Currently, Switzerland, Malta, and Zug have been successful in developing a friendly ecosystem for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. This has prompted South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines to move towards establishing the next crypto valley. Significantly, most of the Southeast Asian countries have cracked their whip on the trading of digital currencies apart from blockchain-associated developments in the last one year. This included Thailand and Vietnam, which witnessed scams related to virtual currencies forcing it to make changes in its stance.
The outrage of Domestic Investors
In fact, a few months back, Thailand indicated its plan of taxing heavily digital coin investors, as well as, trading platforms. However, the policymakers have faced the outrage of domestic investors and saw the efforts put in by other countries like Japan, South Korea and Philippines have put in to extend their support to the emerging sector. This has made the country to rethink its strategy and promised to develop an ecosystem that is friendly towards crypto startups.
In another development, the Philippines’ Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) took a decision to issue 25 licenses to different digital coin exchanges. That would allow startups to manage with tax exemptions apart from several other gains. As far as Japan, FintechAlliance chairman, Lito Villanueva, said that there is a move to establish the next crypto valley in Asia. This will come through the creation of a blockchain hub of $100 million, according to ccn.com report. He believes that these startups could bring in big investments.
He said, “Surely, each country would want to take a piece of the action. Taking blockchain and fintech players in with enabling regulations and potential investment incentives would surely make the game more exciting.” In the Philippines, Coins.ph has become a top ten mobile apps suggesting how the market is evolving in the country. Some startups like Coins are now popular platforms. In fact, Coins could raise $10 million from Series A funding round from Quona Capital and Naspers.
As far as South Korea, it is making considerable efforts to legalize digital currency, as well as, blockchain. For this purpose, the country is drafting legislation apart from investing $4.4 billion in emerging technologies in the next 12-month period. Its focus included blockchain and big data. Some of the regional governments like Jeju Island, Sejong, Busan, and Seoul have pledged to be a hub of blockchain in South Korea and Asia.
Jeju Island governor, Won Hee-ryong, believes that the distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a valuable opportunity and wants South Korea to take the lead. He felt that the country was behind China in the global internet development in the last ten years. Recently, the Jeju Island governor invited Roger Ver to explain the cryptocurrencies’ use case.
As far as Asia is concerned, it is the largest blockchain and digital coin market due to Japan being the biggest market in the world. Therefore, increasing efforts from countries such as Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand will favorably impact the overall virtual currency markets in the long-term.