2019 has been an exciting year for Liechtenstein’s blockchain and crypto community. We are looking back and we are looking forward to 2020.
Blockchain Act: Legal certainty for blockchain businesses and investors
The most significant development this year was the final approval of the Blockchain Act. It had been in the making for almost three years and was unanimously approved by the parliament in October. The law is a milestone for Liechtenstein and blockchain development in general. Liechtenstein’s officials were invited to present the law at the United Nations headquarters in New York and ministers from Switzerland and Germany visited Liechtenstein and asked for an exchange of information to support their own legislative efforts. The Blockchain Act will be put into force on 01st January 2020 and will likely attract more blockchain businesses to Liechtenstein next year.
Growing blockchain ecosystem
Liechtenstein’s blockchain ecosystem has been growing in 2019. One of the more prominent additions was the crypto exchange Bittrex, which relocated from Malta to Liechtenstein in June. CV Labs opened a second location in Vaduz, the Liechtenstein Post is now selling Bitcoin over-the-counter, and several new blockchain associations, accelerator programs and startups have launched in Liechtenstein. Altogether, the community has grown fast this year, and we expect it to keep growing in 2020.
Several Liechtenstein-based STOs
Liechtenstein has seen a range of STOs this year such as Project Crowd, Nash, Edexa, Crowdlitoken, and many more. The STO space is slowly picking up pace, not only in Liechtenstein but also in neighboring Germany and Switzerland. We expect STO volumes in 2020 to increase, as governments have erased some significant regulatory roadblocks. Also, in 2020, we expect banks and regulated exchanges to get more involved with tokenization, which will boost security token liquidity. Next year we will see the beginning of an enormous tokenization wave that will unfold over the coming years.
Neighboring countries are catching up
Today, Liechtenstein is the most progressive jurisdiction in Europe in terms of blockchain regulations. But that’s no reason to sit back and relax. The international competition is catching up, especially in Switzerland and Germany. The Swiss government has suggested amendments to existing laws to facilitate digital technologies, which the parliament will likely approve in early 2020. The German government has published a blockchain strategy and allowed its banks to provide crypto trading and custody services. It also announced to introduce a law on digital bonds in 2020. As governments worldwide are competing for the best blockchain businesses and talents, Liechtenstein will have to keep working hard in 2020 to maintain its current position in the industry.
Global developments affecting Liechtenstein in 2020
2020 will also see a range of global blockchain developments that are not Liechtenstein-specific but will affect Liechtenstein-based blockchain businesses in one way or another.
Firstly, in May 2020, the next Bitcoin halving will take place. Analysts are unsure how that will affect digital currency prices, but most agree that Bitcoin will go up. Price increases might be further accelerated by a general downturn in the real economy and increasing Bitcoin adoption.
Secondly, Libra has resulted in a global push for central-bank digital currencies. China is likely to introduce a digital Yuan in 2020. The Swiss National Bank is currently investigating a digital Swiss franc and in Germany, the voices calling for a digital Euro are getting louder.
Thirdly, multinational corporations are increasingly using blockchain technology. Last year, there were 4,673 new patents. 2020 might see some blockbuster releases that will have a significant impact on the industry.
Altogether, the stage is set for an exciting year 2020. We say thank you for your loyalty in 2019 and we are looking forward to seeing you again in 2020, delivering more valuable blockchain content and contributing to the blockchain and crypto developments in Liechtenstein.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas, a refreshing festive season with your family and friends and a happy new year.
Your ICO.li Team.