Governments and institutions around the world are paying increasing attention to cryptocurrencies (CC’s) and the technology that underpins them all – Blockchain. Some attention is negative, but overall, it is clear that more and more attention is positive, supportive and exploitative. As the business and investment world becomes more aware of the presence of a disruptive force in its midst, it becomes imperative to examine business operations at these new frontiers and compare them to the relatively old, slow and expensive operations it now has. New technologies need new investment capital to grow, and with this growth come booms, false starts, and controversies.
Developments in the CC and Blockchain world are coming fast and furious as governments and institutions make efforts to harness technology, tax all profits, protect their investments and protect their components and clients – a complex balancing act that goes a long way in explaining why so many seem to be walking in different directions, changing directions frequently. . Here are some recent developments showing that CC and Blockchain are gradually being accepted into the mainstream, yet still grappling with regulation, control, and stability:
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- Uzbekistan will publish its plans to regulate Bitcoin in September 2018, with a Blockchain ‘Skills Center’ set to start operating in July.
- Kazakhstan has indicated a desire to copy the Singapore blockchain.
- Belarus has announced its desire to create a hospitable environment for Blockchain, as an innovative financial transaction technology.
- Venezuela has created Petro, a trade center set up to raise money as Venezuela nears economic collapse. The hope is that it will be a way around the sanctions that are preventing Venezuela from raising money in the global bond markets. President Nicolas Maduro claims that Petro raised $ 735 million in its first day, a claim that has not been proven. Maduro sees Petro as the “perfect kryptonite to defeat Superman” – likening him to the sanctions imposed by the United States, believing that this currency frees his country from the grip of banks and governments. He might not see Petro started by a government – his government.
- The TD Canada Trust has become the first Canadian bank to join some British and American banks in banning the use of credit cards to purchase credit cards.
- South Korea is moving towards legalizing Bitcoin, which indicates that it will consider Bitcoin as a liquid asset. With South Korea at the forefront of the CC market, the impact of their decisions will be large and global. Japan has already taken these steps, making Bitcoin trading more transparent, more regulated, and 100% legal.
- BlackRock, the world’s largest investment company, continues its bullish outlook for CC, saying it sees “wider use” in the future.
- Romeo Lacher, Chairman of the Swiss Stock Exchange, believes that there are a lot of gains in issuing a cryptocurrency of the Swiss franc, and his organization will be supportive, adding that he “does not like criticism”.
- JD.com, the largest online and mortar retailer in China, announced the first of four startups for the Al Catapult Blockchain incubation program. The Beijing-based program, which has seen candidates from as far afield as Australia and the United Kingdom, aims to use the company’s vast Chinese infrastructure to develop new Blockchain and AI applications.
With all the global activity back and forth, Blockchain is clearly the disruptive technology of this era, and CC is just an aspect of the capabilities that have been enabled. Just like the online investing explosion of the 1990s, Blockchain and CC investments will have winners and losers, however, we don’t want this to turn into a huge bubble that burst devastatingly with many of the early DOT COM investments in the 1990s. What we want to see is a logical approach to Blockchain developments and investments.
Volatility will continue to be the norm in this market space for some time as we see increasing acceptance, innovation, and regulation. Failures will occur and successes will emerge, prompting governments, institutions, investors and innovators to constantly adjust their thinking and operations. Fluctuations are normal and healthy at this point.