Australia: Bitcoin will be treated as money in Australia by July 1, 2017 and will be exempt from goods and services tax (GST). Bitcoin traders and investors will not be taxed for purchasing and selling Bitcoin through regulated exchanges and trading platforms. Starting July 1, double taxation and trading and goods and services taxation on Bitcoin will be exempted.
The Australian government wrote: “The Government will make it easier for new innovative digital currency businesses to operate in Australia. From 1 July 2017, purchases of digital currency will no longer be subject to the GST, allowing digital currencies to be treated just like money for GST purposes. Currently, consumers who use digital currencies can effectively bear GST twice: once on the purchase of the digital currency and once again on its use in exchange for other goods and services subject to the GST.” Expect a surge of Bitcoin usage in Australia.
Russia: A year ago Russia’s Finance Ministry was threatening jail time to anyone using digital currencies. But as of recent, Deputy Finance Minister Alexy Moiseev said in an interview that the authorities hope to recognize Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in 2018 as they seek to enforce rules against illegal transfers. Another major market open. Expect a surge of Bitcoin usage in Russian.
Africa: Africa is “ripe for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies”. As of today there are more than 1,000 merchants accepting Bitcoin in South Africa alone. Adewale Bankole, President of the Bastiat Society and Humaniq Ambassador of Nigeria stated that, “Africa is an emerging market with lots of opportunities. And people have been failed time over time by fiat money that doesn’t hold value”. When asked if Africa had a lot to offer for Bitcoin, Bankole answered “Yes, the market is here for cryptocurrencies in Africa. Africa has lots to offer Bitcoin and other cryptos, simply because Africa needs an alternative to the weak and not – always – available fiat money.
All products of cryptocurrencies will be well embraced if promoted in Africa”. And do you believe Africans would embrace Bitcoin if the necessary awareness is created? Bankole: “Absolutely, once they see it works. Africans really want something that works with value. The missing link here is the awareness about the technology”. The infrastructure is there with the average African owning a smartphone, and the people are ready. If the proper promotion can take place, expect a surge of Bitcoin usage in Africa.
Japan: On April 1, 2017 Japan passed to accept Bitcoin as a legal payment method. Days after, two major Japanese retailers partnered with Japanese Bitcoin exchanges to start accepting the digital currency for payments. Bic Camera, a major consumer electronics retail chain in Japan, partnered with Bitcoin exchange Bitflyer. Recruit Lifestyle, the retail support arm of human resources conglomerate Recruit Holdings, partnered with Bitcoin exchange Coincheck. According to Nikkei Asian Review, 4,500 stores in Japan currently accept Bitcoin as payments. Coincheck claims that their partnership with Recruit Lifestyle “will add 260,000 more stores that accept Bitcoins”, speculatively by this summer. Expect a continued surge in Bitcoin usage in Japan as the cryptocurrency becomes more practical for everyday use.
China: In February of this year, the People’s Bank of China came down on the 3 largest Bitcoin exchanges, BTC China, OKCoin and Huobi, in response to what it perceived as potential violations of various anti-money laundering rules. This placed a four-month freeze on withdrawals from the Bitcoin exchanges and thus halted the exchange of Bitcoin in China. However on June 5, 2017 withdrawals were resumed. Many analysts attribute the 12% spike in Bitcoin price over the past week to the news from China. As the Chinese are now allowed to exchange the cryptocurrency again, expect a surge of Bitcoin usage in China.
United States: Bitcoin is becoming increasingly accepted. The US dollar currently makes up for 46% of Bitcoin exchange volume by currency, far greater than any other currency. With that said, it is exciting to think what would happen if Bitcoin were to be legalized in the US. And we are making steps in that direction. On September 17, 2015 the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) classified Bitcoin as a commodity. Baby steps. But as the world adopts Bitcoin and it becomes easier to use in the global market, along with some political or economic instability in the US, expect a surge in Bitcoin usage in the United States.
If you haven’t yet gotten the message what I’m saying is this: expect a continued surge of Bitcoin usage around the globe.
One analyst even believes a Bitcoin will reach $100,000 per coin, and here’s how: Kay Van-Peterson of Saxo Bank, the man who predicted that BTC would reach $2,000 per coin, assumes that in ten years cryptocurrencies in general, not just Bitcoin, will account for 10 percent of the average daily volumes (ADV) of fiat currency trading in 10 years. Foreign exchange ADV currently stands at just over $5 trillion, according to the Bank for International Settlements. So that 10% of $5 trillion would be a $500 billion cryptocurrency market. If Bitcoin were to be 35% of that $500 billion cryptocurrency market, this would mean that $175 billion worth of Bitcoin would be traded everyday.
Van-Peterson implies that Bitcoin’s market capitalization would be ten times the average daily volume, lending to a figure of $1.75 trillion for the market cap. In ten years he believes there will be roughly 17 million Bitcoin in circulation, up from the current 16.3 million in circulation today. If the potential 17 million Bitcoins is divided by the $1.75 trillion market cap estimate, then each Bitcoin would be worth just over $100,000.
If you believe any of the below will be true, then yes, it makes sense to buy bitcoin in 2017 and in any subsequent year:
Bitcoin as a network – at the minimum – persists, and likely continues to develop and innovate.
The number of bitcoin users grows and / or current users use bitcoin more often.
Overall network security and stability improve, as evidenced by a growing hash rate and reduced frequency and severity of attacks.
New products and services are built on Bitcoin’s blockchain and using the currency bitcoin, and / or existing products and services grow in usage.
More merchants accept bitcoin and / or current merchants see an increase in bitcoin transactions.
Blockchain as a foundational technology – with Bitcoin as its most recognizable brand – grows in acceptance and utility.
The above are from the perspective of Bitcoin as a technology investment.
Then there are the below, which are from the perspective of Bitcoin as a kind of magic Internet money (Bitcoin as currency, Bitcoin as digital gold):
Governments the world over continue to battle politico-economic crises
Governments continue to print and devalue their fiat currency.
Investors (retail and institutional) continue to seek returns in a global environment of low interest rates and excess capital.
Investors continue to seek diversification in their investment portfolios .(recognizing that thus far bitcoin shows no significant price correlation with major asset classes including equities and bonds and commodities).
The narrative of “bitcoin as digital gold” continues to spread and entrench itself within media and in conversation.
Regulations between and within countries continue to make finances difficult for 1) the under- and unbanked, and 2) regular citizens to cheaply and efficiently and quickly transfer money and assets around the world.
Cryptocurrency as an asset class – with Bitcoin as its most proven investment – continues to attract more interest, more investors, more diversity (as represented by the growing number of technologically significant altcoins and new companies operating on and financed by blockchain tokens).
Cryptocurrencies continue to prove themselves as possibly the best speculative financial instruments in the market today: global, 24/7, fast settlements, hyper growth, and open innovation.
Bitcoin and blockchain specific regulations continue to be drafted and enforced, providing all parties with improved operating transparency and legal certainty.
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