In a recent survey, a European crypto investment firm has named the European regions which are also maintaining their place in the global crypto race. The survey named Lisbon, Berlin, and Paris within a list of the world’s top ten crypto hubs.
According to the survey, Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, topped the list of crypto-friendly locations, with half the survey’s respondents listing the region when asked to name three hubs.
Jascha Samadi, co-founder and partner at the firm which executed the survey, said in an interview that early-stage crypto outfits are “looking at the world in terms of: what are the risks in my venture?” He added that there is a “clear indication” that startups are now favoring Europe and in particular Lisbon.
Sources reveal that the firm surveyed 68 founders of crypto projects with a European presence earlier this year on a range of topics. Amongst those, over 70% identified regulation as the most significant development to watch for the sector over this year.
According to the survey, the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulatory regime which was officially passed by European Union (EU) lawmakers last month had a positive role. The regulation and the clarity it has to offer are seen as an advantage rather than an obstacle by the larger crypto community.
Samadi said that even though MiCA is not perfect it has adequate benefits for firms to operate in the region. Quoting him:
MiCA’s not perfect, but it offers significant benefits, including clarity and a clear framework for centralized companies. MiCA does tell you a little bit about the thinking of regulators, which is understanding and acknowledging what they don’t yet know well enough, which is DeFi.
European protocols appear to be reaping the benefits of optimism within the sector locally. An index featured in the survey based on data from GitHub, a code hosting platform, suggested that 42 protocols with a strong footprint in Europe boasted 1,300 monthly developers collectively in the first quarter, over 300 more than at the end of last year.
That is the largest quarterly increase since the tracking began in January 2020 and it comes despite a challenging year for crypto firms.
Notably, the firm’s survey comes amid significant concerns over the viability of the United States as a base for crypto firms given the increasingly antagonistic approach of the regulators. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been carrying out an enforcement-oriented approach towards crypto firms. Additionally, the lack of clarity has added fuel to the growing concerns.
In a blog post, Daniel Seifert, Coinbase’s Vice President and Regional Managing Director in Europe, emphasized that Europe is rising as a safe haven for crypto entities. He added that the U.S. government’s hawkish approach to crypto regulation has “left a vacuum that other countries are eager to fill” and Europe is winning the race as he suggests.
Notably, the UK has also been embracing the dream of becoming a crypto hub but the banks in the region have created ample difficulties for firms. Todayq News reported that a London-based crypto firm stated that it applied for a corporate account with nine different banking service providers and was turned down by seven of them. To this, the founder of the firm said that he is considering a move to more friendly climbs in Europe.