If there is one topic in the financial sector that splits opinion, it is Bitcoin. As the premier cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is a big name many love and many hate. The fears around the potential misuse of digital currencies and a possible market crash fuel the haters' doubts, while the Bitcoin lovers point to the truly revolutionary nature of its decentralised structure.
Of course, this is not only reflected on an individual level but also in whole countries' outlooks on this cryptocurrency. But just who, in particular, is pro or anti Bitcoin?
Bitcoin lovers say hello
One of the countries leading the way in welcoming Bitcoin is Japan. They have officially recognised the cryptocurrency and introduced new laws on currency regulation. This saw Bitcoin and other digital currencies receive the status of a payment instrument - a significant move by Japanese authorities.
Although Russia initially took a hardline approach on Bitcoin, this has softened somewhat since. In August 2016, a draft law that had seen Bitcoin prohibited was amended. This was because the Russian Ministry of Finance opposed the total ban on cryptocurrencies and saw their economic potential. With elements such as this in the Russian government backing Bitcoin, further welcoming measures may come into play in the future.
Professional investors love Bitcoin too
Of course, the main group of people who love Bitcoin at present are the ordinary people who invested in it or use it. Not only does it give them the opportunity to make money, but it could be truly groundbreaking in terms of how we deal with money. It is not owned or regulated by any state, which makes it a currency for the people that cannot be meddled with.
What about the Bitcoin haters?
Currently, China seems to be the country most opposed to Bitcoin. An interdepartmental working group within the country has asked provincial rulers to promote the termination of Bitcoin mining by companies. China is not only concerned over the increased electricity consumption Bitcoin mining brings, but also the financial risks the currency could pose to its economy. Already the stock exchange in China will not trade Bitcoin and the Chinese government plans to block the trade in all cryptocurrencies within its borders.
It also appears that South Korea may be about to follow the Chinese approach. Plans to prohibit the trade in cryptocurrencies are underway and the Ministry of Justice in the country is reportedly poised to act. It appears their fears relate to the crimes that they could be used for and the anonymous nature of Bitcoin.
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