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What is the Most Blockchain-Friendly Place in Europe?

Written by Token Authority Research Team

Posted July 5, 2018

It’s been a fairly quiet week in the world of digital currency.

But don’t let a few quiet moments trick you into not paying close attention.

In today's update, we're going to take a look at some regulatory events that every digital currency investor should be paying attention to, starting with the new regulation structure for initial coin offerings that Thailand is in the final stages of rolling out.

Let's get started.

Thai Regulator Confirms That the Country Will Start Regulating Initial Coin Offerings in July

2018 has been a transformational year for initial coin offerings.

For those of you newer to the digital currency world, initial coin offerings are a fundraising method where blockchain companies offer a token to early investors in lieu of stock. This method, which was largely unregulated in 2017, quickly attracted scrutiny from regulators around the globe.

It wasn't long before the ICO party came to a screeching halt, forcing many companies that wanted to execute initial coin offerings to jump through hoops. That said, other blockchain companies have started to work with regulators in their respective countries. And that can be a good thing.

That brings us to Thailand.

Thailand confirmed on July 4th that its long-awaited new ICO regulations will officially take effect on July 16th. This is a big step that will help solidify the role of ICOs as a fundraising instrument.

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) noted that regulating initial coin offerings will require a two-tier vetting procedure.

Through this process, ICOs will be able to submit their ideas through an accredited initial coin offering portal. Applicants will be selected from this portal and then pushed to the SEC for one final screening.

Thailand's announcement is a big step for regulators in the blockchain space. It makes Thailand the first jurisdiction to permit ICOs to function in a fully regulated environment.

Who is next on the regulatory ballot?

While nothing is for sure, we are keen on South Korea. While South Korea has been less than friendly to initial coin offerings in the past, there are conversations about reversing South Korea's ICO ban in favor of a regulated initial coin offering policy.

We'll keep you up to date as the situation develops.

India Crypto Exchanges Grapple With Bank Ban

While Thailand celebrates its victory in the regulatory and adoption space, another country's digital currency exchanges are grappling with a blow from governing bodies.

This week, India cryptocurrency exchanges were dealt a crippling blow from India's Supreme Court.

The court decided to uphold earlier implemented restrictions that prevent exchanges from accessing bank accounts. This decision prevents banks and other regulated financial firms from doing business with crypto exchanges.

And this has some obvious problems.

It could prevent digital currency exchanges from connecting with buyers in an easy way, and it could create another obstacle between traders and tokens.

Zebpay, one of India's largest crypto exchanges by trading volume, stated on Wednesday, July 4th, that it had paused deposit and withdrawal services for the Indian rupee immediately following the Supreme Court's decision.

We will keep investors up to date as the situation develops.

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Malta: One of Blockchain's Biggest Allies

If we're going to spend a whole update talking about regulation, there is no way we can write such an article without mentioning Malta. 

Why? Well, Malta stands out for having one of the most progressive and forward-thinking blockchain agendas out there.

In the past couple of years, the European island state has encouraged the development of blockchain businesses, creating dozens of thriving blockchain companies. This includes Binance, which announced plans to move to Malta in March 2018.

Binance is one of the world's biggest digital currency exchanges, offering investors more tokens than any other exchange on the market. That said, Binance has also been a hotbed for regulatory scrutiny, leaving Hong Kong for Japan and then Japan for Malta.

It is a testament to Malta's forward-thinking agenda that it has managed to attract such a big fish. Outside of Binance, Malta is also home to equity fundraising platform Neufund.

And a recent study from Morgan Stanley just announced that Malta has established itself as the number one spot for crypto trading.

How did Malta achieve this cherished label? Well, a big part of it was removing regulatory uncertainty. Maltese regulators understand something crucial that many countries and cities haven't figured out: blockchain is more than just crypto.

What does this mean for investors? Well, it's smart to keep an eye on forward-thinking blockchain cities and countries. Their attitude and hospitality toward the technology can help create a good foundation for growth.

Russian Military Is Building a Blockchain Research Lab 

At this point, it's obvious that blockchain technology has dozens of potential use cases.

If you're a long-term Token Authority reader, then you're likely very familiar with many of these use cases. In just the last couple of months, we've spoken about how blockchain can be used in dozens of industries, from supply chain to health care.

But now it looks like blockchain technology could be used to protect a nation against a jarring cyberattack.

At least the Russians think so.

Local Russian newspaper Izvestia broke the story that the Russian Ministry of Defense is building a research lab for blockchain technology, and the goal behind the lab is to analyze how blockchain technology can be used to mitigate cybersecurity attacks.

Through testing, the lab will determine whether blockchain could be used to identify cyber attacks, hence protecting critical infrastructure.

Research to see whether blockchain could be used in this manner has already started, even though the lab itself has not been completed.

We will provide you with updates on Russia's blockchain research lab as the story evolves. It is certainly an interesting use case for the technology, considering our increasingly digital age.

Keep an eye on your inbox for our Monday article, where we plan on exploring this use case in more depth.

For Digital Currency, 2017 Was a Landmark Year…

The price of Bitcoin, the world's first digital asset, soared. And that turned many first-time investors into millionaires within a matter of months. Beyond Bitcoin, other digital assets also gained national attention and the support of massive corporations like Intel, Microsoft, and IBM.

But today, investors are looking at a different digital currency landscape…

A whole new wave of valuable blockchain companies is giving investors a second chance at Bitcoin-level profits.

At Token Authority, our goal is to provide investors with the actionable research and news that they’ll need to profit from this groundbreaking market. Sign up below to receive our free e-letter and a report detailing the top three digital currencies that you should be keeping an eye on in 2018.

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