There’s promising news from European regulators as Liechtenstein announces that they’ll be taking a light-handed approach when it comes to blockchain technology.
Liechtenstein is one of many small European nations establishing itself as a blockchain hub over recent years. With a population of just 40,000 people, Liechtenstein is the sixth smallest country in the world and is home to more businesses than actual citizens due to the low tax rate. Liechtenstein is particularly attractive to blockchain businesses due to the extreme ease with which they can set up – it’s not necessary to open a bank account to start a company, and the whole process can be handled with Ethereum or Bitcoin following the country’s leading financial institution Bank Frick accepting cryptocurrency directly. Aeternity blockchain creator Yanislav Malahov recently set up shop in Liechtenstein, telling Forbes “they’re making it really easy to incorporate a cryptocurrency business”.
Crown Prince Alois is even interested in using blockchain for administrative government uses as well as stating his family’s interest in cryptocurrency investment, among the richest royal families in Europe. With all that in mind, it’s no surprise that the nation is planning to take it very easy on blockchain regulation in their upcoming legislation known simply as “The Blockchain Act”.
Prime Minister Adrian Hasler states that far from simply regulating the spending, tax, and issuance of cryptocurrency, the law aims to “provide the necessary legal framework for a wide range of new services and business models relating to these technologies”, saying that it “goes much further than the blockchain legislation of other countries” in his speech at a Finance Forum in late March.
Liechtenstein is one of many small nations punching above their weight in the blockchain space, perhaps capitalizing on the inherently slower regulatory efforts made by larger countries. Switzerland is another rising blockchain hub with cryptocurrency adoption widespread in cities like Zug, while the Prime Minister of Malta personally welcomed the proposed relocation of Binance HQ to their small island, while announcing his support for blockchain technology and calling on other EU leaders to join him “on the frontline in embracing this crucial innovation” and create the “Bitcoin continent of Europe”.
Liechtenstein certainly appear to be among those answering the call, with their Financial Market Supervisory Authority at the helm officially processing over 100 blockchain and cryptocurrency-related enquiries so far in their effort to establish themselves as a leading nation in blockchain innovation.