The Regulation Race: Why Singapore and Switzerland Are Competing To Give Crypto a Home

In brief

  • Three countries have emerged as leaders in creating crypto-friendly regulation.
  • Switzerland has emerged as a hub for protocols, where as Singapore has dominated Asia’s fintech scene.
  • Previous front-runners, Estonia and Malta have made it harder for crypto companies to establish themselves in those respective countries.

Over the years, regulators have approached the crypto market with a mixture of hostility, bemusement, and confusion. But more recently, things have begun to change. 

Several countries have emerged as leaders in creating fertile ground for crypto companies to establish offices and legal entities. Be it legalizing the operation of exchanges, allowing citizens to mine, buy and trade currencies, or greenlighting banking licenses for DeFi projects. 

For regulators, enticing crypto projects to call their countries home has a number of advantages: an opportunity to capture some of the value in the booming DeFi market, not to mention create a hub for crypto startups that could in the future, emerge as the 21st century’s equivalent of silicon valley. 

There are currently two countries – and two states – that appear to have welcomed crypto most openly, but others are not far behind. 


Historically, Hong Kong has been the dominant financial center of Asia. But in recent years, thanks to China’s increasingly aggressive stance toward bringing the former British colony into Beijing’s orbit, Singapore has emerged as Asia’s new financial powerhouse. 

While Singapore has been the direct beneficiary of turbulence across the South China Sea, it had been hot on Hong Kong’s heels for years. The city-state has been working tirelessly to make the country the place for Asia to do business. As a result, some 40% of Southeast Asian fintech companies are based there.

According to the World Bank, Singapore ranks second in the world for doing business – just behind New Zealand. 

The country has extended that courtesy to crypto companies…


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