While some countries are restricting blockchain projects, others are actively recruiting them.
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While Canada has delayed its encryption update until 2020, Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) and General Michael Hayden join other leading leaders in the encrypted space in the Korean event in Seoul. Could it be the East to win the blockchain race, attracting the brilliant minds of the West while Western countries become customers?
Blockchain in South Korea
South Korea is an extremely technological country that has invested heavily in its internet infrastructure. Samsung and LG have already established themselves as global brands in technology and consumer electronics. Seoul is considered the "leading digital city in the world" and a technological capital of the world. The first two cryptographic exchanges of South Korea (Upbit and Bithumb) are among the first 25 exchanges.
While Korea had its ICO crackdown, its citizens were already heavily invested in blockchain, contributing to 14% of the global cryptography market. South Korea lifted the ban later. Korea has further circumvented it by integrating potentially blockchain into its voting system.
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There is also another push factor in Korea: the games. The gaming industry is one of the most blockchain-friendly industries. According to Jared Psigoda, CEO of BitGuild, "players in particular include cryptocurrency because virtual money has been a part of the game over the last 10 years, for example, back to World of Warcraft, there was a $ 100 market millions for the purchase of digital gold ".
Location of China
China is another protagonist of the crypto-sphere, which houses a large share of Bitcoin miners. In 2017, estimates suggested that 50 to 70 percent of all mining Bitcoin occurred in that country. Despite the strict regulation of cryptocurrencies, China has been decidedly more bullish on the blockchain. The president of China has declared blockchain as "a part of the technological revolution" and is one of the first countries to mention technology in a state-level policy.
"China is more centralized and top-down than the United States, but it sees the value of technology," says Joyce Yang, CEO of Global Coin Research. "In China there are many encrypted companies and projects under construction, even if they are not allowed to market citizens, products are offered anywhere outside the mainland." China has more blockchain companies than any other country on Earth.
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As Kevin Hobbs, CEO of The Vanbex Group explains: "Since September 2017, China has banned ICOs, banned cryptographic exchanges and blocked foreign trade." Vanbex is a Canadian company with a large community in China. "Having said that, I was recently in China in several conferences and visiting various blockchain companies and I have heard nothing but good things about the support the government is giving them." Their work ethic was incredible to see and their the belief that blockchain was the future was very evident.I think these countries have a work ethic that gives them a competitive advantage and the ability to move faster to be ahead of others ".
Ironically, while some see China as a country of low quality products, the flaw has actually led to the birth and acceptance of at least two revolutionary technologies: chatbot and blockchain.
The chatbots were introduced for the first time in WeChat, years before Telegram and Facebook: the reason is numerous scandals on product safety. Likewise, numerous counterfeit products have enhanced the acceptance of blockchain in supply chains, where it is used to track products and ensure that they are genuine.
Impact of regulations
With the entry into force of regulations and bans, blockchain companies seek safer alternatives. This has turned some territories such as Gibraltar and Malta into bases for many initiatives and ICOs. Switzerland has succeeded in attracting the South Korean blockchain ICON and HDAC platforms, while Singapore and Hong Kong have taken advantage of the bans to become the region's havens for ICO and blockchain startups.
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Hong Kong is taking blockchain development very seriously and has announced that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority will work with some of the world's biggest banks to lead a new blockchain platform that will simplify commercial finance.
State of the blockchain in the United States
While the United States dominated the early days of the Internet, blockchains are truly cross-border, with millions of participants all over the world. As the United States proceeds slowly on tiptoes on technology, rival governments are investing heavily in the research and development of blockchain. In the end, they could monopolize the industry and set their own standards, allowing the United States to play on the upside.
But many still look at the blockchain with skepticism. As a manager of a Wall Street company that has sought to position itself as a technology leader, "[blockchain] has become a solution to finding a problem. "Vermont was considering registering a blockchain-based public register, but one report found that a change would have high costs and" very limited benefits ".
It seems that the United States has already lagged behind the blockchain development curve. "The United States usually moves more slowly, since there are not many bodies in the government that understand the encryption, and policy makers want to be more cautious in dealing with something they do not understand," explains Joyce Yang. "And frankly, I think that out of all the currencies out there, crypts and not crypts, Bitcoin is the biggest threat to the global power and influence of the US dollar."
Disclosure: Vanbex is a customer of Innowire, but we did not request or receive any kind of compensation from Vanbex for their quotes in this piece.