As of publishing, Bitcoin is nearing $22,000 and continuously breaking new records after first revisiting the 2017-high of around $20,000 in November.
And as institutional investors continue piling in – most recently, American insurance giant MassMutual added $100 million of investments into Bitcoin – major cryptocurrencies are increasingly gaining mainstream adoption, most notably in the high tech region of Asia.
In addition to OSL’s launch in Hong Kong and DBS’s launch in Singapore – a rapidly emerging crypto leader worldwide – there are players in other markets that are rapidly making inroads into the nascent asset class.
Japan, another serious contender, is also accelerating its efforts with local financial giant SBI taking the lead. SBI has made a series of crypto moves recently including a planned 2022 launch of a digital exchange with Switzerland’s SIX, a partnership with Ripple and, most recently, the acquisition of U.K.-based cryptocurrency trading firm B2C2.
The region is also home to South Korea, one of the major initial adopters, and India – since its central bank lifted a crypto ban earlier this year, volumes have surged 87 and the country has surpassed China several days ago as the leader in peer-to-peer trading volume, according to Arcane Research.
Decentralized currencies aside, the region is also a leader in developing central banking digital currencies (CBDC), most notably in China where the digital yuan continues to undergo testing, most recently through trial retail usage via e-commerce platform JD.com.
While some see CBDCs will act as direct competitors to cryptocurrencies, other onlookers believe that the growth of the former will further also drive the adoption of the latter.
«CBDCs will significantly enhance the interoperability of cryptocurrencies,» said Oki Matsumoto head of Monex Group, one of the largest crypto exchanges in Japan, which itself is simultaneously developing its own CBDC. «It would make the cryptocurrency market more lively.