Ukraine is going through a reboot to become a global hub for cryptocurrency businesses and blockchain technology.
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The blue touch paper was lit in September when the country’s parliament voted to legalise and regulate Bitcoin.
“The big idea is to become one of the top jurisdictions in the world for crypto companies,” Deputy Digital Transformation Minister Alexander Bornyakov told the New York Times. “We believe this is the new economy, this is the future and we believe this is something that is going to boost our economy.”
Ukraine is already a leading cryptocurrency nation. Around $8 billion of cryptocurrency flows through the country each year, while Ukraine boasts the fourth-highest number of crypto users globally.
Technology is already tipped as a big earner for Ukraine, with the sector reportedly forecast to be worth $18 billion a year by 2025 – equivalent to 10 per cent of GDP. Much of those billions are banked on Ukraine becoming a leading cryptocurrency nation.
Ukraine is not the only nation seeking economic salvation from cryptocurrency and applications built on the blockchain. For example, Poland is handing out tax breaks and financial support to tech professionals.
Lithuania, Estonia, Malta, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam are also racing for digital riches with plans to legitimise cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin has undergone the most significant upgrade the cryptocurrency has seen in four years with Taproot.
Taproot targets wide-ranging improvements in the software that underpins the Bitcoin blockchain and underlying technology that keeps the system working.
To compete as a serious contender in the world of digital currency, Bitcoin needed to work slicker and faster.
Taproot has attacked the issues that slowed Bitcoin for users by improving privacy features, how the digital wallet handles transactions and slashing the cost of transactions to encourage Bitcoin users to spend.
More good news is Bitcoin’s ability to manage smart contracts is much improved after the upgrade, says Billy Bamburgh of Forbes.
Bitcoiners hope Taproot will persuade consumers to commit to the cryptocurrency day-to-day rather than comparing the online asset to a store of value like gold.
Bitcoin is already the dominant cryptocurrency and has remained so for more than a decade.
The current exchange value of a Bitcoin is floating around the $60,000 mark.
The identity of legendary Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto is on the verge of being revealed as two families war in court over who owns an $84 billion stash of the cryptocurrency.
The family of deceased software developer David Kleiman and his former business partner Craig White claim they invented Bitcoin under the guise of Nakamoto.
Kleiman’s family say they can prove the pair worked together to create Bitcoin and mined the first cache of more than a million coins.
Wright argues he was not Kleiman’s partner and that only he has a claim on the stash of Bitcoin.
Nakamoto came to the fore when he published a paper entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System in 2008. However, no one has proved beyond doubt who Nakamoto is.
The court is edging towards a verdict in the long-running case and may call on Wright to finally expose the true identity of Nakamoto to settle the 13-year riddle that has generated a host of false claims.
If Kleiman’s family proves he was Nakamoto or Wright’s business partner, they win a share of the $84 billion.
If not, the money could go to Wright.
China, the former global uncrowned cryptocurrency mining champion, has almost ducked out of the market after the government passed new laws sidelining digital currency activity in the country.
Before the new laws came into effect, China dominated the mining of Bitcoin with almost a 75 per cent market share.
This has fallen to almost zero. The new world crypto mining leader is the USA, which has seen market share jump from 14.5 per cent in April to more than double to 35.4 per cent now.
Crypto analysts expect Russia to make a play for some of China’s market share. Leaders are already considering legalising crypto mining. Many are keen to embrace the entrepreneurial nature of the market Others feel crypto mining is too expensive and presents too many economic risks.
China’s crypto mining ban extends to Bitcoin and other major coins as Beijing vows to ‘root out illegal cryptocurrency activity’.
In May, China reinforced bans from 2013 and 2017 that ban financial institutions, including exchanges, and payment companies from processing cryptocurrency transaction.
Many analysts believe the moves relate to China clearing the way for an official cryptocurrency byu removing the opposition.
- The cost of mining a single Bitcoin averages $7,000 to $11,000, according to Miner Daily. With Bitcoin currently changing hands for $60,000, mining coins can come with big profits.
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