Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, has spread to nearly every corner of the globe and is, by this point, having a very significant impact on the global financial system.
Still, countries around the world differ greatly in their acceptance. A lot of them are open to their adoption, while others support implicit or explicit bans.
But views in this regard are quickly evolving. Many countries are at this moment forging their frameworks for regulation, and there are signs that 2021 will be very very good for crypto.
Bitcoin Reaches New All-Time-High
Bitcoin has experienced a steady rise to reach new all-time-highs, breaking through $35,212 per BTC as of January 11th. It's price has more than tripled over the last three months.
This rise of Bitcoin has sparked a surge in the prices of other cryptocurrencies such as Ether, the native currency of the Ethereum blockchain. Just since Christmas Day, Ether is up over 50%
Unlike stocks, Bitcoin and Ether can be bought and sold every day around the clock and they have started 2021 off strong, up more than 10% and 30%, respectively.
While it is very difficult to say which cryptocurrencies will continue to have big price gains in 2021, it can be said with confidence that crypto is not going away anytime soon. In fact, Blockchain, the underlying technology behind many cryptocurrencies, has spread far outside of the digital currency industry and is expected to see many new applications this year.
Where Are Cryptocurrencies Accepted Currently?
Portugal Tax Authority (PTA) stated in 2019 that cryptocurrency trading and payments made in cryptocurrency would not be subject to Value Added Tax (VAT). However, this applies only to individuals. Businesses that receive income from cryptocurrency trading are still subject to progressive rates for personal income tax.
When it comes to the acceptance of cryptocurrencies, Japan is known to be one of the most hospitable places. In fact, Japan officially recognizes Bitcoin as a unit of account and means of payment. Japan has probably the most progressive regulatory climate in the world for crypto. Licenses are obtained from the Financial Service Agency and exchanges must verify customer identities, keep transaction records, and inform the authorities in case of suspicious activities.
Switzerland still doesn't classify Bitcoin as legal tender, but in general, has a quite positive stance to it as an asset. The country uses low taxes and exemptions from VAT taxes to encourage adoption of cryptocurrency. This is especially true in the Canton of Zug which is promoting itself as an European hub for Fintech start-ups and cryptocurrencies in particular.
In South Korea also Bitcoin is not recognized as legal tender but the country is the 3rd largest market for Bitcoin trading. Like in Japan, crypto exchanges are legal and are well regulated. Recent developments indicate the Ministry of Economy and Finance is considering a 20 percent tax on income generated from cryptocurrencies. This is a significant change, as taxation of crypto was historically a very grey area.
How Practical is Cryptocurrency - What Can You Buy?
Examples vary a lot from country to country, city to city, but are currently unexpectedly diverse.
Paying a Rent
For 3 years already in Brooklyn some tenants can pay their rent with Bitcoin using a mobile app. The tenant uses Bitcoin and then the rental platform ManageGo converts the bitcoin to dollars using Coinbase, a digital cryptocurrency broker. This way the landlord gets the rent payment in dollars.
“We lead in innovation, so we saw bitcoin was something that’s going to happen and become a standing currency sometime in the future,” said Chaim Lowenstein, vice president of business strategy at ManageGo.
Medical Bill Payments
Even some clinics in the US started accepting crypto. This allows for some advantages over the traditional ways of payment for medical bills. Since cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous, patients can completely, discreetly, and without any paper trail get treatment for sexually transmitted infections, cosmetic surgery or anything else.
Online Casino Games
Also, as we can read at ArabianBetting, that the popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led to many online casinos accepting crypto as both a deposit and a withdrawal method. Some of the various advantages are that it offers great privacy through anonymity and rapid transaction times. This keeps it one of the fastest-growing casino payment options.
And, Yes - Food Delivery
In COVID-19 times being able to stay home and be safe has become an essential privilege. Food delivery companies had a huge increase of their business and some of them started accepting cryptocurrencies.
For example, Shuttle Delivery is a food delivery service in South Korea operating in the capital city of Seoul and its suburbs. Through it you can order food from some of the country’s best restaurants choosing between all kinds of cuisine. You also have a variety of payment options at your disposal, but what makes the platform special is that it accepts Bitcoin as well!
The Upcoming Boom Is Inevitable
We can see through concrete examples that cryptocurrencies have quite different standing and levels of acceptance in different countries. A good sign is that the countries most open to it right now are the same countries that in the past were first to adopt innovation in both technology and business and show to the rest of the world what the future will look like.
Cryptocurrencies are constantly finding ways to adapt and integrate themselves into the market. A very current example of this is Covid-19 opening up even more space for the use of crypto. What’s more, its underlying technology - Blockchain, has stretched far outside of the digital currency industry and is likely to see new applications this year. On the other hand, governments are carrying on wrestling with how to best control and ease the usage of digital tokens.
But the best indication of what the future holds are their continuous price gains, especially when it comes to Bitcoin and Ether. If the price of something triples in three months, as it happened with Bitcoin, and this results in the surge of prices of other cryptocurrencies, we can be quite sure that they are not only here to stay, but also to conquer the market.
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