With all signs pointing to cryptocurrency being the future of money, FinTechs, investors and venture capital funds continue to commit to crypto. At the same time, financial institutions are coming to realise that to stay ahead, they need to embrace digitalisation within the financial ecosystem where blockchain technology reduces costs and provides greater financial inclusion.
We take a look at the state of cryptocurrency across the globe and how different countries are managing the growing demand for crypto, both in terms of regulation and infrastructure. As cryptocurrencies continue to grow, the right technological measures need to be in place to support the increasing exchange of digital assets, bringing the importance of crypto connectivity in crypto trading into focus.
The global state of crypto connectivity and trading
The pandemic contributed to the accelerated adoption of cryptocurrencies as investors started looking for alternative investment opportunities, and the crypto market was largely unaffected by the impact COVID-19 had on traditional markets’ performance. Post the pandemic, almost 50% of investors have shown more of an interest in crypto trading and plan to increase their crypto assets by the end of 2023.
With this rise in demand, the hardware segment has acquired a major share of the crypto market as the need for improved performance and enhanced payment tool efficiency has increased. However, looking ahead, the software segment is expected to catch up to facilitate the massive amounts of data crypto is generating, as adoption increases and users globally seek low latency crypto connectivity solutions.
Cryptocurrency in Asia
In 2020, the Asia-Pacific region dominated the crypto market thanks to an increase in Bitcoin exchanges and various other cryptocurrency implementations. With a Millennial and Gen Z population of around 570 million, all equipped with high internet connectivity and an appetite for alternative investments and payment methods, the region offers great opportunity to investors and companies dealing in digital currency. This reveals that the APAC region is crucial for innovation in the blockchain space, and has a massive impact on crypto market performance globally.
While blockchain continues to play a vital role in the retail payments space, companies have started including Bitcoin and Ethereum to their modes of payment. Simultaneously, key market players like Intel, Microsoft, Amazon and Xilinx, looking to expand their geographical reach and increase their customer base, are opting for mergers and acquisitions, partnerships, and agreements to economise on the opportunities the region has to offer.
Singapore, the financial hub of South-East Asia, has seen a crypto market surge with 630 global crypto companies establishing their presence in the country. Meanwhile, Cambodia National Bank has launched a digital currency that has reduced costs and boosted small business digitalisation. Neighbouring Thailand now owns 10% of the world’s crypto assets - the second-highest ownership globally with four digital asset exchanges.
However, in other Asian countries, cryptocurrency has been met with challenges. Clamping down on crypto, China has banned crypto trading and raised electricity prices for institutions found to be abusing subsidised power for crypto mining. In attempts to combat fraud and increase transparency in the financial sector, the government has also rolled out a digital version of the Yuan, giving the Chinese central bank greater control over the exchange of money.
Cryptocurrency in Europe
Europe falls below the global average for cryptocurrency adoption with around 17% of Europeans having taken to crypto, compared to 23% globally. Similarly, only 7% of Europeans who haven’t yet bought crypto were planning on buying in 2022, as opposed to 21% globally, and as to whether they consider cryptocurrency the future of money, only 19% of Europeans agreed compared to the global number of 38%.
Additionally, 35% of Europeans are concerned about the security of cryptocurrencies, and 34% of Europeans have confirmed they don’t know how to buy or hold cryptocurrencies. The European country that expressed the most curiosity about crypto, however, was Ireland, with 58% of Irish consumers indicating interest in learning more about, or buying, crypto in 2022.
However, new regulations agreed by Members of European Parliament (MEPs) aim to ensure crypto transfers can be traced and any suspicious transactions, including money laundering and terrorist funding, can be blocked. Because crypto transfers flow largely undetected across Europe, they are ideal for illicit and anonymous transactions, and can be exploited for criminal activity.
With the new requirements from MEPs, crypto asset transfers will need to include information pertaining to the source and beneficiary of the asset, which can be made readily available for checking by competent authorities, if requested. Additionally, MEPs want the European Banking Authority to create a public register of businesses and services that are involved in crypto-assets and may have a high risk of criminal activity, including a list of non-compliant providers.
Commenting on the new legislation, European Conservatives and Reformists Group vice-chair, Assita Kanko, noted “.. we seek to normalise the crypto world as it grows, implementing rules that create trust. More than a decade after the creation of Bitcoin, it is high time we took these important steps for our citizens.”
