2021 has been one of the best years for cryptocurrencies in recent times. Several jurisdictions warmed up to Bitcoin and other digital assets and the all-time-high price in November, without forgetting adoption as legal tender. This article will examine the three most historic regulatory moments for cryptocurrencies in 2021.
1. El Salvador – Adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender
Taking the bull by its horns, the smallest country in Central America threw caution to the wind and made history by becoming the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. The date September 7, 2021, will remain historic since it’s when pro-crypto President Nayib Bukele’s Bitcoin law made BTC legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar. The Salvadoran legislature then passed the law, which received a qualified majority of 62 out of 84 votes.
The “Land of Volcanoes” also decided to deploy its volcanic activity to generate new Bitcoins. In September, President Bukele teased a Bitcoin mining factory powered by volcanic geothermal energy in El Salvador, marking a significant case to reduce BTC’s carbon footprint. Soon after, Bukele raised the stakes even higher when he announced his intention to create an entire city of Bitcoin, funded by BTC bonds.
2. Canada – Scoring in the Global ETF Race
The recent decision by Canada’s securities regulator to license the world’s first physically-settled Bitcoin ETF earns the country a spot as one of the world’s most crypto-friendly nations. The Bitcoin ETF launched in February experienced a massive reception, trading over $564 million in assets within five days of starting.
In December, Canada extended its leadership in the Bitcoin ETF race when Fidelity Canada launched its Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF and the eponymous mutual Bitcoin ETF fund. The country has proved itself hospitable to cryptocurrencies as it became among the first countries to recognize crypto firms as money service businesses in 2020 officially.
Data from Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index shows that Canada is currently ranked the fourth largest country in Bitcoin mining power, accounting for 9.6% of the total global hash rate.
3. The UAE – Positioning itself to become the World’s Crypto Capital.
Dubai, the capital city of the seven emirates, recently emerged as the most crypto-friendly country globally. After noticing that the adoption of crypto is steadily increasing, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced plans to establish a comprehensive crypto regulatory framework as part of its 2021 business plan.
In October, the DFSA subsequently issued several regulatory approvals, including one for a primary Canadian investment product, The Bitcoin Fund. DFSA has also been working on investment vehicles like security and derivative tokens. The Dubai World Trade Centre Authority said it would become a comprehensive zone and regulator of cryptocurrencies, products, operators, and exchanges in mid-December.
UAE regulators have also come up with multiple arrangements to officially allow and support crypto trading in several free economic zones in Dubai. The nation has also been making strides in Nonfungible tokens (NFT) adoption as its postal operator issued NFTs in November to commemorate the federation’s 50th National Day. In October, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao reportedly bought his first home in the “very pro-crypto” Dubai. The Chinese-Canadian business executive had previously claimed that he did not own any real estate as of April 2021.