raised around USD $4.1 billion, which is nearly twice the earnings in the United States and over double the funds raised in Asia in 2018.
Effective Regulation In Friendliness
The Fabric Venture report highlights the prevalence of “do-no-harm” regulatory approaches in Europe as one of the reasons that ICOs have done particularly well in the region in 2018. When a country takes a fairer stance on crypto, they allow blockchain companies to attempt to innovate and expand operations without the fear of arbitrary sanctions of regulations.
By contrast, Asian countries like Hong Kong and Singapore have been stepping up their regulatory game on cryptocurrencies, with both nations having recently classified the assets as securities, subjecting them to a whole new ballpark of regulatory concerns.
The Future Bitcoin Hub
Europe has already made a name for itself on several occasions for being a hub of innovation for blockchain and crypto technology. Both Malta and Gibraltar are known as “crypto nations—” and with very good reason. But aside from these easy targets, the Fabric Venture notes that cities all across Europe are home to a budding trend of massive startups which help to spur innovation and public interest in blockchain in the area.
As the regulatory “sandbox” expands in many parts of Europe, the report concludes that project formation in the strong EU will continue to be a major factor in their race to become one of the global leaders in increasingly valuable blockchain technology’s creation.