Cryptocurrency in the Middle East
Looking to accelerate their own crypto economy, the Middle East has plans to become the global crypto hub, and leading the shift to cryptocurrency in the region is Bahrain.
The gulf country responded to the growing demand for crypto assets by setting up a comprehensive framework for crypto exchange licensing, and the Central Bank of Bahrain, now accepting cryptocurrency as an official payment method, is licencing exchanges while allowing banks to work with them to accommodate customers’ crypto transactions. Binance, for example, is a fully regulated and centralised exchange in Bahrain.
Further down the gulf, the UAE is catching up with Bahrain and encouraging crypto-related activities. Following the UAE’s acceptance of large global exchanges, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre is offering tax waivers and easy visa access to crypto projects, and regular crypto expos are hosted to attract investors. Emirates airline has also confirmed its crypto endeavours with a series of projects involving NFTs and the Metaverse lined up.
Although the UAE’s regulatory approach to crypto is still behind Bahrain’s, and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates doesn’t recognise cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange or payment, there is a willingness to build an appropriate regulatory environment for crypto firms. After Binance secured licensing, it was noted that the UAE government is taking a proactive approach to digital asset regulation, and not classifying it under the securities umbrella as regulators in the US are doing.
With the UAE’s efforts to establish a framework, enlist exchanges and host crypto events, and Bahrain’s head start on cryptocurrency adoption, the region is set to be the hub of crypto trading in the near future.
Introducing BSO’s Crypto Connect solution for global crypto trading
The increasing demand for cryptocurrencies across the globe, on both an individual investor and enterprise level, requires an investment in low latency crypto connectivity solutions. Data-intensive crypto firms need robust infrastructure that can reliably perform, to support them in harnessing new markets and opportunities, confidently.
As a team of engineers who have spent decades pioneering and building highly available global networks, including cloud, BSO offers businesses mission critical connectivity solutions that are built for performance. BSO provides access to markets that others can’t, through:
99.99% network availability
24/7/365 network ops centre and technical support
150,000 miles of submarine cabling
30+ connected stock exchanges
Global, low latency cloud connectivity
BSO’s Crypto Connect solution helps specialised crypto trading firms capitalise on crypto through reliable low latency connectivity. As the simplest yet most comprehensive crypto connectivity solution on the market, Crypto Connect provides latency, quality, and reach, while leveraging BSO’s in-depth cloud connectivity knowledge and capabilities.
240 data centres across 33 countries, guaranteeing availability
Private connectivity to leading cloud providers like AWS, Azure, Google, IBM and Alibaba
Deterministic latency, made possible through our virtual routing platform
Unrivalled connection to major crypto exchanges and market data providers
Expert engineers that orchestrate the most effective connectivity and cloud strategies for crypto firms
Whether crypto will replace money as we know it entirely is still to be seen, but it’s safe to say that cryptocurrency is here to stay, and economies all over the world are making moves to accommodate its growing popularity.
To support efficient cryptocurrency trading, crypto firms and businesses dealing in digital assets need to ensure their technical infrastructure is powerful enough to keep up with demand. Partnering with an experienced network connectivity provider can help businesses not only meet connectivity requirements, but also capitalise on bleeding-edge innovations that can keep them ahead of competition.
If you’re looking for an effective crypto connectivity solution, and the technical expertise to support your connectivity needs, contact our team of experts to start optimising your crypto connectivity and trading.
The company was founded in 2004 and serves the world’s largest financial institutions. BSO is a global pioneering infrastructure and connectivity provider, helping over 600 data-intensive businesses across diverse markets, including financial services, technology, energy, e-commerce, media and others. BSO owns and provides mission-critical infrastructure, including network connectivity, cloud solutions, managed services and hosting, that are specific and dedicated to each customer served.
The company’s network comprises 240+ PoPs across 33 markets, 40+ cloud on-ramps, is integrated with all major public cloud providers and connects to 75+ on-net internet exchanges and 30+ stock exchanges. The team of experts works closely with customers in order to create solutions that meet the detailed and specific needs of their business, providing the latency, resilience and security they need regardless of location.
BSO is headquartered in Ireland, and has 11 offices across the globe, including London, New York, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Access our website and find out more information: www.bso.co
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