Germany and US tie as world’s most crypto-friendly economies, report says

As more countries set out to formulate the legal and financial regulations governing digital assets, the ranking of crypto-friendly economies gets crowded and competition grows fierce.

Crypto market analysis company Coincub announced its quarterly Global Crypto Ranking report, which lists the most crypto-friendly countries in the world. For the second consecutive quarter, the top spot was awarded to Germany, but this time, the largest economy in Europe shares the prize with the US.

The US jumped up from third position in the previous quarter thanks to the sweeping regulatory effort set in motion by the executive order President Joe Biden signed in March. “The President’s measures (if implemented) score highly on Coincub’s ranking criteria, which always show that more regulation and safety improve people’s willingness to invest rather than when markets are left completely to themselves,” Coincub report said.

President Biden’s executive order aims to deliver just that, with multiple government agencies involved in the lawmaking process. The US Department of Treasury has already begun work on a report outlining the risks and opportunities of crypto markets, with the public encouraged to share their experiences and views in an official request for comment (RFC) valid through August 8.

Retail investors and clear legislation

The decision by pensions and investment giant Fidelity to let Americans incorporate Bitcoin into their pension funds has played a major part, too. In fact, Coincub likened the move to the decision to allow Bitcoin investments in Germany’s Sparkassen.

The comparison is notable, because it was Sparkassen’ Bitcoin bid that gave Germany the top spot in Coincub’s ranking a quarter ago. A group of nearly 400 autonomous banks that form one of the largest German savings institutions, Sparkassen hold as much as 70% of the small- to medium-sized enterprise financing sector and a 42% market share in business financing generally.

Germany scored well in the volumes of crypto holders and miners, and scooped up extra points for its favorable Bitcoin tax regime and progressive legislation. The latter cannot be said of the US, the report concluded, due to confusing state-by-state approach to regulation and opaque anti-money laundering laws. The Lummis-Gillibrand crypto bill could change that, but it’s not likely to go into effect anytime soon.

Rookies, up-and-comers, setbacks

While the dominance of Germany and the US is unquestionable, with both countries scoring 49 points, rising stars are steadily making their way to the top. The UAE, which sees a steady influx of crypto companies due to friendly legislation and tax regime, now ranks 18th, four spots higher than in the first quarter. The UAE is one of the few countries not to lose any points for tax rules.

Crypto risers Q2 2022: Portugal, the UAE, Russia, the US, and France.
Crypto risers in Q2 2022. Source: The Coincub Global Crypto Ranking

Another fast climber in Q2 was Portugal, which offers generous tax incentives on crypto trading profits for people who live in Portugal without legal resident status. The country is also becoming popular among the crypto community for sunny beaches and EU-level quality of life.

Russia moved up despite earning an atrocious reputation over the brutal war it launched on Ukraine in February. With its overall economy riddled with sanctions, it owes the uptick to a powerful mining sector, the report suggested. “The population still are keen crypto advocates - and the country is probably desperate to keep open any channels of finance it can,” Coincub added.

On the whole, more countries have dropped than risen in Coincub’s ranking, owing partly to the addition of new contenders. Pakistan and China found themselves behind the top 50, while South Korea landed eight spots below its previous ranking. As for Brazil and Cyprus, both dropped six places “on account of mixed governmental messages.”

Countries that dropped in Coincub's ranking: Pakistan, South Korea, Belgium, Brazil, China, Cyprus, Mexico, Philippines, Greece.
Countries that dropped in Coincub's Q2 ranking. Source: The Coincub Global Crypto Ranking

Coincub’s Q2 report adds a bunch of new countries, too. Among those making their first appearance is the Central African Republic (CAR), which embraced Bitcoin as legal tender in April. For now, despite ambitious plans to become a new crypto hub, the country ranks last, five spots below the famously crypto-hostile China.