An increasing number of nations have started to show interest in endorsing cryptocurrency, rather than following the original philosophy behind Bitcoin, perceived as a tool to protect and empower citizens worldwide against oppressive regimes and financial institutions of predatory nature.
Established countries like the US and China have adopted a nuanced approach in integrating technology into various departments. Smaller nations like Malta and the Virgin Islands have looked into crypto as a means to expand the local economies. Here’s what you need to know about what’s going on in the world nowadays.
The US, with a regulatory stance on crypto, doesn’t typically come to mind as a champion of blockchain. However, many of the federal departments are actively exploring solutions that leverage blockchain for different purposes. To be specific, the US now employs a private blockchain to award yearly grants to many of its departments through a project called GrantSolutions. This initiative creates a centralized report of grants while simultaneously improving the ease with which recurring grants can be renewed and distributed every year.
According to a report, the US government is working on building an encrypted healthcare data exchange through the INFORMED incubator program. This allows citizens to leverage their healthcare data and sell it to researchers.
The JCS (Joint Chief of Staff) has also embarked on a project that utilizes blockchain to communicate 3D printing files over to military bases. The military is now relying on 3D printed parts to repair weapons and vehicles. Blockchain enables secure communication of these files in an encrypted manner that prevents it from unauthorized access.
China’s stance towards blockchain technology has been emphasized through global headlines. A series of statements made by the Chinese president Xi Jinping indicate that the country plans to integrate blockchain in several areas. Their use of surveillance on population and developments such as the social credit system suggests that their blockchain endorsement can be the means to surveil and restrict almost 1.4 billion citizens.
Integral properties of cryptocurrency are transparency and immutability, and a state-backed cryptocurrency means that government officials have complete and unrestricted access to the entirety of every citizen’s financial history and dealings. This can be further expanded to blacklist and reverse unwanted activity in the eyes of the government.
Oil-backed Petro cryptocurrency was launched as a token on the NEM blockchain in 2018. In addition to that, the Petro mechanism helped Venezuela circumvent sanctions and alleviate potholes in foreign trade systems. However, it is still unclear whether the oil-backed coin saw a significant acceptance by international business partners.
The overwhelming use of blockchain technology by national governments has helped stimulate economies and improve infrastructure. A majority of the first cryptocurrency adopters were small countries looking to gain a leading edge and accelerate national growth.
Malta has witnessed significant growth through its blockchain-friendly legislation and with an explosion in this space in 2017, many of the recently formed and massively growing startups moved their operations to Malta.
The most notable of these moves are seen through the relocation of a leading exchange valued at over USD 2B. With a national GDP of less than USD 13B in 2017, this instance represents a significant boost to the island’s economy and is a major proponent of further prosperity.
The British Virgin Islands
The most recent adoption of cryptocurrency as a cash-alternative can be found on the British Virgin Islands. The region has emphasized an intention to focus its efforts on the emerging financial technology and an aspiring FinTech leader, the archipelago is looking to digitize its economy with the help of a central digital currency.
December 03, the island authority hosted its Digital Economy Symposium to educate and strategize with over a hundred stakeholders across the island’s private and public sectors. It included a presentation on the ongoing life project by Lifelabs that was focused on developing a central cryptocurrency backed up by the USD 1:1 to address issues between cross-island business and consumption.
This initiative also encompasses a Rapid Cash Response system that quickly provides funds in response to potential future hazards.
The final word
As modern society advances towards digitization, blockchain represents a key tool for third-world and developing economies to transition in pace with the established and first-world counterparts. This benefit will have an impact on areas dominated by fiat and hindered by inadequate banking infrastructure.