Bigger is not always better. Sometimes, good things come in small packages. Despite the majority of cryptocurrency news revolving around large countries like the US and China, there are quite a few smaller countries that are surprisingly progressive when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrency.
The problem with bigger countries is that they often resort to strict regulations that suffocate the development of budding blockchain projects. This is of course often implemented as a preventative measure to avoid criminal activity but, unfortunately, it also affects the honest players in the game. Smaller countries, on the other hand, have the advantage of being more flexible, and many of them use that advantage. Here, we will have a look at some of them — and they are not the ones you might have expected. From Georgia to Liechtenstein, lack of regulation and the encouragement of education within the crypto-sphere is propelling various exciting blockchain initiatives.
Malta is a haven for blockchain companies because of the lax regulations. The cryptocurrency exchange Binance recently announced that it would relocate from Hong Kong to Malta for this very reason. The Maltese government has also recently formed the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA), which aims to promote the use of digital ledger technology for much more than simply the transfer of money.
Not the state of Georgia, but the Eastern European country, which at a population of 4 million is only half the size of the US state. A Cambridge University study from last year ranked the country as number two when it comes to cryptocurrency mining. Why? Because Georgia has very few regulations and harnesses hydropower to generate its electricity. Here, the average cryptocurrency miner can spend $80 on electricity per month, and generate $800 worth of cryptocurrency tokens. Not a bad deal!
The small country of Liechtenstein has more businesses than citizens. One of the reasons for this is that is is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), but not the European Union (EU). This makes it particularly attractive to cryptocurrency businesses, as it is not subject to the many EU regulations. As an added bonus, a business can be set up without a bank account or fiat money. All other fees can be paid for with Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Thailand is one of the many Asian countries that are at the forefront of blockchain technology. The country’s postal service announced last year that it would begin incorporating blockchain technology into its deliveries. By using smart contracts, the postal service can ensure that deliveries containing valuable goods only are handed over to the appropriate person.
Whilst Cyprus is known for neither mining nor lax regulations, it is a power-house when it comes to education on cryptocurrency. The Cypriot University of Nicosia pioneered school programs in cryptocurrencies, which other countries have since emulated. The university was also the recipient of funding from Ripple, who recently invested $50 million in educational cryptocurrency programs around the world.
Do you know of any smaller countries that have made great leaps in terms of blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments!