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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Top 5 Industries That Use ICOs to Raise Funds

The joy of starting a new business always goes hand in hand with a fear of failure. The worst thing: you can lose before you even started. It’s more than possible when only 0.9% of small businesses are funded by venture capitalists and IPOs are accessible only to already established companies. This sounds disappointing, but now we have a new way to fund a company – an Initial Coin Offering or simply ICO.

The best thing about ICO is that everyone can run it. It makes funding of your startup possible regardless of the industry you operate in – any worthy idea might be appreciated. Still, some industries prevail among ventures that choose ICO as the main source of funding or even build their business on the blockchain technology. Let’s discover which ones and why.

*All the numbers are provided by Statista and ICO Watchlist

#1: Finance — 12.87%

The highest share of finance (12.87%) is quite foreseeable, especially if we recall that blockchain was primarily considered a technology to solve financial issues. Only later it started to spread to other industries. And indeed, blockchain can significantly reinforce the positions of a financial company that adopts it. Simplification of cross-payments, greater trade accuracy, transparent transactions, and smart contracts are only the tip of an iceberg among the benefits blockchain brings to finance.

One of the most promising among the ongoing ICO projects of the industry is MyCryptoBank. It bears in mind an idea of a fully decentralized bank, based on cryptocurrency. The virtual bank will offer its clients the same services as a regular bank including currency exchange, money transfers, virtual cards, ATM banking but at much lower fees and the highest possible speed of transactions.

#2: Payments/wallets — 6.81%

Online payment systems and electronic wallets stand to gain from the spread of crypto. More and more ventures lean toward choosing blockchain as a basis of their conception, as its demand increases. The reasons for that are almost the same as in the previous case: instant payments, strong security measures, and peer-to-peer transactions without involving an intermediary.

The example of a crypto wallet that has a great societal impact is Celsius. The project has just raised $50M through their ICO. You can benefit from joining this platform in two ways: borrowing funds in currency using your crypto as a collateral or make money on charging an interest by lending funds to the borrowers.

#3: Commerce/retail and asset management — both 5.81%

Stronger collaboration, enhanced transparency, and greater trust — that’s what a retail company may achieve in the relationships between brands and customers, vendors and employees after embracing blockchain. Aside from the financial part mentioned above, commerce & retail firms may improve their supply chain and inventory management by making the inventory data accessible to everyone involved. The positive effect of blockchain may be combined with other technologies like the Internet of Things to double the productivity. Platforms like TIPO are aiming at making this possible for all businesses worldwide.

Blockchain transforms the asset management industry as well. Especially when it comes to new clients onboarding process since the asset management firms have been highly-regulated and tied to strict security measures. They can extend blockchain infrastructure to the institution needed to verify the client’s identity and check this data faster. Also, blockchain has great potential to replace Automated Clearinghouse and merge trade and clearing. Lastly, such an approach saves funds of asset managers — according to Calastone, the whole trading world could save $2.7BN per day using blockchain.

#4 and #5: Gaming/AR/VR and Betting/Gambling — both 4.71%

Nowadays, there are major 3 ways to apply blockchain in gaming: to use crypto as a reward, as a promotional tool, or to integrate this technology into gameplay and modify it that way. Obviously, the first two are more widespread: for instance, Dragon’s Tale, the first blockchain-related game in the history, uses bitcoin as in-game tokens, while in Cryptokitties you can raise and sell a virtual kitten. It seems to be impossible, but the first kitten was sold for a staggering $115,000.

The majority of the projects inside the gambling industry are positioning themselves as a “future of gambling and betting”. Forget about those casinos that accept cryptocurrency but do nothing new, these startups are promising more. Some of them aim at making crypto gambling fully decentralized, while others are focused on the complete integration of the VR and AR with the online casinos. The great example of the last ones is Alive Casino, an ambitious ICO project that claims to “make gambling come to life”.

VR and AR also don’t stay away from the global trend. A virtual reality project called One Game aim even higher than Alive Casino: the creators are going to “make life come to… life” by developing a highly-customizable self-evolving virtual world.

It worth noting, these industries give birth to the largest number of ICO projects, but it doesn’t mean they raise the largest sums. The #1 industry that raised $4,640,447,641 in total is networking/communication followed by blockchain and finance. Either way, these figures are not final. Blockchain will definitely penetrate every industry in the nearest time, so it’s not so clear which one will be the leading after 5-10 years.

Can you think of other industries that are ripe for ICOs? How will it affect VC funding going forward? Let us know in the comments below.

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Caspian Allows You to Manage Your Crypto Portfolio Efficiently

With the development of the crypto industry, unprecedented issues arose. The industry is still in its nascent stages and does not have proper systems to aid investors. This has resulted in a divided market, where dozens of different exchanges are operating without intra-exchange communication. This causes a problem for the institutional investors – the big guns.

Professional and institutional investors employ the strategy of diversification to reduce risks and therefore, invest in different exchanges according to their strategies. In the contemporary market, there are numerous applications providing unified access to different exchanges. That means investors can easily access multiple exchanges, different markets from one application. This reduces the time and effort required to register trades and also reduces confusion.

On the contrary, in the crypto market- at least before Caspian there was a lack of applications which provide access to the diversified crypto market from a single platform. Therefore, it is exceedingly difficult for institutional investors to get into the crypto market. Those who do get involved, have a hard time keeping up with different exchanges, offering different fees and different service structures.

With the help of Caspian, you won’t have to worry about your investments anymore. The platform provides a complete asset management solution, which involves portfolio management and order execution management systems. Through their platform, investors and traders will have access to all the major crypto exchanges in the market with the help of their customizable trading interface.

Caspian Token Challenge

If you’re looking to join the platform then now is the right time. You can join the Token Challenge that Caspian is offering, which will provide you with up to 460 CSP with an approximate value of $22! The number of tokens depends on the level of challenges that you choose to accept and complete. Ensure that you have completed their registration before starting the challenges, otherwise, you won’t receive the rewards.

At the Token Challenge Link, you can see the range of achievements mentioned on the site, follow and fulfill these challenges to earn the rewards.

Components of the Platform

Traders can customize the interface to add their favorite indicators, breakdowns, and other details that are important for an optimized trading experience. Traders will also gain access to years of trading data, which can also be customized to meet their requirements. Moreover, the Order Execution Management System (OEMS) will allow the creation of audit reports for all the activity conducted on the platform.

The other main component of the Caspian platform is the Caspian Portfolio Management System (PMS), which stores all of your data in one location. Just like the contemporary stock markets have applications to manage your portfolios, Caspian allows you to do the same within the crypto market. You can view detailed information about your portfolio, including real-time and historic profit and loss over any given time interval. You can also build reporting based on the data found in the PMS.

These are just two of the main components of the Caspian platform, which also has tools for managing risk, ensuring compliance, building reports, and automated strategies that run through custom-built algorithms. With these tools, the Caspian platform ensures that you get the best crypto trading experience out there. Not only does it provide a smooth experience but it also ensures that you get the information that helps you maintain profitable trades and investments.

What Caspian is building is important because as mentioned earlier, the crypto market lacks a platform that provides asset management services. Caspian will be the first of its kind and will offer crypto investors a professional ecosystem, in which they can prosper.

Caspian Token

To incentivize the use of the Caspian platform and to serve several other principle objectives, the platform offers the Caspian Token (CSP). It is an Ethereum based ERC20 compliant token that will create a rich, participatory ecosystem. The main use of the token will be for acquiring discounts and having a user-to-platform utility. The user’s experience will be enhanced by offering numerous services through the CSP. One of the CSP services is the Commission Discount Programs which will allow token holders to earn and combine different discounts.

Relevant Links

To read more about Caspian and their progress, you can access any of the following links:

Website | Telegram | Whitepaper