One of the biggest barriers for a more widespread adoption of Bitcoin, or any digital currency, is the ability to use it in everyday life. The two real issues of digital currency from day one for the wider population have been acquiring it and spending it. The first is getting easier, although still not perfect, but the second has made more significant strides.
However, few places in the world are as welcoming to Bitcoin as the Isle of Man, a small island - part of the UK but nestled off the coast in the Irish Sea. But why has it become such a Bitcoin friendly environment?
Read the full story below.
Sitting between the British mainland and Ireland, this small island remains something of an enigma. Closely linked to the UK, the Isle of Man is legally, economically and politically distinct, it’s also home to the famous tailless cats and sheep with four horns.
If you recognize the name, it is probably due to the once a year Manx TT race, a spectacle of speed that takes over the public roads and turns it into the world’s most dangerous motorcycle event. However, take a trip to the Isle of Man to watch that race, and something very different will strike you.
When you arrive, you can choose a nice limousine service to take you to your hotel. If you book in advance, you can pay for that with Bitcoin. Choose the right hotel, and Bitcoin can be used to pay for that too, as well as the coffee shop and many other places you might visit. But that is not all. There are quite a few digital currency startups here, including two of the limited number of online casinos that accept digital currencies. But why here? Why are American entrepreneurs moving 3000 miles to set up on a small, quaint island just off the British coast?
The key here is the local government, who recognized early on the potential of the digital currency industry and sought to provide a legal foundation that works for the cryptocurrency world. It has been an obvious success. Its early embrace of digital currency has allowed this small island to become one of the pioneers. And with the process just begun for a register for all local businesses that accept Bitcoin, the government is showing no signs of stopping. The Isle of Man is well served by high speed broadband and the island has its own tax structure, with no corporation, capital gains or dividend taxes - making it extremely attractive for startup organizations. Personal taxation is capped at just 20%, and this business friendly environment has certainly paid dividends.
A small island is showing the way forward, and demonstrating remarkable individual, corporate, and government cooperation in the process. Is this what Bitcoin was supposed to be?