Regulation Chills Blockchain Growth: Data

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According to data published by the Block this week, over 60% of the largest employers in the blockchain industry work outside of the United States. New blockchain outfits are increasingly starting in Asia.

The study was conducted on behalf of the Blockchain Association. The Blockchain Association is an American group of industry leaders that wants to see a greater collaboration on the pat of the US government and blockchain companies.

The report makes a number of conclusions about the blockchain jobs market. Its formal title is The Digital Asset Human Capital Trends Report.

Forget The West

The US and the EU combined make up around 40% of all employers in blockchain. Conversely, Asia and the whole rest of the world make up the rest. Trends clearly show that more companies are opening their doors in other countries, where the regulatory burden is light and incentives are high.

Coinbase is one of the only major employers in the blockchain space who is also based in the US. Other major employers include OkEx and Huobi, who is the biggest.


The US remains the largest single country in the blockchain space, but collectively it’s a strange story. Image from the Block.

It’s safe to say a great deal of the industry’s formal employment is based around exchanges. It’s perhaps surprising that Coinbase is bigger than Binance, but that’s what the data suggests.

Exchanges Rule Blockchain Job Market

The skew blockchain companies make is interesting, because the skew of blockchain users tends toward the west. The data shows, however, that nearly 40% of new blockchain outfits launched in Singapore over the course of 2019.

Singapore is far more friendly to blockchain companies than many western countries. Other countries like Malta and Estonia, along with some more western countries like France and Isle of Man, have worked hard to be inviting to cryptocurrency companies as well.

In the case of Malta, the strategy has paid off. Numerous companies including Binance have set up there, with an eye toward a regulatory-friendly place to do business.

Given the choice, many would still choose to work in the US, but the US needs to become a more inviting place on a regulatory sense.

Currently, there are many regulatory agencies you may answer to in the US, and ultimately working with blockchain puts you at risk, at some point or another, of allegedly dealing in unregistered securities. This is a risk you don’t face in other countries, which explains the attractiveness of certain islands for gambling companies and exchanges.

Financial technology needs room to reach its full potential. While legislators and regulators might be quick to pounce on a new project like Libra for example, what are they also doing to promote the next stage in FinTech?

It’s clear that there’s enough blockchain initiatives around the world, including the group of companies still supporting Libra. Perhaps what there aren’t enough of is government bodies devoted to innovations in financial technology.