Best Crypto Friendly Countries For Blockchain Startups
Despite the growing popularity of blockchain technology and its transformative capabilities, there is a massive disparity in the way different jurisdictions deal with this innovation. In this regard, some governments are welcoming, others are equivocal, and some are unwelcoming. Typically, factors such the favorability of the regulatory framework, tax regime and political goodwill have a substantial impact on the suitability of setting up a blockchain startup in a given country. Hence, it is important to choose a nation that offers a conducive environment for the establishment of cryptocurrency platforms because this increases the possibility of realizing the project’s goals.
Below are the best ten countries for the creation of blockchain startups.
Malta For Blockchain Startups
Of late, Malta has been implementing friendly regulations as its aims to live up to its billing as ‘the world’s blockchain island.’ For this reason, the Binance cryptocurrency trading platform opened an outlet in the country earlier this year. Furthermore, the exchange recently announced that it is planning to launch a crypto bank in the country soon.
The legislative arm of the Maltese government has contributed enormously to the creation of this favorable environment. The parliament is actively seeking the contribution of the public in the drafting of rules concerning the regulation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain enterprises. The primary objective of the regulation is to issue clarification, making it easier for both individual and institutional investors to establish blockchain companies.
Besides friendly legislation, the government of Malta has also openly supported the concept of distributed ledger technology. The country’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, said that though the enactment of regulation is not a straightforward process, he is confident that once implemented, Malta will be the go-to location for crypto startups worldwide.
Estonia For Blockchain Startups
In recent times, Estonia has been gaining traction amongst crypto startups as the preferred location for hosting such companies. The reason behind this popularity is the establishment of the e-residency program that enables entrepreneurs to become digital citizens of the country. According to the initiative’s managing director, Kasper Korjus, the main advantages of the e-residency program include zero corporation tax on undistributed profits and 100% online cross-border management. Moreover, the program also has a secure digital identities feature, a convenient alternative to lengthy and expensive KYC procedures. Lastly, Kasper revealed that users can link their e-residency profile to their digital wallets, making it easier to recover lost crypto tokens.
Besides having a friendly tax regime, Estonia’s crypto regulations are equally favorable. The country requires all blockchain startups to acquire a trading license, but the registration process is welcoming. Also, the nation is considering to launch a crypto token, known as the estcoin, in the near future.
Switzerland For Blockchain Startups
Undoubtedly, Switzerland is one of the renowned blockchain hubs in the globe. The country is home to leading projects such as the Ethereum foundation, Tezos and Xapo. Additionally, Switzerland has also created the Zug, Europe’s Crypto Valley.
As expected, the Swiss government has deployed a regulatory framework that is appealing to both developers and investors. To this end, the nation’s economics minister recently announced the enactment of laws that clarify the government’s legal stance on ICOs. The country’s taxation regime is also favorable to crypto startups, and the stern nature of data protection and privacy laws is particularly popular with crypto investors.
United Kingdom For Blockchain Startups
Four years ago, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) create a project known as Innovate. Essentially, Innovate is a regulatory sandbox through which developers simulate their projects to ascertain their applicability in real-life situations. Therefore, the developers enjoy a conducive environment without necessarily putting investors at risk in case the project fails prematurely. During the project’s launch, FCAs executive director, Chris Woolard, said that the sandbox was a first of its kind, and it highlights the agency’s commitment to adopt an innovative approach in enforcing regulations.
Initially, the Innovate project admitted 18 blockchain projects, with many more being added in the subsequent years. As a result, London has gradually morphed into a global blockchain powerhouse, in addition to being a renowned fintech center. Therefore, most crypto projects find London alluring because of the ease of raising capital as compared to other cities in the world.
United States of America For Blockchain Startups
Due to its unique governance model, the favorability of crypto trading in the US varies from state to state. As of now, the states that have a functional regulatory framework include, Texas, Nevada, Arizona, and New Hampshire. For instance, Nevada does no impose taxes on blockchain transactions, while Arizona acknowledges the use of smart contracts.
Notably, most of the remaining states require crypto currency platforms to obtain trading licenses form relevant agencies before offering their services to the public. Thus, in America, it is important to select a state that has favorable legislation before establishing a cryptocurrency startup.
Belarus For Blockchain Startups
In December 2017, Belarus became the world’s pioneering nation to acknowledge the use of smart contracts as legal agreements. The law, which received the president’s approval, also legalized ICOs and digital currencies. Consequently, investors can freely engage in cryptocurrency trading with minimum restrictions. Moreover, such trading activities will not attract taxation until 2023.
According to Vsevolod Yanchevsky, the director of the Belarus Hi-Tech Park, the ratification of the laws is significant demonstration of the country’s commitment to creating a friendly platform for crypto startups. Precisely, Vsevolod mentioned that Belarus is one of the world’s most ambient locations for the launching of blockchain enterprises.
Gibraltar For Blockchain Startups
Despite its small size, Gibraltar is an attractive location for blockchain entrepreneurs due to the presence of a host of friendly features. Last year, the country created the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange, (GBX), a digital asset trading platform. The GBX is a subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange.
Ultimately, the GBX intends to become the first linseed and regulated crypto exchange that is run by an EU regulated stock exchange. Before going live, the GBX had received listing request form over 200 tokens. As per Nick Cowan the CEO of GBX, tokenization is here to stay. Nick predicted that in the near future, governments as well as leading corporate institutions will resort to digital currencies as the primary method of raising funds. He further added that institutional investors will soon adopt the use of cryptocurrencies.
Gibraltar is hopeful that the success it enjoyed in the gambling sector will be replicated in the crypto industry. In this regard, the country has drafted a legislation that features a friendly tax regime.
Cayman Islands For Blockchain Startups
Over the years, the Cayman Islands have earned a reputation for their exemplary financial services. Similarly, the country has embraced a welcoming stance on digital currencies and ICOs, explicitly classifying ICOs as non-securities. This is because ICOS are not regularly traded instruments.
Additionally, the tax regime is equally as appealing. Currently, the only charges levied on such crypto transactions is the obligatory 7.5% stamp duty.
Singapore For Blockchain Startups
Following the adoption of a neutral stance on digital currencies by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), blockchain startups have been setting up in the country at an increased rate. Besides, the presence of excellent technological infrastructure makes Singapore an ideal location for the establishment of cryptocurrency platforms.
Mauritius For Blockchain Startups
Like Singapore, Mauritius’ stance on blockchain startups is neutral. Also, the country has created a sandbox for the simulation of nascent crypto platforms.
In addition, Mauritius does not categorize ICOs as securities. Specifically, the law stipulates that unless an ICO whitepaper defines the token in question in a way such that it meets the classification of a security, the ICO will remain unregulated.
Lastly, Mauritius boasts of state-of-the-art infrastructure, a favorable legal system and reliable internet connections, factors that are likely to promote the rapid deployment of blockchain companies.