- The United States of America (U.S.) and Canada are among the leading nations supporting the expansion of digital currencies in the world.
- The U.S. is widely considered to be the country with the largest number of “holders” given the large number of exchanges, mining facilities and Blockchain-based projects in the country.
- Canada is bullish in crypto investments, beating the U.S. to launching the first Bitcoin ETF fund in the world and looks set to launch the first fiat-backed digital currency.
- Despite the wide acceptance of cryptocurrencies in North American countries, they still face daunting hurdles that threaten their survival.
The U.S. and Canada are forging a path for the rest of the cryptocurrency industry to follow, both striving to make the ecosystem attractive for investors.
The U.S. prides itself as the country with the most crypto users in the world and is home to a large number of exchanges, mining facilities and crypto billionaires despite initial opposition from top government officials like Janet Yellen.
Not wanting to be outdone by its southern neighbours, Canada is also working towards an environment conducive to investment opportunities.
The United States
The U.S. has had a long, chequered relationship with cryptocurrencies since Bitcoin launched in 2009. The number of crypto users in the country has steadily been on the increase and is currently the highest in the world, with millions of users contributing to the volume of trade.
States like Colorado, Kansas, South Carolina and Montana appear favourable to cryptocurrency investment. The Colorado government exempted cryptocurrencies from certain security regulations recently, and California legalized digital currencies.
The US is home to some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, Bittrex and Kraken, and is also the origin of several leading cryptos and Blockchain-based projects.
Despite the challenges posed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and vocal critics like Janet Yellen, some of Wall Street’s biggest players such as BNY Mellon, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are now embracing cryptocurrencies and are offering services to their client base. Moreover, corporations like Tesla have become major investors in the cryptocurrency market.
MicroStrategy and Grayscale are increasing their cryptocurrency holdings at any given opportunity. The buzz surrounding cryptocurrencies in America has reached an all-time high, with U.S. citizens investing their stimulus packages in cryptocurrencies and retail investors matching Wall Street giants for the assets.
On the Flipside
- While some countries are looking for better ways to adopt cryptos, others have sought to ban their use.
- Countries like Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, India, North Macedonia, have pulled the plug on Bitcoin transactions.
- In countries like Morocco, Nigeria, and India, a surge in crypto interest has followed the ban, showing that cryptos are here to stay.
Canada is proving to be a country that is ideal for cryptocurrency investments. In 2013, the Canadian Revenue Agency announced that Bitcoin payments should be treated as barter transactions.
Presently, Canada allows the use of digital currencies however, they are not considered legal tender. Although trade in cryptocurrencies and mining as a commercial endeavour is still subject to taxation, the use of cryptocurrencies is on the increase.
Recently, Canada became the first country to approve a Bitcoin ETF, doing so before the U.S. The Ontario Securities Commission approved the launch of Purpose Investments Inc. making it the “first in the world to invest directly in physically settled Bitcoin”. One month since its launch, Canadians have invested $150 million in BTC ETFs.
The Canadian Bank, VersaBank has unveiled plans to launch the first fiat-backed digital currency in the world. The President of VersaBank noted that this project will allow businesses and consumers the opportunity to reap the benefits of digital currencies.