There has been a not so silent arms race on the go between the east and the west in regards to blockchain adoption and proliferation. Both sides of the hemisphere have been looking at the new technology in their own different ways and it can be argued that one side is doing better to leverage its potential, depending on which sector you look at.
The blockchain ecosystem is a complex and broad one. It encompasses many different areas from finance to technology, supply chain to investing, networking and cross border payments. There are also a number of different players in the ecosystem that also range from individual investors just off their smartphone to entire governments.
But, in terms of adoption and driving the potential of this broad space, the East and the West have taken on very different approaches. Even similar projects, in different hemispheres, have gone about how they do things differently.
One of the most promising areas of blockchain development is that of smart contract blockchains. Since Ethereum came to be — a western-built blockchain — there have been many that have followed, in the east as well,
Eathereum, having had its fifth birthday, saw in the second quarter of 2020, daily active users nearly doubled to 1.26 million, up from 637,000 in the first quarter, according to a recent report from Dapp.com.
Then, following this major blockchain, there is a lot of action from Klaytn and Terra, with Klaytn having been far ahead of Ethereum in daily active users before the excitement around decentralized finance.
Both of these projects are based in Asia, whereas Etheruem is founded in its foundation in Switzerland. But what has made these projects — far younger than Ethereum — achieve such good adoption?
In the West, the home of tech is Silicon Valley, whereas in the East, there are entire countries that are home to the growth of tech — notably Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China. These governments are also heavily involved in the growth and proliferation of blockchain and so it starts to make sense why adoption is higher.
More so, the companies in these countries, like Samsung, are happy to push new technology in their consumer focused products, such as their Galaxy S10 and S20 smart phones that have blockchain capabilities and are even linked to Klaytn.
This focus on the promise of the technology has seen the east have a far greater appreciation of the potential of blockchain and they have worried less about the negative side of things. That being said, China has simply stamped out the bad side of crypto by placing a ban on it while actively promoting its good side.
In the US, however, things are a lot more ambiguous with no drive, nor ban, leaving the outlines pretty grey for companies wanting to push blockchain adoption. Having guidelines, even strict ones, are better than having unclear and ambiguous regulations that are unwilling to address the situation.