Every four years (usually) the world meets for a celebration of sport and competition in the Olympics. In the spirit of Tokyo 2020, let’s look at countries earning gold medals in different areas of the cryptocurrency and blockchain space.
The sports offered at the Olympics have changed over the years, and the current Summer Olympics in Japan include a total of 33 different sports. Exciting competitions such as skateboarding and surfing were added for Japan as the global showpiece is constantly evolving and using different sports.
The cryptocurrency and blockchain space is similar in this regard. Many different parts of the work make for a colorful community that is both united and shared by their preferences for cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms.
Let’s take a look at which countries and institutions are taking home gold medals in their respective crypto and blockchain codes.
Gold for the introduction of Bitcoin goes to … El Salvador
Sport often has fans cheering the underdog, and El Salvador has grown into one of the lesser-known players to hit the global stage in 2021. The Central American country made headlines this year when it was officially the first in the world to do the Recognize Bitcoin as legal tender.
Without delving into the details, El Salvador’s Congress voted to pass President Nayib Bukele’s Bitcoin law recognizing bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender alongside the US dollar, with 62 votes out of a total of 84 in accordance with the new legislation.
The law allows citizens to pay for goods and services in Bitcoin, and Bukele also stated that the Salvadoran government will guarantee the convertibility of BTC to USD at the time of any given transaction. The government plans to toss $ 30 worth of BTC out of the air to every citizen later that year.
There were critics of the law change both at home and abroad, but the general sentiment seems positive for the introduction of Bitcoin and a change in perception towards the standout cryptocurrency.
Nevertheless, the country still faces a few final hurdles. First, the International Monetary Fund issued its own warning on the potential disadvantages of countries adopting Bitcoin that are currently experiencing unstable inflation rates.
Second, some citizens of El Salvador have also expressed their skepticism about the move. A survey of 1,233 citizens carried out at the beginning of July showed that almost half of the respondents didn’t know about bitcoin. Of those surveyed, 20% agreed with the move, stressing the need for an awareness campaign to complement the progressive move to make BTC legal tender in the country.
Change often meets with uncertainty and resistance, but in terms of progress and acceptance, El Salvador wins the gold medal in this first category.
Switzerland adopts silver in this category thanks to its crypto-friendly laws that have encouraged the use of cryptocurrencies and companies operating in this area. The USA takes the bronze medal thanks to the efforts by Miami’s Bitcoin-friendly Mayor Francis Suarez, who has driven several Initiatives to promote the use of BTC.
China leads the CBDC race but anti-crypto guidelines result in disqualification
China has been a powerhouse in the Olympics for the past two decades with its sports program that has produced an excellent pedigree of Olympic weightlifters, gymnasts, divers, shooters, and martial artists. In the world of cryptocurrencies, the story is very different.
China has taken a strict stance on cryptocurrencies and continued that policy into 2021, with the total mining ban completely rebalancing the Bitcoin mining ecosystem.
Interestingly, the nation is way ahead of the world when it comes to developing a full-fledged central bank digital currency, or CBDC. For the past 18 months, China has piloted and extensively tested its Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP).
Colloquially known as the digital yuan, citizen began testing the facility through lotteries award a small number of participants in different cities with a digital yuan, which they can use to pay for goods and services from thousands of participating providers via a mobile app.
There’s no denying that China has paved the way for its CBDC to be developed, tested, and rolled out. In the same breath, DCEP is a government-controlled program, and the ins and outs of the technology and systems that power the digital yuan are shrouded in mystery.
However, China’s recent bans on mining in various regions and its zero tolerance for cryptocurrency exchanges mean it doesn’t have to reckon with a medal despite its well-developed CBDC program. Fortunately, a number of other countries have also made significant strides in developing their own CBDCs.
In the world of sports, fans often stand behind the underdog, and this is certainly the case with the Bahamas and their Sand Dollar CBDC. The country has made significant strides in developing and testing its own CBDC, and became the first country to go live in October 2020.
The sand dollar ecosystem continues to engage more local banks and financial institutions, paving the way for widespread adoption of the CBDC and a fully digital payments environment. The Bahamas are the deserved recipient of the gold medal in this category.
Sweden has started its first pilot for the e-Krone CBDC with some local banks and external participants. While it continues to test its system with local financial institutions, Sweden deserves the silver medal in this category.
Cambodia and Ukraine have been approved by a recent for their own CBDC development programs. credited report from PricewaterhouseCoopers who share the bronze medal in this category.
North America in the race for gold in Bitcoin mining
China was undoubtedly the gold medalist in Bitcoin mining, but that is rapidly changing in 2021. Recent estimates suggest that China accounted for more than 70% of the global hash rate before various mining operations existed forced to close in June.
Those firms that could quickly find greener pastures would appreciate their mining equipment. While various countries in Asia would be the closest location to a move, North America is fast becoming the new center of cryptocurrency mining.
Research by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance shows that the hash rate of US-based miners steadily on the advance last year and the recent regulatory move in China only accelerated that point.
The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index world map is not yet complete reflect the data from China’s regional mining bans in June to get a better understanding of how the geographic distribution of the bitcoin mining hash rate has changed. The current map shows the distribution from March 2021.
Still, from August 2019 to March 2021, the US saw its contribution to the global hash rate increase from 4% to 16%, putting it in second place after China in terms of hash rate. This is largely due to a concerted effort by the major mining companies in America steadily increases their hash rate by purchasing new equipment during this time.
