A fundamental trait of crypto is as an asset class that transcends jurisdictions. Yet, one of the key hubs driving adoption and innovation is Asia. Since the heady days of Korea’s Kimchi premium and Bitcoin (BTC) arbitrage opportunities, the region is playing a role in defining crypto’s development pathways and anchoring its future.
According to Chainanalysis’ report, in the first half of 2021, Asia was already the destination for 28% of the overall global transaction volume — $1.16 trillion worth of cryptocurrency. Central and Southern Asia alone saw crypto transactions grow 706% year-over-year, making it the world’s third-fastest growing region.
Last year, headlines from Asia were dominated by developments in China. However, the rest of the region was also abuzz, boosted by the halo of perceived legitimacy with regulatory clarity in Singapore around digital assets. The pace of decentralized finance (DeFi) innovation in Southeast Asia was buoyed with a step-up in fundraising and investment in projects. As investors become more comfortable and confident in DeFi’s yield opportunities, institutional adoption is well-poised to continue on its growth trajectory in 2022.
A new chapter, without China
China’s stance on crypto is not unexpected, given the country’s long-standing policy of capital control. While the pace of recent enforcement took many in our industry by surprise, players have — to their credit — adapted swiftly. Miners resettled in Kazakhstan and the United States, with exchanges and traders settling in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Related: Finding a new home: Bitcoin miners settling down after China exodus
As a decentralized asset, crypto’s development and innovation are not limited to any single jurisdiction. Investment capital and talent flow to wherever there is a fostering environment, so countries with a welcoming regulatory framework that encourages innovation, coupled with progressive immigration policies, will be big beneficiaries.
Singapore, already a global financial service and wealth management hub, is a clear frontrunner — crypto has been regulated since 2019 under new…