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Most Popular States for Cryptocurrency

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Most Popular States for Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is one of the biggest investing trends in the United States, with consumers and businesses latching onto blockchain technology and virtual currency in droves. Over the past 5 years, interest in cryptocurrencies has surged by over 3,000%. In the U.S,, around 22% of the adult population owns a share of Bitcoin, and the trend is growing.

With interest growing across the country, the race is on for states to attract the crypto industry. Some states are enacting crypto-friendly regulations that allow the use of cryptocurrency across a variety of business applications. Moreover, cryptocurrency-related jobs are surfacing in some states more than others. In this article, the most popular states for cryptocurrency are discussed. The five metrics used to calculate these rankings are as follows:

  • The number of Bitcoin ATMs and tellers per 100,000 residents
  • The number of cryptocurrency job postings per 10,000 listings
  • The number of crypto-friendly merchants per 10,000 establishments
  • Cryptocurrency Google Search interest
  • Cryptocurrency regulation friendliness

(Data per Yahoo Finance, 2022)

Key Findings

Before discussing the most popular states for cryptocurrency, here are the key takeaways when assessing crypto interest across the country:

  • Western states dominate the top 10 most popular cryptocurrency states. Nevada is number one, followed by California, Colorado, Arizona and Oregon.
  • The top states dominate most in crypto-friendly government legislation.
  • Access to cryptocurrency funds has exploded over the past two years; in New Mexico, the number of Bitcoin ATMs increased from seven in 2020 to 306 in 2022.

Nevada

Nevada is the best state for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Google search interest for cryptocurrency-related terms ranks second-highest, at 92.5 (on a scale of 0 to 100). In Nevada, there are 16.78 cryptocurrency job postings per 10,000 listings. Moreover, the state is extremely friendly toward cryptocurrency regulation. For instance, electronic signatures are legal, and local governments are prohibited from taxing blockchain technology.

Florida

Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez, and Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, are both uplifting Florida’s crypto credentials. Most recently, DeSantis proposed the state accept crypto payments toward certain state taxes. In terms of accessing cryptocurrency funds, Florida ranks third-best for the number of Bitcoin tellers and ATMs per 100,000 residents (14.26). Google search interest is also high, ranking fifth-best out of all states. Florida also ranks eighth best for cryptocurrency-friendly merchants per 10,000 establishments (2.49).

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California

California is working relentlessly to attract the cryptocurrency industry. Popular cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN) and Kraken are headquartered in San Francisco, though Coinbase has said it will close its San Francisco office in 2022. Recently, California has created an Office of Financial Technology and Innovation that will be responsible for creating new crypto-specific rules. 

In terms of aggregate interest, California has the highest Google search interest in cryptocurrency-related keywords across all 50 states. There are 3,608 Bitcoin ATMs and tellers (9.16 per 100,000 residents) and 180 businesses currently accepting cryptocurrency.

Texas

Texas is another contender for the most popular state for cryptocurrency, with low energy costs and pro-crypto laws that appeal to the Bitcoin mining industry. Recently, bills were introduced to recognise and define the legal status of virtual currencies. Texas ranks 17th-best for the number of crypto merchants per 10,000 establishments and fourth-best for the number of Bitcoin ATMs and tellers available per 100,000 residents.

Colorado

In Colorado there are 2.58 crypto-friendly merchants per 10,000 establishments (seventh best in the U.S.). Moreover, Colorado ranks ninth best across all 50 states in terms of average Google search interest for cryptocurrency-related terms (77.5 out of 100). Colorado has a pro-crypto governor, Jared Polis, who stated that he wanted the state to be the first to accept crypto tax payments; however, there has been little news on that front since May of 2021.

How to Store Cryptocurrencies Safely

Cryptocurrencies can be stored using a hardware wallet or a software wallet. A hardware wallet is widely regarded as the most secure way to store crypto. It keeps your private keys offline so that your crypto is inaccessible to anyone but the holder of the private keys. 

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Ledger wallet is a great choice for a hardware wallet –– Ledger claims to provide the highest level of security for crypto assets.

