Crypto has exploded globally over the past couple of years. With the market cap of combined cryptocurrencies totaling more than $1.7trn as of May 2023, the unparalleled growth of the industry shows no sign of slowing down.
Indeed with 12 crypto entrepreneurs climbing into the 2023 Forbes world’s billionaires list, the majority as a result of founding successful centralized exchanges, the industry is proving to be a highly lucrative one.
From large institutional investors to retail investors, from users seeking high yields to individuals looking for more secure, cheaper alternatives to bank transfers, the crypto industry has seen unprecedented growth in users across countries globally.
When looking at the markets’ size by geography, an often overlooked dimension is the countries that have the investment opportunities, VC capabilities, and resources to fund the blockchain infrastructure by which the global crypto market sits.
So what is the biggest market by country? Let’s take a closer look.
The Central American nation is the first in the world to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender. This means all businesses within the country must accept payment in BTC. This has also inspired several other countries to move toward accepting it as legal tender, however, it comes with its limitations.
El Salvador also hopes to transform its digital economy by attracting crypto businesses and investors. Foreign investors don’t have to pay any capital gains or income tax on crypto. So if you’re based outside the country and are looking to avoid taxes on crypto, El Salvador might be the perfect place for you.
The country has a pro-crypto leadership who aims to take the small Central American forward in this sector. With BTC adopted as legal tender, the country has more than 4 million users which is approximately 60% of its total population.
Singapore is one of the most developed Asian economies and is an attractive destination for the investors from around the world. Not only is the Southeast Asian country a global fintech hub, but its openness to cryptocurrency makes it a great place to start a certified crypto business.
Singapore has no capital gains tax which means you don’t have to pay crypto taxes on trading profits. Not only that, the transactions are seen as barter trade and are not taxed in the country. That said, you still have to pay income tax if you earn in cryptocurrency.
Singapore’s central bank has a positive outlook on crypto. It states the blockchain ecosystem be closely monitored to prevent illegal activity but innovation should be welcomed. This is why it’s a great place to establish a legal crypto or blockchain company that’s supported by regulatory bodies.
The small Central European country has emerged to be a crypto haven with tax write-offs on cryptocurrency trading and no VAT on mining. You can even consider it the most crypto-friendly European country as its government officially encourages the transition to blockchain tech.
Slovenia has the highest market capitalization of crypto and other blockchain projects per capita, representing a high success rate of blockchain startups in the country. The government has eased crypto regulations to a large extent which is a welcoming gesture for crypto companies and investors from around the globe.
The Alpine country is also home to the most crypto-friendly European city of 2023, Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital and largest city. The city has hundreds of vendors accepting crypto payments. Europe’s largest crypto-based shopping, leisure, business, and innovation center, BTC City is a classic example of Slovenia’s trend toward crypto adoption. The shopping center has 500+ stores accepting cryptocurrency payments.
While the country has no capital gains tax and no mining VAT, you still have to pay a significant 25% income tax if you mine crypto. Still, Slovenia is arguably the most attractive destination for crypto enthusiasts and investors in Europe.
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It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Portugal is the best crypto tax haven in the world right now. The country has no capital gains tax on crypto trading as long as you’re not a professional trader. So whether you trade crypto-crypto or crypto-fiat, you’re exempt from taxes.
Portugal’s tax-free environment and progressive laws like the 2020 Digital Transitional Action Plan are attracting businesses and investors from around the world. Not only that, but the country has also initiated a Golden Visa program whereby non-EU residents can gain a residency permit and a Portuguese passport if they make a qualifying investment.
Switzerland is world-renowned for its low-tax, high-privacy banking system. However, it has also stepped up in the world of crypto with very relaxed regulations for companies and investors.
Switzerland is not the most crypto-tax-free country on this list, but it’s still fairly friendly when it comes to cryptocurrency tax rates. The country sees crypto as an asset and BTC is recognized as a legal tender in some areas. If you’re interested in cloud mining, the thriving Swiss crypto-mining industry is an excellent market to start.
If you’re trading crypto privately and not on a professional level, you don’t have to pay any capital gains tax. However, crypto income through professional trading is taxed.
Switzerland is also home to Zug, a small city named Crypto Valley for its high concentration of blockchain businesses.
Different countries have different reasons for being crypto-friendly. While developing economies like El Salvador rank top for recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender, other countries like Switzerland and Germany offer a well-regulated crypto industry.
If you invest in crypto on a personal level and want to avoid taxes, destinations like El Salvador, Slovenia, and Portugal are good options. On the other hand, if you want to establish a crypto business and are looking for a place to run it legally, Malta, Singapore, Estonia, and The Netherlands are good options.