By David Drake
Across the globe, interest in cryptocurrencies has been on the rise. Europe, especially, is quickly developing into a hub for cryptocurrencies with a substantial amount of money being invested in the industry through initial coin offerings (ICOs). This year alone, the amount raised through the sale of tokens in Europe has almost surpassed that of Asia and U.S combined.
Fundraising though European ICOs is estimated to have hit the $4.1 billion, nearly twice the $2.3 billion raised in Asia, and considerably more than the $2.6 billion in the U.S market this year. The probable reasons leading to Europe’s huge interest in ICOs include progressive regulations, economic independence and the rising development among others.
The absence of clear regulations to guide the cryptocurrency industry is among the key factors that hinder the growth for ICOs in Asia and the U.S. The outright ban of ICOs in Asian countries such as China and Korea and the strict scrutiny of ICOs, particularly those categorized as securities, has further impeded their progress and development.
European countries seem not to be experiencing these challenges. On the contrary, the region has been enjoying a growing amount of friendly and non-limiting regulations, resulting to the increased ICO funding.
The founder and CEO of Qupon, Joseph Oreste says, ” This is mainly the result of less regulatory burden for European for investors over investors in the United States. Investors in both Europe and the United States see the value and the future that cryptocurrency and decentralized technology are ushering in.”
Ideally, the more reasonable the position a country takes on crypto regulations, the more crypto companies are likely to innovate and expand their operations without fear of being subjected to non-compliance consequences.
In some European countries, governments have used tax exemptions to attract foreign investors. Two of the smallest European nations, Gibraltar and Malta, have raised a substantial amount of funding from ICOs due to economic independence.
The other reason behind increased ICO fundraising in Europe is the presence of significant projects in cryptocurrency in few cities in Europe. The bulk of tech developers are based in Europe and London and Berlin are the lead cities when it comes to hosting talented blockchain developers. This has consequently drawn top startups in fintech to the two cities.
At the same time, Europe has a wide internet coverage and ownership of bank accounts. This means its population has in place the necessary resources and environment to sustain innovations in Fintech and inspire cooperation among crypto interest groups. In the coming years, expanded cryptocurrency growth will most likely be achieved in Europe as the regulatory environment continues to improve.
Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.