The Asia region is known for its contradictory relationship towards blockchain technology plus cryptocurrency and its decentralized nature. Some countries such as China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, etc., embrace it for its innovativeness and disruptive potential, while others try to strictly regulate or even ban it.
Last year was a period of digital currency, to get the news express it. While Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Ripple (XRP) soared and then plummeted more, there is only one thing that is very clear – blockchain and digital currencies are not going anywhere, no matter if you love or disgust them.
Asia has been captivated with digital assets, since it is the continent from where original cryptocurrency Bitcoin was born, but the lack of a solid centralized authority has caused a great number of governments to be anxious, and activated a variety of responses.
The motherland of Bitcoin, Japan, revised legislation so it can define cryptocurrency as a means of payment and to further demand every currency exchange operating within the country fully register with Japan’s responsible financial authorities such as the Financial Services Agency (FSA), a government agency in charge of supervising insurance, banking, securities and exchanges with the aim of guaranteeing the stability of the financial system of the country.
Late last year, the FSA was planning to take dictate on how wallet providers operate, by regulating cryptocurrency wallet services. The country also granted crypto industry self-regulatory status, which enabled the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) to watch and validate exchanges for any particular emerging violations.
Now, crypto exchanges are being monitored closely and are tasked to keep records, carry out contextual checks, make regular audits. Financial watchdogs in Japan are trying to legalize initial coin offerings (ICOs) so as to combat money laundering and shield investors from bad guys. The country also plans to control digital currency criminal activities with credit evaluation.
The giant Asian crypto markets, Singapore and Japan, registered a significant progress in allowing blockchain activities and regulating the digital assets as well. Basing on these two great countries, a template on how crypto and government can harmonize, live/work together and bear fruits.
Singapore support blockchain and other revolutionary novelties by allocation huge funds to run projects, research and other necessities. The country plans to connect all stakeholders who are inside or outside of this industry using blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
The People’s Republic of China is one of the most active countries in Asia with the highest number of blockchain and Bitcoin users. However, as for the government, its position on this nascent revolutionary industry is very clear: friendly to blockchain technology but enemy to cryptocurrency including Bitcoin.
Early last year, China put a ban on all crypto-related activities with an aim of combating financial risks. It did this by confiscating and rejecting both local and foreign platforms that are related to initial coin offerings.
Before the ban of crypto China was the biggest digital currency market for mining, selling and buying. The country was even the leading manufacturer of crypto mining equipment. In 2017, the production and technology bull collaborated to setup a large-scale mining farms in China to achieve a significant increase in the crypto production.
Back in 2017, the country was on the brink of banning digital currency. The 3rd largest digital currency market, prohibited fundraising for initial coin offerings and unknown virtual currency accounts.
However, early last year, Korean regulators made a decision that was against this total ban of crypto. The authorities revealed that they wanted to normalize digital currency industry.
Earlier last month, the South Korean legislators started reviewing the virtual currency regulation and initial coin offering ban. The ban could be lifted any time from now.
The country has shown the potential of becoming a large digital currency and blockchain hub in Asia. Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission revealed strong and ample rules managing digital currencies. Hong Kong wants to become a safe haven for blockchain projects and also grow into a main trading center. However, back in February last year, Hong Kong together with China, were busy tracking down all digital currencies in the market.
Nevertheless, the newly introduced rules and regulations prohibit retail investors from dealing in cryptoassets, and further gives a clarity to institutional investors and cryptocurrency exchanges on where they can or can’t operate.
Generally, Asia continues to have unending love and desire for blockchain technology and digital currencies. So investors who are willing and able to venture into these innovative technologies should utilize these lucrative opportunities. In so doing, Asia will see an increasing growth of blockchain industry, which would in turn trigger the prices and values of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, etc., gain traction.