Looking to visit the most cryptocurrency friendly cities in the world. Cryptocurrency adoption had made significant leaps since its emergence roughly a decade ago. Many companies have started accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method both online and off. Moreover, some of the largest cities around the world are now known as hubs for crypto and blockchain innovation.
Most Crypto Friendly Cities To Add To Your Travel List
In building this list, we focused on several criteria, such as the number of merchants that accept crypto, or the number of crypto ATMs. Additionally, we took into account other factors, such as the environment for crypto startups and local legislation regarding cryptocurrency.
10. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is an international hub for business and finance. However, its position as one of the world’s top crypto friendly cities is in spite of some specific unfortunate circumstances. In 2017, China effectively banned cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Last month, the government further escalated the ban and blocked over 120 crypto exchanges.
In this way, many crypto enterprises went to nearby regions for a more friendly environment. One area is Hong Kong, which, though a part of China, actually has its jurisdiction. For example, The Blockchain Global Summit was moved to Hong Kong from Beijing last year. Binance, one of the largest exchanges in the world, also opened offices in Hong Kong last year. However, amid uncertainty in communication with Hong Kong’s authorities, Binance has also opened an office in Malta.
Though the Hong Kong Monetary Authority stated in 2015 that Bitcoin (BTC) was not a “legal tender,” cryptocurrency is still legal as a form of payment. In this way, many retailers in the city accept cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, Indonesian startup Pundi X said it would build an offline cryptocurrency sales network in Hong Kong to expand the use of cryptocurrency in the retail space.
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
There are many reasons to visit Amsterdam. The city has beautiful architecture, many interesting museums, and fantastic nightlife. Moreover, you can also add to this list that Amsterdam is one of the world’s top crypto friendly cities.
Amsterdam has made many strides regarding cryptocurrency adoption. For example, it is home to a Bitcoin Embassy. The Bitcoin Embassy in Amsterdam is a space with an active crypto community that works on the promotion of Bitcoin. Also, as of 2015, Amsterdam has Bitcoin Boulevard. This is a street where most merchants accept Bitcoin.
Overall, there are more than 40 merchants in Amsterdam that accept Bitcoin. The city also has many crypto ATMs. By contrast, the founder of India’s first Bitcoin ATM was just arrested.
Similarly, many crypto startups and ICOs have been launched in Amsterdam, which is considered one of the best cities for tech startups in Europe.
8. Singapore, Malaysia
Singapore is another city that many crypto startups turned to after the ban on ICOs in China. Earlier this year, imToken, one of the largest Ethereum wallets in the world, moved to Singapore. Singapore regulators are also known for their transparent approach to cryptocurrencies. Therefore, there is much less uncertainty for crypto companies than in alternative crypto climates.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has even issued “a Guide to Digital Token Offering,” which explains how securities laws apply to token offerings. Moreover, Singapore’s regulations won’t affect utility tokens, according to Damien Pang, Singapore’s Technology Infrastructure Office under the FinTech & Innovation Group (FTIG). At the Consensus Singapore earlier this year, Pang said that the regulations would most likely affect only payment tokens.
7. Ljubljana, Slovenia
When it comes to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, we are consistently impressed by smaller countries and their progress in these areas. We included Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, to this list for several reasons.
Earlier this year, Ljubljana opened the world’s first Bitcoin-friendly mall, “Bitcoin City.” The mall is enormous, over 1.56 million square feet, to be exact. All merchants that operate shops in the mall accept Bitcoin and use blockchain technology. Bitcoin City is not just a mall, but a large business and recreational center, as well. In addition to accepting cryptocurrency, it will facilitate an ecosystem based on advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual and augmented reality.
In addition to Bitcoin City, Ljubljana also plays host to Bitstamp, one of the most popular crypto exchanges.
6. Buenos Aires, Argentina
The capital and largest city in Argentina became one of the most crypto friendly cities more out of necessity. A couple of years ago, the country plunged into a deep recession from which they have not fully recovered. Last year, the inflation in Argentina stood at over 25%.