Kazakhstan has also opened its doors to relocating bitcoin miners out of China and has seen a share of the bitcoin hash rate rise to around 8% of the global rate, according to the latest Cambridge report.
China’s share of the global hash rate dropped below 50% while the United States is up. However, this picture has not yet taken into account the large relocation of mining operations from China.
It may be too early to award the US the gold medal for Bitcoin mining, but the country seems well on its way to taking over the leaderboards if it continues at the same pace. China’s crackdown on mining leads to a disqualification, making the US the new gold medalist in this category.
Kazakhstan takes silver with an 8% contribution to the global hash rate, while Iran takes the bronze medal with its 4.6% share. Canada and Malaysia just miss the podium in the category.
The regulatory race ends with a photo finish
When it comes to progressive regulation driving the adoption and use of cryptocurrencies, there are a number of countries that are competing for a crypto gold medal and can boast of having developed regulatory parameters that help the industry in their locations too thrive.
Malta has positioned itself as a blockchain island for a number of years, attracting a number of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto service providers. The regulation of the land package is attractive as crypto holders do not have to pay capital gains, wealth or inheritance tax on their holdings, but trading is subject to income tax.
Singapore is another country that has put in place extensive laws that have made it clear what cryptocurrency firms and service providers must do in order to operate in the country. Singapore is also one of a handful of countries that do not levy capital gains tax on cryptocurrency income.
South Korea has long been a country with an avid user base of cryptocurrencies and often sees Bitcoin trading at far higher prices than the rest of the world. Since then, the country has developed strict regulatory frameworks, but has also taken a number of initiatives to help Promotion of various services based on blockchain technology.
Switzerland is another strong contender in this category due to its progressive stance on the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Early 2021, the canton of Zug has finally been rolled out its ability for residents to pay taxes in BTC and Ethereum (ETH).
Canada plays a prominent role in this race as it was the first country to approve a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). The launch of the first Bitcoin ETF in February 2021 was a Huge success, with the Toronto Stock Exchange’s Purpose Bitcoin ETF trading nearly $ 100 million on day one.
All in all, Canada was celebrated its progressive regulatory environment for the use of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are classified as commodities and their use for goods or services is treated as an exchange.
These five countries are therefore ending the race for crypto and blockchain regulation in a photo finish that is difficult to name. While we address slow motion playback, we can confirm that Canada has gold in this category because of its wide range of crypto-friendly regulations, from ETFs to clear tax laws and cheap mining tariffs.
Malta is taking silver as its status as “Blockchain Island” has waned somewhat due to a change in governance who originally campaigned for this cause. Singapore and South Korea share bronze in this category.
The US takes gold for institutional adoption
The modern United States is optimizing a capitalist society, and the disruptive nature of cryptocurrency has led some forward-thinking individuals, companies, and institutions to quickly capitalize on the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Join MicroStrategy, a global leader in business intelligence services that is pioneering the transformation of its Fiat-based treasury holdings of Bitcoin. The company’s CEO, Michael Saylor, is a passionate Bitcoin proponent and has tirelessly earned BTC since the company’s decision to bet on the standout cryptocurrency in August last year.
MicroStrategy’s move is widely credited for influencing electric vehicle maker Tesla and its founder Elon Musk to decide to invest in Bitcoin and even eventually accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment for their vehicles.
Cryptocurrencies were touted as a disruptive force in the payments industry, and American company PayPal tried to gain a first-mover advantage by announcing that it would introduce cryptocurrency custody and payment services on its widespread platform.
American investment firms have also played a pioneering role in opening up various ways for a wider audience to get involved in cryptocurrencies. No more than Grayscale Investments, which has a number of cryptocurrency trusts valued at over $ 33 billion to date. Its flagship Bitcoin Trust is currently valued at over $ 24 billion alone.
These factors are more than enough to bring America another gold medal at the Crypto Olympics in the race for institutional adoption.
Canada ranks silver in this category because of its crypto-friendly regulation and progressive ETF laws that have overtaken its North American neighbors in this regard. Thailand is walking away with a bronze medal here as its oldest banking institution, Siam Commercial Bank, has pledged $ 110 million invest in the decentralized financial sector through its venture capital arm SCB 10X.
A number of countries fall into the disqualification category due to their different attitudes towards cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
In February 2021, Nigerians were taken by surprise when the country’s central bank effectively prevented local banks from serving cryptocurrency exchanges. For a country that still does Ranks As number one in Google’s search for Bitcoin, the move has been criticized both domestically and abroad. Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission had developed crypto regulatory plans that were subsequently suspended.
India is another country with a checkered past when it comes to his attitude towards the cryptocurrency space. The country’s government has long threatened an outright ban on the use of Bitcoin, but this is slowly changing with the discussion of asset classification, which provides adequate regulatory frameworks and oversight for the emerging industry.
India’s banking sector is still at odds with the cryptocurrency movement, with some of the largest institutions reportedly warning customers against purchasing and using cryptocurrencies. It is clear that the mixed messages from the Government of India and the Central Bank in recent years have created uncertainties that can only be resolved through proper education about the sector.
China’s recent ban on cryptocurrency mining in various regions of the country also includes it in this disqualification category as the move caused major disruption to the mining ecosystem, forcing operators to close their stores and look for greener pastures overseas.
The Chinese government has also issued instructions to local banks not to serve companies in the cryptocurrency industry, which is a matter of greater concern. The disruption of integration into the traditional financial sector means that the citizens of the country will be deprived of the opportunity to access cryptocurrencies and realize their full potential.