This October 31st marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Bitcoin’s white paper, the world’s first crypto currency that has revolutionized international financial dynamics in this period of time.
The approaches outlined by Satoshi Nakamoto in this document were materialized in January 2009, when the genesis block was created, thus creating the history of Bitcoin as an accounting book and the issuing of the first bitcoins. Since then, the adoption process has grown to unprecedented levels for an asset that is not covered by any financial institution or government.
Thus, in some countries more than in others, crypto currency has become an important part of the financial market, reaching high volumes of commercialization, as well as a high level of interest among the public and acceptance of regulators. Here is a list of the countries that have been most Bitcoin friendly in these 10 years.
Japan is believed to be home to Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, or at least that was originally believed because of his name or pseudonym. It was also the first country to legalize crypto currency and give it legal tender status in 2016, in addition to exempting it from paying taxes in 2017. With this, the country placed itself at the forefront of regulation for exchanges of crypto currencies, thus opening the way for other countries to do the same.
As part of this process, the nation is one of the pioneers in the establishment of rules for crypto currency exchanges, with the aim of improving their security. The Japanese country is usually included in the reports as a world leader in trade volumes of bitcoin and other crypto coins. Bitcoin currently holds 52% of the global market dominance, according to CoinMarketCap.
Slovenia is a Central European nation with a population of around 2 million people, where citizens as well as public and private institutions have committed themselves to the adoption of crypto coins, especially bitcoin.
The authorities have, since last June, launched the Bitcoin City project, developed by BTC Company together with the Slovenian government and several companies linked to the ecosystem, including Consensys and Blockchain Alliance Europe.
The country stands out for being the first to create a bitcoin monument in the city of Kranj, becoming the first city in the country and the world to make a public sculptural tribute to the oldest cryptocurrency of the ecosystem.
According to statistics, 13% of Ukrainian residents have become owners of bitcoins or altcoins, while the total amount of daily circulation of crypto currency amounts to the equivalent of USD 2 million.
The high level of bitcoin adoption in this nation led to the installation of a virtual monument dedicated to Satoshi Nakamoto in Kiev, the capital. Thus the European country is the first to honor the creator of Bitcoin in this way.
Although this market is growing fast, where even the National Bank of Ukraine announced in 2016 a project to issue its own crypto currency, the country does not have a legal framework to regulate the sector. However, the authorities have plans to recognize crypto currencies as financial assets. The project was recently announced and plans to complete legalization by 2021.
This Central European country is very receptive to bitcoin and other currencies, being home to some of the world’s most recognized cryptocurrency and crypto technology companies, such as ShapeShift and Xapo.
In addition, the government is very receptive to the sector, especially for the location of companies in the city of Zug, which has earned it the title of cryptovalley, an Eden of startups focused on the development of cyptos and shops that accept coins. Bitcoin exchange is widely allowed and citizens can receive their wages in crypto coins.
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Recently, the St Moritz resort began to accept bitcoins for the sale of tickets for its cable cars, making it the most symbolic place for the celebration of winter sports in this country.
The Netherlands is among the countries in the world where the word bitcoin is most searched on Google this 2018. There, an entire city, Arnhem (Holland), was nicknamed “Bitcoin City” in honor of the project of the same name. It has the largest concentration of companies providing goods and services in exchange for bitcoins.
Amsterdam is another of the pioneering cities in the acceptance of bitcoins. Famous for hosting the Bitcoin Embassy, a community center where bitcoiners gather to attend and organize workshops or social gatherings at the local café.
Belarus is one of the Eastern European countries where bitcoin, and crypto currencies in general, are welcomed.
In late December 2017, when bitcoin was at its peak, Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, legalized BTC and cryptocurrencies in the country. Initial offers of coins (ICO) and smart contracts were also placed in this same category.
The president also declared that mining, trading and capital gains in any crypto currency or ICO will be tax-free until January 1, 2023. This step has prompted many cryptocurrency companies to consider this nation for establishing their businesses.
Estonia is one of the northern European countries that embraced bitcoin quite early. The government not only supports the BTC, but also other crypto currencies and all the developments that have seen the light during these years.
The country is home to several ATMs and startups that trade or accept bitcoin. It is one of the nations where it is easy to open a business related to the sector, as the government has a welcoming stance on crypto currencies.
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In South Korea, crypto currencies are very welcome, especially bitcoin. The South Korean market is one of the most important, along with Japan and the United States.
Much of the volume of bitcoin exchanges in the world are from this country, and events on the ecosystem in that country are often determinant for bitcoin’s price on the exchange market. South Korean exchanges represent a large part of BTC’s total trading volume.
South Africa is one of the countries with the largest Google searches for the word bitcoin. There, crypto currencies have become very popular and their use is booming. South African interest in Bitcoin was already expressed in 2017 with the increase in transactions through exchange houses and platforms such as Localbitcoins.
Due to its growing acceptance, the South African Revenue Service plans to tax transactions with crypto currencies, while the Alberton-based traffic ticket administrator, Fines4U, announced late last year that it will allow users who wish to pay their fines with bitcoins.
Australia was the second country after Japan to declare bitcoin and crypto coins as legal tender in 2017, also putting an end to double taxation in BTC.
The Australian parliament announced the bill in August 2017, giving legal status to digital coin exchanges. In this way, the document regulates exchanges of cryptocurrencies, leading suppliers to be governed under the mandate of the Australian Centre for Transaction Reporting and Analysis (AUSTRAC).
At the adoption level, the coastal city of Agnes Water stands out, which is proclaiming itself the first “digital currency city” in the country, in an effort to attract international travelers with digital knowledge. The idea is to boost its tourism industry. To this end, more than 30 local companies, including accommodation providers, tour operators, and restaurants accept crypto coins.
The acceptance of bitcoin in these 10 years has been global. Few countries have been left out of the growing trend of using cryptocurrency as an alternative form of payment to traditional finance.
In that sense, the countries of the first world set the tone. The United States does this in terms of approval of bitcoin derivatives, such as futures based on their price. In most European countries the use of bitcoin has also spread. Malta and Gibraltar are seeking to become hubs for the attraction of companies linked to crypto-currency technology.
Even in Latin American countries there are high levels of adoption, with several South American countries at the forefront, as shown by coinmap, a map showing the places in the world where bitcoin is accepted.
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