In recent months, trading values for the major cryptocurrencies have experienced explosive upward growth. At the time of this writing, BTC is trading at an all-time-high of $9,700, with major players like Ether (also the major fuel behind many ICOs), Litecoin, and Ripple seeing similar price growth. To a casual observer, this can easily be written off as just another day on the cryptocurrency roller coaster. But when viewed from a global perspective, however, the recent spike in valuation is hardly surprising. Let’s take a quick look at some of the recent global trends that have helped to fuel the recent rally.
U.S.A. – It’s not exactly controversial to say that the situation in the U.S. is tense, with a deeply divided Congress and an embattled Executive branch. As a result, creating new cryptocurrency and ICO regulations appear to be at the very bottom of the government’s to-do list, and crypto entrepreneurs are taking full advantage of the opportunity. One clear example of this is the recent announcement of BTC futures trading by Chicago-based CME Group and Cboe Global Markets, both among the largest futures-trading exchanges in the world.
Belarus – ICOs, along with cryptocurrency mining and trading, will soon gain full legal status in the country’s Belarus High Technologies Park, a special economic zone dedicated to IT industries. President Alexander Lukashenko is expected to sign a decree granting cryptocurrency-related investments protected status before the end of 2017. Given the country’s close financial ties to many other eastern European countries, and its friendly tax laws, Belarus could see a flood of foreign cryptocurrency-driven investment thanks to the move.
Philippines – The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced plans to legalize cryptocurrency and ICO trading in the country, categorizing them as securities. The regulations are specifically aimed at providing legal status to ICOs within the country, prompted by the delisting of agribusiness firm Calata Corp. from the Philippine Stock Exchange. Shortly after the delisting, Calata announced plans to reorganize its offering as an ICO (“Calcoins”), a decision that found unexpected support from the country’s central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Malaysia – New, cryptocurrency and ICO-friendly regulations are expected to be made public by Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), in early 2018. The regulations are expected to recognize ICOs and cryptocurrency investments as securities, requiring companies to follow existing anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing rules. The country is already seen as a regional hub for financial technology, and the initiative has substantial support from the Malaysian business community.
We’ll continue to follow these stories as they develop.