Amidst the decline of the Argentinian peso and capital control installed by the government, many Argentinians turned to cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin. Furthermore, many merchants began accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. At present, there are over 120 enterprises that operate through use Bitcoin.
Last year, Buenos Aires hosted the first Bitcoin conference in Latin America. The conference, “Bitcoin Day,” took place in April. Moreover, many startups like SatoshiTango, Ripio (formerly BitPagos), and Buda have emerged within the city.
It’s also worth mentioning that earlier this year, Athena Bitcoin, an American Bitcoin ATM company, announced plans to open the first Bitcoin ATMs in Buenos Aires.
5. Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida’s largest city, has also made remarkable moves regarding crypto adoption. With a population of around 800,000 people, Jacksonville has an astounding 20 cryptocurrency ATMs.
Moreover, Jacksonville stands out when it comes to crypto investing. Jacksonville ranks highest in cryptocurrency holdings per person. More specifically, the average cryptocurrency holding per Jacksonville resident stands at more than $31,000. By comparison, the city that ranked second is Memphis, Tennessee with $15,700.
4. Toronto, Canada
Toronto is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Therefore, it’s not surprising that is has a sprawling cryptocurrency community. Canada lightly regulates cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Also, the Canadian government offers both incentive and aid for tech startups.
However, the Canadian government is currently working on a set of regulations on the crypto industry. The regulations were expected this fall but have been postponed until 2019. On the one hand, this delay allows more crypto startups to emerge across the country. On the other hand, it maintains uncertainty within the industry.
In regards to Toronto, the city has become one of the world’s most crypto friendly cities and has seen the emergence of several successful crypto enterprises. One example is Decentral, the company behind Jaxx, one of the best cryptocurrency wallets. Toronto is also the home of Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum. Though the Ethereum founder predicted his demise, earlier this month.
Also, according to Coin ATM Radar, there are more than 200 crypto ATMs across Toronto. This is one of the most significant numbers of any city worldwide.
3. Zug, Switzerland
Zug is a small city with a population of fewer than 30,000 people. Though it isn’t widely known, if you follow blockchain and cryptocurrency news, you’ve likely heard of Zug. Zug is one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world.
Some top crypto companies have headquarters in Zug. The city earned the nickname “Crypto Valley” for this reason. For example, the infamous Tezos ICO took place in Zug last year.
A couple of years ago, Zug became the first city to accept Bitcoin as payment for taxes. Furthermore, the municipality has recently started receiving the cryptocurrency as payment for government services on a trial basis.
2. New York City, New York
New York has over 100 merchants that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Also, there are more than 150 crypto ATMs distributed around the city.
Some crypto startups found their beginnings in New York. For example, Coinsetter, one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges, was launched in New York in 2012. In 2016, Coinsetter was acquired by Kraken in one of the largest M&A deals in the crypto space.
Moreover, New York has its cryptocurrency, the New York Coin. However, it’s very small, with a market cap of $3.65 million. Also, Blocklr‘s headquarters is in New York!
1. San Francisco, California
San Francisco deserves the top spot on the list of most crypto friendly cities without a doubt. The city has earned the reputation of a global tech hub. San Francisco, which has a population of more than 870,000, has around 60 crypto ATMs. Within the city, there are more than 100 retailers that accept cryptocurrency.
Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchange platforms and the developer of one of the most secure cryptocurrency wallets, is based in San Francisco. Also, many cryptocurrency and blockchain companies chose San Francisco for their headquarters.
Most Cryptocurrency Friendly Cities Bucket List
Overall, many cities around the world have started adopting cryptocurrency. The adoption does not show only in the form of merchants that accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, but also in a favorable environment for cryptocurrency companies. However, if you are a cryptocurrency enthusiast or professional and are looking for a new place of residence, this list might be a right place to begin your search.