Mineable and tradable from anywhere, cryptocurrency is borderless. Its adoption nevertheless hinges in part upon the stance taken by nation states. Politicians have the power to integrate, legitimize and push crypto to the next stage of mainstream adoption. A number of influential politicians around the globe have expressed varying levels of support for digital currencies and blockchain technology.
Cryptocurrencies Are Essentially Borderless
Pressure has been building on regulators to increase oversight of cryptocurrencies, whose stateless nature makes them difficult to restrict. There has been an expansion of economic activity on a global scale geared around quantifying and regulating crypto assets.
In 2019, politicians and regulators will play a pivotal role in pushing cryptocurrencies into the realm of mainstream finance. Cryptocurrency investing remains a high risk pursuit, but greater regulatory clarity may help to legitimize this nascent asset class, and grant investors greater protection. A number of politicians have been instrumental in bringing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into the spotlight, with some openly advocating crypto’s many benefits.
Who Are the Politicians Advocating Crypto?
Australian politician Nick Dametto, a recently elected MP for Katter’s Australian Party, a right-leaning minority party that seeks to serve Queensland, has openly discussed his bitcoin holdings. Dametto first purchased BTC in October 2017. In recent years, a reform of Australia’s tax regime surrounding cryptocurrency has also helped propel bitcoin toward the mainstream.
China has a love-hate relationship with blockchain and cryptocurrency. Most recently, Wang Pengjie, а member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), has been actively pushing for a digital asset management “approval system” and raised the possibility of establishing a crypto asset trading platform at a national level.
Dubai ruler Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum is the current executive authority of the government and has launched a blockchain strategy. The prince has been actively pushing Dubai for the highly-sought position to be at the forefront of this technological revolution.
Gibraltar’s finance minister Albert Isola has been busy rolling out the red carpet for crypto companies, with the country currently in the final stages of voting on regulations that would allow companies to issue and trade digital tokens.
Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, currently a member of the Knesset and the chairman of the Likud party, has spoken positively of cryptocurrencies and has warned that banks will eventually disappear, potentially because of Bitcoin. According to a recent report released by Bezeq, one of the largest telecom companies in Israel, 5 percent of people in the country have invested in or used BTC and other digital coins.
In Japan, Takeshi Fujimaki of the country’s Nippon Ishin no Kai political party has proposed a number of changes to the current taxation system for cryptocurrencies. Fujimaki was formerly an adviser to billionaire investor George Soros.
Putin: Crypto Goes Beyond National Borders
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has mentioned blockchain, intimating that lawmakers stop hindering the development of these technologies. Putin has noted the potential of the cryptoruble, and recently commenting, “If we talk about cryptocurrency – this is something that goes beyond national borders.”
South Korea’s minister of science and IT, Yoo Young-min, is a huge blockchain supporter. Young-min has been pushing blockchain integration and to have cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology regarded as separate entities for regulatory purposes.
In Sweden, Mathias Sundin became a member of the country’s parliament after funding his election campaign solely in bitcoin. Sundin then made the transition from the political arena to the position of chairman of the board of Swedish crypto exchange BTCX.
Following very closely behind Sundin is Switzerland’s lawmaker Cédric Wermuth who is vice president of the Social Democratic Party. He called for a formal government study into the possibility of launching a state cryptocurrency. The government has asked legislators commission a study on the pros and cons of a Swiss “e-franc.”
In the United Kingdom, member of Parliament from the Conservative party Eddie Hughes says that he is a “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” and has urged fellow parliamentarians to get a better understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
In the United States, during the 2018 midterm elections a number of crypto-friendly lawmakers have secured governorships. Bitcoin advocate and pro-tech candidate Jared Polis was elected as governor. The tech advocate and gamer earned a fond place in bitcoiners’ hearts in 2014 when he vowed to fight any attempt by the government to restrict the cryptocurrency’s growth. Early BTC adopter Gavin Newsom was also elected governor of California.
Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro, while a controversial figure, is also a crypto-friendly politician who is behind the oil-backed Venezuelan coin, the petro. Maduro has been tirelessly promoting the petro ever since his administration announced the creation of what is now considered the first state-issued cryptocurrency.
Will we see more politicians endorse cryptocurrencies in 2019? Let us know in the comments section below.
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