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Odds Suggest Asia Will Be Home to the Next Country that Legally Recognises Bitcoin

  • Japan recognized Bitcoin as legal tender in April 2017 
  • Which country will follow in Japan’s footsteps next?
  • Is there any value in betting on Europe or North America? 

Its been a tough year for Bitcoin, and the cryptocurrency economy as a whole. Bitcoin is currently trading at $3,527, down 83%  since its all-time high in December of 2017, when it nearly reached $20,000 US.  Cryptocurrency as a whole has lost upwards of 80% of its overall market capitalization after its apotheosis in January 2018.

However, there’s still plenty of reason to be sanguine about Bitcoin’s prospective growth, despite the fact that it’s undoubtedly a bear market. Japan recognized Bitcoin as a method of payment – legal tender – in April of 2017, and there are several other countries around the world who look poised to follow in Japan’s footsteps.

According to Bovada, Asia is favorited to house the next country that designates Bitcoin as legal tender, but there’s still value to be found in other regions. Read on to learn more!

Which Continent Will Have the 2nd Country to Legally Recognize Bitcoin as a Payment Method Next?

Which Continent Will Have the 2nd Country to Legally Recognize Bitcoin as a Payment Method? Odds at Bovada (12/18/18)
Asia -180
Africa +250
Europe +800
South America +800
North America +1200
Australia +1200
Antartica +5000

What Does Legal Tender Mean, Exactly?

The terms of this bet are a bit confusing, so its necessary to delineate exactly what Bovada’s special means. When something is constituted as legal tender in a country, it means that it is enshrined in law as being a medium through which debt, public or private, can be extinguished. Once a currency, good, or asset is recognized as legal tender within a nation’s borders, creditors are legally obligated to accept it as payment for a debt.

Once a currency, good, or asset is recognized as legal tender within a nation’s borders, creditors are legally obligated to accept it as payment for a debt.

So, when a country recognizes by law that Bitcoin can be used to pay tax, and requires independent creditors to accept it, viola, its legal tender!

According to the terms of Bovada’s special, legal recognition has to occur before January of 2020, and it has to be recognized on one of either Coindesk.com or thebitcoinnews.com.

Asia is the Favorite, and Rightly So

In all likelihood, the next country to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender will be in Asia. Mainly, this is because South Korea should be regarded as the de facto favorite, as the crypto industry occupies an outsized slice of the nation’s robust economy and GDP.  The only country with a higher volume of Bitcoin trading in the world is Japan.

South Korea still has a long way to go in regulating and understanding the nascent potential of Bitcoin, but it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see a nation that’s taken such keen interest in the currency recognize it as legal tender sooner rather than later.

However, Pakistan and the Philippines aren’t out of the realm of possibility. Neither is Iran, especially if US sanctions become more extreme.

Africa is a Good Value Bet

Asia is definitely the favorite, but at +250 Africa presents some intriguing value. Many different countries in Africa have notable interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general; South Africa encourages crypto related companies and research; Bitpesa is frequently used to ensure guaranteed cross-border transactions in East Africa; Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing countries in the world and has demonstrated an interest in Bitcoin and crypto as a means to continue to spur their laudable GDP growth.

Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing countries in the world and has demonstrated an interest in Bitcoin and crypto as a means to continue to spur their laudable GDP growth.

Bitcoin is also big among Zimbabweans, many of whom are looking to Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat currency after the 2008’s period of hyperinflation led to thousands losing the majority of their personal savings and many of the country’s banks shuttering.

None of these countries have shown the same level of interest in Bitcoin as South Korea has, but there are plenty of motivating factors and circumstances that within them that could conceivably push them to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender before 2020.

Almost No Chance: Europe or North America

We wouldn’t advise betting on Europe or North America to legally recognize Bitcoin as legal tender anytime soon. It’s difficult to imagine that either in North America or Europe, given the tumult that besets each respective continent, that addressing Bitcoin legislatively is anything even close to a priority.

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