By definition, cryptocurrency knows no geographical bounds. It is not confined or attached to a specific nation, area or region. And yet, some territories are already more synonymous with crypto than others.
In some examples, it’s nations hit by economic crisis, such as Argentina and Cyprus, where the people have put their faith in Bitcoin over the spiralling fiat alternative in their own country. In other cases, there are much more positive reasons that certain places have become home to blockchain tech. One of them, of course, is right here on the Isle of Man.
So, what makes a crypto hotspot and why is Isle of Man so popular with companies building success on blockchain?
In the summer of 2018, Malta was tagged “The Blockchain Island” by some after providing a stable legal framework that allowed crypto firms operate with some semblance of certainty. Binance, for one, seemed to like it and launched in Malta in February 2019.
The Maltese authorities should, of course, be congratulated for their efforts in welcoming crypto with open arms and, no doubt, the local economy has already seen some benefits, not least in terms of job creation.
But it’s not the only island making waves in the crypto space. The Isle of Man, where we at SolutionsHub are based, is also fast becoming a go-to destination for blockchain businesses.
CoinCorner, MetaVault, Unikrn, Qadre and CasinoCoin are among the blockchain-based projects that have chosen the Isle of Man as their home.
It is testament to the work done by the Island’s government to embrace blockchain tech, setting out clear laws and guidance for businesses to operate.
Earlier in 2019, the government established The Isle of Man Blockchain Office to “to support and guide businesses through current (and future) regulatory landscapes, focused on expert-led assistance from day one”.
And then there is the Isle of Man Blockchain Sandbox is our testbed proposition. The Sandbox has been created for companies, providing a collaborative space for the live testing of innovative tech products, services and delivery mechanisms where the risks to ordinary financial consumers and the financial system are strictly contained.
The Sandbox is “designed to position the Isle of Man as the premier jurisdiction for blockchain-based businesses to develop, test and perfect their product before launching on the global market”.
I know from first-hand experience that several companies have already taken advantage of these platforms and, just like Malta, the Isle of Man’s economy is already reaping the rewards of such open-mindedness.
Watch and learn
The motivation for crypto companies moving to Argentina is clearly the demand for an alternative to fiat, which in itself highlights one of the main strengths of blockchain tech – to provide a decentralised payment method. But nations and territories serious about blockchain should look to two small islands for inspiration – or risk being left behind.