The Merkle

Unlikely U.S. States Lead the Way for the Currency of Tomorrow

As cryptocurrency continues to soar in value and becomes an increasingly popular way to invest, Investing.com, the global financial portal used by millions of traders and investors around the globe, has recently revealed which U.S. states are most drawn to virtual currency, with an underlying theme present across the board.

While you might think that tech-savvy California or New York would lead the way in the currency of tomorrow, it is in fact the likes of Nevada, Texas and New Hampshire that have taken to blockchain technology ahead of their big city counterparts.

So why is this the case?

Interestingly enough Nevada, Texas and New Hampshire all have something in common: favorable regulations on cryptocurrency across each state. Nevada became the first state to ban blockchain taxes in June, Texas was the first state to release an official position on Bitcoin with Memorandum 1037, stating that no money transmitters license is required to sell Bitcoin and New Hampshire signed a bill into law in June that exempts digital currency traders from the state’s money transmission regulations.

Looking through our data between January to September 2017, interest among the three states has soared. From a total of 36,230 users in Nevada using Investing.com, 4,057 showed interested in virtual currency (11.2%); 31,116 users out of a total of 324,914 in Texas were seen monitoring the currency (10.5%); and of New Hampshire’s 16,442 users, 1,644 were interested in cryptocurrency (10.4%).

These favorable regulations have not only lead to increased interest across the states compared to the rest of the country but also increased usage. Just last month the Lone Star State was home to the very first Bitcoin-only real estate transaction.

Furthermore, it’s a trend that is consistent with the other end of the spectrum in regards to states issuing harsh regulations on cryptocurrencies. New York ranked the 38th on the list with 17,064 users out of a total of 426,617 interested in the digital currency. Infamously, a business license of virtual currency activities, called BitLicense, was issued by The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in 2015. The New York Business Journal, termed the turn of events the ‘Great Bitcoin Exodus’, which saw at least ten Bitcoin companies cease all business in New York State because of the new regulations.  

Hawaii bottomed out the list, showing the least interest in cryptocurrency, and once again seems to play into the trend with it’s unfriendly stance towards digital currencies. Coinbase, a Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange, recently ceased supporting its customers in Hawaii due to what it deems “impractical regulatory policies” and Hawaiians were forced to close their accounts. Of the 17,755 users in Hawaii, only 325 were interested in cryptocurrency (1.8%).

Change is happening quickly and each state seems to be taking a black-and-white approach to cryptocurrency. It’ll be interesting to see what the data reveals in another few months’ time. One would think, if cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin stand a chance of becoming a fully-mainstream commodity, state regulations across the U.S. could well be the defining factor.

About Igal Stolpner and Clement Thibault

Igal Stolpner is the Head of Growth and Marketing at Investing.com, the global financial platform in 30 languages.

Clement Thibault is a Senior Analyst at Investing.com.