It’s a subject that has been somewhat at odds with the recent five-month long bear market, but every week there seems to be another reason to be bullish long term about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. From the softening in stance by many governments and institutions in regards to Bitcoin’s very existence, to the number of business leaders talking up the promise of blockchain technology, the future of the cryptocurrency space seems brighter every day. Someone should tell the market, as it seems uninformed.
Three more footsteps along the path of implementation came this week. Amsterdam’s Schipol airport has installed a Bitcoin/Ethereum ATM for travellers to convert any leftover Euros into digital, the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank has started tracking the prices of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin, and Enigma announced a partnership with Intel to develop privacy preserving computation technologies. While these announcements themselves may not be enough to encourage investors back into the market, they nevertheless add to the inescapable conclusion that cryptocurrencies and blockchain are seeping their way bit-by-bit into everyday life. Of course the entire ecosystem is waiting for an ‘Amazon accepts Bitcoin’ type announcement, but until then this drip-drip approach allows the general public to be exposed to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies almost subconsciously, which can only be good for the space.
One of the biggest proponents of cryptocurrencies, Russia, has drafted new legislation to allow local entities to have greater control over cryptocurrencies. This development has brought concern to blockchain advocates as it goes against one of the core precepts of blockchain and cryptocurrencies – decentralisation. The Russian parliament, Duma, approved cryptocurrency and ICO-related bills during their first reading, and hopes are that the terms can be deliberated and potentially relaxed as part of their second reading. If they remain as originally stated, however, individual investors will find their abilities to place larger amounts of money in ICOs hampered. It could effectively dampen individual investors from placing larger amounts of money in ICOs.
On the subject of ICOs, Lithuania has taken the first steps towards a much-anticipated development in the cryptocurrency sphere with the launch of DESICO, an ICO platform for security tokens. The government-backed scheme supports the secondary trading of tokens due to a financial brokerage license, while a European E-Money license allows fiat-crypto conversions as well as the ability to issue IBAN accounts.
Minister of Finance Vilius Šapoka said: “Lithuania needs a transparent and regulated crowdfunding platform in order for it to fulfil its plan of becoming a future FinTech leader of the Baltic-Nordic region. Lithuania already has an exceptional regulatory advantage; it is the first European Union member state to already legally regulate ICOs, and have a law on crowdfunding. Meanwhile, other EU countries, as well as the United States, Canada, and China are only just changing their legislation to legally regulate ICOs.”
Lithuania seems therefore to be following in the footsteps of Malta and Puerto Rico in its positive attitude to the burgeoning cryptocurrency scene. All very positive news for the adoption of cryptocurrency. It’s only a matter of time before the markets realize that the future is bright.