Where to Buy Cryptocurrencies

ETH, BTC, DOT and other cryptocurrencies can be traded on major exchanges such as Coinbase, Gemini, Crypto.com, KuCoin and Kraken. 

Cryptocurrency Outlook

The cryptocurrency space offers a lot of growth potential; however, it is not without risk. Cryptocurrencies are inherently volatile and are not for the faint of heart. For the most up-to-date cryptocurrency prices, check out Benzinga’s table below.

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NHL enters the NFT space partnering with Marketplace Sweet

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NHL enters the NFT space partnering with Marketplace Sweet Abdulrasaq Ariwoola · 42 seconds ago · 1 min read

The NHL partnership with Sweet will offer a variety of digital collectible experiences to its fans, tradable in the marketplace

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Updated: June 25, 2022 at 3:59 am

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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The National Hockey League on Thursday announced its partnership with NFT Marketplace Sweet. This partnership will be the league’s first dive into digital collectibles.

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The partnership, of which the NHL’s players and Alumni’s association are part, will go live in October to mark the start of the 2022-2033 NHL season.

The NHL Marketplace

The NFT marketplace is expected to offer a range of experiences to NHL fans. Including digital collectibles that showcase historical moments, past and present season game highlights, and NHL stars top plays.

The marketplace will also feature gamified collection experiences, specialty packs, and 3D interactive trophy rooms where users can display their collections. Among these offerings there are also dynamic NFTs designed to change based on current team data.

Additionally, fans would be able to buy, sell, collect and trade the collectibles on the marketplace.

However, the announcement did not state which blockchain would host the marketplace.

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NFTs in the sporting space

The NHL  joins a long list of sporting institutions that have embraced digital collectibles.

In 2020, the NBA launched Top Shot NFTs, its digital collectibles marketplace, in partnership with DapperLabs. Likewise, the NFL launched its play and own NFT game while the MLB is to launch its NFT game soon.

However, the extreme sell-off in the crypto market has seen crypto companies pull out of sports deals. This is so as crypto companies strive to stay afloat as the severe sell-off continues in the market.

FTX recently pulled out of a partnership deal with Los Angeles Angels. Similarly, sources suggest a patch deal between NBA Washington Wizards and a crypto company has crashed.

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Albania To Start Taxing Crypto-Related Income From 2023

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Albania To Start Taxing Crypto-Related Income From 2023

Authorities in Albania are finalizing regulations that will allow the taxation of income and profits from cryptocurrency investments. The government intends to begin imposing the levy in 2023, after adopting the necessary legislation which has been proposed for public consultations.

Albania Set to Impose Crypto Tax as Early as Next Year

The Albanian state should begin collecting taxes on income from crypto assets as of 2023 in accordance with a new income tax bill, the local English-language portal Exit News reported on Friday. The government also hopes to pass a number of other laws and bylaws this year in order to comprehensively regulate the matter.

The special tax legislation is currently open for public consultations. It introduces the concept of taxing crypto holdings and income derived from virtual assets. The latter have been defined as “a digital representation of a value that can be deposited, traded or transferred in digital form, and that can be used for payment or investment purposes or as a medium of exchange, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies.”

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However, the definition does not cover central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the report notes. That’s despite a growing number of monetary authorities around the world developing a digital version of their national fiats. The list includes major powers such as the United States, the European Union, China, and the Russian Federation.

The Albanian law also defines cryptocurrency mining as an activity using computing power to confirm transactions and gain virtual assets in exchange. The extraction of cryptocurrencies has been a grey area although law enforcement has been going after illegal mining facilities in the country and pressed charges against some of their operators.

Under the new legislation, any income from crypto transactions or mining will be classified as corporate income when it’s received as a result of business activity. And when the beneficiaries are private individuals, they will have to pay capital gains tax of 15%.

Financial Watchdog Tasked to Expand Crypto Regulatory Framework

Earlier this month, the Albanian parliament ordered the Financial Supervisory Authority (AFSA) to prepare and adopt new regulations regarding cryptocurrencies by the end of 2022. Albanian law allows crypto trading platforms to legally work in the country but no licensed entities are currently operating in Albania, Exit News remarked.

