Government Policy Index

Cryptoeconomics Asia’s

Blockchain Government Policy Indicator [BGPI]

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A1 Blockchain Champions

          1. Japan [Japan recognizes Bitcoin as a method of payment in Japan. Japan is the first nation to fully recognize the status of a cryptocurrency and will be remembered as such. ]
          2. Switzerland [(ii) Cryptovalley (ii) Zug’s acceptance of Bitcoin for payment of taxes (iii) Government enterprise Swiss Federal Railways sells Bitcoins on its ticket machines.]

    A2 Positive

            1. Germany (Bitcoin is considered private money in the country, with recognition as a Unit of Account. European transactions, face VAT.)
            2. Norway (2017: Bitcoin is not subject to VAT on purchase or sale. Profits are subject to wealth tax. Bitcoin is an asset and not money.)
            3. Australia (2013: There will be nothing to stop people in this country deciding to transact. Re-affirmed in July 2017. Double taxation removed)
            4. Belarus (Digital Economy Growth signed by Belarus’ president Aleksandr Lukashenko in the week of 13 December 2017. Belarus to become “Blockchain Singapore”)
            5. Israel (Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are recognized as not currency nor a financial asset. A blanket capital gains tax of 25% applies. – Good implementation of regulation)
            6. Cyprus (Use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is not regulated)
            7. Denmark (Bitcoin is not a currency)
            8. Ukraine
            9. Vanuatu

    B1 Positive-Neutral

    There are many countries that have signaled similar intentions too.

            1. Iceland
            2. Malta [The author would like to highlight Malta as a rising nation that is extremely positive on distributed ledgers. Malta has taken exhaustive steps to develop its national framework through the Malta National Blockchain Strategy.
            3. Papua New Guinea
            4. Singapore [Singapore was downgraded from Positive to Positive-Neutral on 30 September 2017. More than 10 heavy volume cryptocurrency firms(ie. Coinhako) were affected by no fault of their own after their Singapore clearing bank refused to extend business banking support. The Monetary Authority of Singapore, its central bank, refused to intervene. It is the author’s opinion that fiat to cryptocurrency settlements is a core requirement for a country that is positive on cryptocurrencies. A famous platform named Coinhako was left without a settlement bank for 3 weeks, both Coinhako and its clients were affected.]
            5. South Korea [The author acknowledges that both South Koreans and the Chinese are large market makers. However, user adoption does not mean adoption by key decision makers | 5 Oct 17 Update: South Korean’s gaming giant KakaoTalk adds cryptocurrency exchange to its portfolio, however, South Korea authorities banned ICOs. South Korea thus retains it Positive-Neutral rank.]
            6. Canada [See South Korea]

    B2 Neutral countries

            1. China [Previously neutral stance remains to be reviewed, pending PBoC’s stance on cryptocurrencies in general. ETH ICOs have however been banned.]
            2. United States of America [The author notes that the Nebraska Ethics Board [appointed by Nebraska state Supreme Court] allows all lawyers of the State of Nebraska to accept Bitcoin in exchange for services provided. Coupled with Silicon Valley, tech evangelists, and consistent cryptography innovation the United States retains a Neutral rating]
            3. Russian Federation [Previously negative stance has been upgraded to neutral]

    B3 Neutral-Negative View

    On the flip side, countries that are unsure will tend to adopt a neutral-negative approach instead of a fully negative approach.

    As of this post, the countries/intragovernmental organizations are:

            • European Union [As an EU body, EU regulators funded US$5 million to research methods to possibly defile the integrity of existing blockchain frameworks, current status of that project remains unclear.]
            • The United Arab Emirates [ 2 Oct 2017: The author acknowledges that Dubai has signaled its intention to become a blockchain-powered government. However, a Bitcoin ban defeats the purpose of an open ledger concept. However, the author acknowledges Dubai’s interest in blockchain.]
            • Malaysia [9 Oct 2017: The governor of Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negera Malaysia signaled intentions to reveal preferences on cryptocurrencies in general by December 2017.]

    C Negative View

    Negative Approach – A negative approach does not mean that the country named isn’t developing blockchain frameworks for its own use or licensing others to do on its behalf. Rather the government has little to no interest in Blockchain Governance in general:

            • Taiwan [Taiwan’s supervision body blocked the propagation of Bitcoin ATMs from being deployed. The government will have to do more to signal any real intention of developments]
            • India [India’s Central Bank issued a forward guidance concerning the use and network effects of Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies. The act of issuing this guidance can be interpreted as a negative view.
            • Algeria [The government seeks to ban blockchain based technology in the 2018 Finance Bill.
            • Nepal

    D1 Banned

            • Thailand [BTC banned, only govt licensed blockchains are allowed]

    D2 Hostile

    Hostile Approach – It is dangerous and illegal to deal or trade with cryptocurrencies in this country. Cryptoeconomics Asia is committed to a free market economy with sufficient regulation but not a complete ban as it only put governments behind their compatriots. Countries that are especially hostile are bold in red.

            • Ecuador (Banned since 2015)
            • Bolivia (Banned since 2014)
            • Kyrgyzstan (Banned since 2014. Usage of cryptocurrencies is a violation of the sovereignty of the state)
            • Indonesia Banned in October 2017, “offenders will be dealt with” by the Bank of Indonesia, the central bank of Indonesia
            • The Socialist Republic of Vietnam Banned in October 2017
            • People’s Republic of China (PBoC’s stance on cryptocurrencies in general. ETH ICOs have however been banned. Government officials have forced all Chinese Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Exchanges to shut by 30 Sept 2017) {Author’s note: China previously held a neutral view, but its central bank and officials have not been forthcoming with policy directions global blockchain community. And as such PRC has been downgraded}

    -Readers should note that a government’s current stance is not an indication of their stance going forward. Governments can switch positions and postures whenever it is beneficial for them.

    – A government’s current stance also does not mean that developments are not occurring within the country. In fact, governments that are anti blockchain might feel the need to look into crypto economics and Bitcoin economics even more to enact plausible regulations.

    – A government’s stance is not an indication of its population adoption of blockchain frameworks and their interest in blockchain economics. Take the Chinese for example, who are huge supporters of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and all other cryptocurrencies.

Cryptoeconomics Asia has several themed series running concurrently

  1. Crypto Economics – [Intermediate / Expert] — For readers who wish to bridge their knowledge gap about cryptocurrencies and blockchain economics. Crypto Economics will draw on Crypto Microeconomics, Crypto Macroeconomics, and several microfoundations of microeconomics. The core concept is to analyze and rationalize through modeling and theory the effects that the reduction of Asymmetric Information has on economic intelligence [AI of the future under ML expertise] and traditional economic agents.
  2. Government – For the civil service and congressmen. Bloat-free, straight to the point.
  3. Central Banking – For the well-versed and masters of the universe, but have no idea what’s Github.