Asian Countries in It to Win It When It Comes to Being the Next Crypto Hub

The race is on to see which Asian country will take the title of being the next crypto hotspot. With big money being invested in growing their FinTech sectors, the competition is definitely heating up.

The cryptocurrency industry is a lucrative one. In its heyday, it had a market cap of just over $800 billion. While perhaps nowhere near its December 2017 peaks, it is still worth over $200 billion.

A big part of this industry is blockchain technology. With its inherent characteristics like traceability and immutability, it is a viable addition to the businesses of most sectors.


Technology Growth Breeds Competition

As the world continues its digital journey, more and more people will be introduced to the Internet and to smartphones, opening up that financial inclusivity door to everyone that has access to this technology. It stands to reason, then, that companies would want to invest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Countries also want a piece of the action, working hard to be seen as crypto-friendly and aggressive adopters. Well-established locations like Zug in Switzerland are seeing competition from all over the world like Malta and now a host of Asian countries.

The Philippines Eyeing That Crypto Prize

Nikkei Asian Review recently reported that the Philippines is one such country. The Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport seem to be well on its way to attaining that increasingly coveted blockchain- and crypto-hub status. The project will be working with a minimum of 25 technology companies to make this virtual dream a reality.

Raul Lambino, chief executive of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) previously said:

The overwhelming interest from offshore companies in financial technology solutions and cryptocurrency trading that want to locate at the Cagayan Special Economic Zone has surpassed all our expectations.

Lambino also said that the initiative would aid the local economy in another way – job creation, 10,000 jobs in fact. A blockchain academy is also on the cards which will be another way to encourage growth within the industry and to provide fresh talent as well.

One way to entice more industry professionals is by making operating in the country easier, which usually leads to disregarding previous bans, easing regulations and even developing more investor-focused guidelines. To assist with this, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission has given the go-ahead for ICOs to happen in the country.

Lito Villanueva, the chairman of FintechAlliance, added:

With these startups come huge investments in their portfolio. 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.

Wild Wild East

Wild Wild East

This excitement has clearly fostered a sense of competition as South Korea has already made plans to focus on the growth and adoption of blockchain technology in the country. Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong has previously said:

Blockchain is an opportunity for Korea to take the lead in global internet platform [development].

The country’s government will be walking the talk by investing approximately $4.4 billion on a range of initiatives incorporating blockchain as well as big data analytics.

Thailand is also in the game. While initially banning ICOs, the country developed a framework for them including a licensing process. These new regulations have subsequently resulted in interest from more than 50 projects, with three companies submitting their ICO applications for approval.

Then there is Japan, where Bitcoin is seen as legal tender. This gives them a definite advantage over their Asian counterparts but depending on future regulations in the country, this could change.

The industry is unpredictable but one of the ways for countries to come out on top is by making it easier and more lucrative for crypto businesses to invest in their FinTech sectors.

Which country do you think will be the next ‘Crypto Valley’? Let us know in the comments below!

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Tezos Price Rallies 13 Percent as Wider Cryptocurrency Market Slips

tezos price cryptocurrency

Tezos (XTZ) is experiencing a period of gains, defying the stalled momentum of the wider cryptocurrency market. As of August 20, the token traded at $1.57, up more than 13 percent in 24 hours, taking it up to number 16 on the CoinMarketCap token ranking.

Coinone Listing

Yesterday August 19, Coinone, a South Korean exchange, announced on Twitter that it would list Tezos on Aug. 20.

A post on the official Coinone website then confirmed the news, stating that deposit and withdrawal services for Tezos would begin at 16:00 KST on August 20.

The news immediately led to a noticeable Tezos market spike as investors reacted favourably to the emergence of an XTZ/KRW trading pair.

tezos price cryptocurrencySource: CoinMarketCap

CoinMarketCap data shows a substantial Tezos uptick as the token shot up over 13 percent in just over 24 hours, reaching a 7-day high of $1.57 with a market capitalisation exceeding $956 million.

Coinone may not be a huge exchange in the manner of Coinbase or Binance, but the market has certainly taken the Tezos listing news well, making Tezos a rare oasis of strong positive movement in a sluggish crypto market.

Crypto Market Blues

Tezos is out on its own as a token with significant positive movement in the present crypto market. Bitcoin continues to struggle to breach the $6,500 mark and Ethereum has plunged nearly 10 percent for the day to $273.

The mini bull run comes at a good time for Tezos, which has recently mounted a series of strong recoveries from the setbacks and embarrassments that threatened to derail the project following its record-breaking $232 million ICO.

Tezos is the subject of an ongoing class-action lawsuit by disgruntled ICO investors, and the token continues to field criticism for what critics see as a disappointingly- low trading volume. This is due to its dependence on for market liquidity, which is one of a small  number of lesser known exchanges listing XTZ.

It remains to be seen whether the Coinone listing will have any impact on Tezos’ trading volume, and, if so, to what extent, but in the meantime Tezos occupies the unlikely position of being the crypto industry’s growth outlier — at least for the time being.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Cointree and Gobbill Let Australians Pay Everyday Bills with Bitcoin

Spending cryptocurrency on everyday goods and services remains problematic. Most businesses are not willing to deal with cryptocurrencies and their volatility. A new partnership between Gobbill and Cointree changes that situation, at least in Australia. Paying regular bills with cryptocurrencies is bound to become a lot more straightforward.

Cointree and Gobbill Join Forces

Getting businesses excited about cryptocurrency payments is not easy. Companies fear the volatility associated with Bitcoin and altcoins. Payment processors prevent volatility from causing issues, yet service providers are still slow on the uptake. The new partnership between billing platform Gobbill and the Cointree crypto exchange will introduce new business opportunities. Their joint effort makes it possible for consumers to pay any Australian bill with cryptocurrency.

It doesn’t matter if the bill issuer accepts cryptocurrency payments. All transactions are taken care of by Cointree and Gobbill. The latter company will take the funds from customers and pay bills on their behalf. This new payment method will not replace any of the currently available options. Gobbill supports cards and bank account transactions at this stage. Adding support for cryptocurrencies is a logical choice in this day and age.

This new partnership is a feather in the cap for Cointree. The exchange is on a mission to make it easier for users to buy and sell Bitcoin. Over the years, the company facilitated over 100 million transactions successfully. Partnering with Gobbill ensures cryptocurrency can gain more traction throughout all of Australia. Paying bills with Bitcoin shows how this industry is still evolving as a whole.


Competition Is Heating Up

Cointree already has a system in place to let users pay bills. However, it is still in the early stages of development. The partnership with Gobbill ensures this feature can continue to grow and evolve. Making this feature more accessible to novice cryptocurrency users is one of the top priorities in this regard.

This new partnership also brings competition to another popular Australian service. Living Room of Satoshi allows consumers to pay bills with various cryptocurrencies. The service has been of great interest to domestic users for several years now. It was also the only service provider of its kind for a long time. Competition is direly needed, and the Gobbill-Cointree venture will provide exactly that.

How consumers will react to this offering remains difficult to predict. The Bitcoin price remains relatively low, especially when compared to the value in January of 2018. Consumers often spend Bitcoin when the price is high as they can purchase goods and services with their profits. Even so, paying bills with cryptocurrency can provide a viable alternative for a lot of Australians.

Would you prefer to pay your bills in cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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