Two years ago, Albania also adopted a law titled “Financial markets based on distributed ledger technology.” While many have welcomed the legislation, critics have questioned whether the small nation in South East Europe, still an EU hopeful, is capable of properly regulating its crypto sector to prevent it from being used for money laundering, something it’s struggling to achieve in the fiat space.

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The legislature referenced a recent report by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval), which recommended additional steps regarding the risks associated with cryptocurrency. In November 2021, the AFSA approved its first two regulations implementing the crypto markets law, which introduced capital and licensing requirements for entities working with digital assets.

Do you expect Albania to adopt comprehensive regulations for its crypto space by the end of the year? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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What Lido staking dominance may mean for Ethereum’s future

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What Lido staking dominance may mean for Ethereum’s future Abdulrasaq Ariwoola · 2 hours ago · 2 min read

The Ethereum community has raised fears of lido staking dominance leading to centralization. What does that mean for ETH 2.0?

2 min read

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Updated: June 25, 2022 at 3:33 am

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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Lido DAO token holders have commenced voting to determine whether the DeFi platform should reduce its staking pool. The vote is a follow-up to a governance proposal released on June 24.

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The voting process results from a month-long deliberation over Lido’s staking dominance and whether it should limit itself to curb potential centralization risks.

Lido currently holds 31% of all staked Ether on the Ethereum proof-of-stake blockchain, the Beacon chain. The staking dominance has raised fears within the Ethereum community, and critics fear it will threaten Ethereum’s decentralization.

The vote is expected to end on July 1, and the result will determine whether Lido will self-limit or not. Should the majority of voters vote in favor, another vote will take place on how the self-limiting process should work.

Concerns over stETH dominance

In the governance proposal, Lido stated that its staking dominance would give it more voting power once the Beacon chain goes live. As a platform that started to counter centralized exchanges, it argued that such centralized voting power poses an existential threat to the blockchain.

The Ethereum community has raised similar fears about the centralization of voting powers. The DeFi platform currently has around one-third of all staked Ether, which could give voting leverage once the transition to the Beacon chain is complete.

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Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum co-founder, has argued that no single protocol should have a majority in staking ETH. He opined that such dominance, combined with Lido’s governance structure, is potentially a dangerous point of centralization.

Further, it stated the proposition is premised on the belief that other liquid staking protocols would also limit their exposure. This would effectively allow smaller protocols to meet the supply shortfall.

What Lido staking dominance means for ETH2.0

Ethereum’s transition to a PoS blockchain means it will rely on validators to validate transactions on the blockchain. Unlike a PoW blockchain that requires miners to expend excess energy to solve complex mathematical problems.

However, to operate a validator node, a user must deposit 32 ETH, which is a long shot for many users. Lido, on the other hand, as a staking service provider, allows users to bypass this requirement and earn staking rewards.

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According to data from Etherscan, roughly 12.6 million ETH is staked in the ETH2.0, which amounts to 10.6% of the circulating supply of ETH. Of the 12.6 million ETH staked, approximately 4.2 million have been staked through Lido by 73,369 stakers, making Lido the most used staking pool on Ethereum.

This means, should Ethereum transition to its PoS blockchain with Lido still having the lion’s share of the staking dominance, it would give the DeFi platform excessive influence over transaction verification which many warn could pose a risk. Some concerns include validator slashing, governance attacks, and smart contract exploits.

On the other hand, Lido’s staking dominance could help prevent a takeover by a centralized exchange and ensure the blockchain remains decentralized.

stETH remains depegged

The staked Ether, which is supposed to be pegged to ETH, remains depegged after a wave of massive sell-offs. Speculations have profused about the security of the token and whether its depegging could spell more chaos for the crypto ecosystem.

On June 16, Alameda Capital, one of the largest holders of stETH, dumped its stETH holdings, a massive $57 million. This is coupled with the continued financial troubles of Celsius and Three Arrows Capital, both large holders of stETH.

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As of the time of press, stETH has not gained parity with ETH and is trading at $1,173.

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