There was a lot to take from the various dramas that played out in the crypto space in 2018. One of the positivity the crypto community can revel in is the fact that the crypto market is more tenacious than we thought as it survived disappointments that threatened to expose the frailties of the burgeoning market.
the European crypto community, in particular, ended the year in a high as various initiatives kept on popping up to cater for their needs. And these events points to one thing: Europe is swiftly becoming the mega hub for crypto.
For those that are still fixated on the status of crypto powerhouses like the US, South Korea, and Japan in the crypto world will find the above claim absurd. However, 2018 was littered with various clues that indicated that Europe is overtaking these giants in various crypto-related endeavors.
When you consider the amount of work European countries have put into making their economy a conducive environment for crypto-related investment, then you would agree that this claim is not outrageous. Already, Malta introduced the first official regulatory framework for crypto-related firms in November 2018. Although there is ongoing scrutiny on the friendly-nature of the framework, it still gives cryptopeneurs in that region a load down of the accepted practices. Apparently, it is easier to stay in the confines of the law when you are aware of the specificity of the outlined rules.
In contrast, the structure of the legislative jurisdictions in the US makes it difficult for start-ups to fully get the scope of the legal requirements for running a legit business. In a way, this has adversely affected the growth of ICO in this region. This factor coupled with the fact that many European countries have tax relief systems for crypto firms has initiated an exodus of cryptopreneurs to Europe.
The stride of European countries in the crypto space was further established in June when a survey revealed that the interest of Europeans in crypto would double in the nearest future. In addition, the survey showed that Europeans are more optimistic about the future of the crypto market. Perhaps, these revelations have spurred the major developments experienced in the tail end of 2018.
Regardless of the fact that the prices were not performing as expected, major powerhouses in the financial sector in Europe are committing a lot of resources into setting up crypto initiatives. Mid-December, Boerse Stuttgart which is currently the ninth biggest stock exchange in Europe and the second in Germany announced it plans to provide a crypto trading platform this year.
The Introduction Of Crypto ETP In Switzerland
In particular, the introduction of a crypto ETP in Switzerland’s principal stock exchange was the icing on the cake. The exchange, Six Swiss Exchange, approved Amun’s crypto-based exchange-traded product with the ticker symbol HODL in November. Although this is not a new development in Europe as a crypto ETP already exists in Sweden’s stock exchange by since 2015, however, this is the first time a crypto ETP is coming in this form.
Unlike XBT provider’s products in Sweden, Amun AG’s product is a multi-crypto ETP which makes it the first of its kind. Therefore, the crypto ETP tracks five of the largest cryptocurrencies in the crypto market which are Bitcoin, Ripple XRP, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Nevertheless, the shares each crypto controls in the market share of the ETP are not evenly distributed, instead, each has a percentage it controls. As expected, Bitcoin controls the largest share which accounts for almost half of the ETP’s market share. XRP controls 25.4 percent, Ethereum takes 16.7 percent, while Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin take 5.2 percent and 3 percent respectively.
One of the most interesting bits of information that highlights the importance of this development is Amun’s claim that SIX Swiss Exchange ranks as the fourth largest exchange in Europe with a market cap of $1.6 trillion. As a result, the introduction of a multi-crypto asset basket in a prominent exchange will likely kick-start a domino effect that will help crypto attain mainstream status in this region. One would expect that this development of such magnitude will also rub off on surrounding regions and establish an affinity of Europe-based retail and institutional investors to crypto investment.
Moreover, if we put together the explosive enthusiasm of Europe’s crypto community and the success story of the already existing crypto EP in Sweden, then we can safely conclude that Switzerland’s foray into crypto ETP will yield great results.
As you must have noticed, it is becoming difficult to separate Switzerland’s crypto ETP to the speculative nature of Bitcoin ETF in the Us which many believes is the key to mainstream adoption. Although the situation in the US and the possibilities of getting an approved crypto ETF in a massive economy will go a long way to assure crypto’s future, it doesn’t, however, downplay Europe’s strategic positioning in the crypto race.
The Bottom Line
Europe has come from behind to take the mantle while showing tremendous grit in this trying period in the crypto space. Therefore, claiming that Europe might just become the next frontier in the next phase of the crypto mainstream pursuit is not a fallacious statement.