Malta has literally paved its own way in the world to no longer serve as a resort for English learners. One of the smallest countries in the EU and having no natural resources, Malta is really good at understanding its strengths. Over the years, it has been ready to listen, seize opportunities, and run with them for a simple reason. It is its tiny size that enables Malta to implement any idea in the short time period.
Cryptocurrency Regulation in Malta
In 2018, Malta’s ex-prime minister Joseph Muscat attracted public attention at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City saying Malta is “the first jurisdiction worldwide” to regulate cryptocurrency.
It’s hard to imagine a thing like that being announced at an annual event where world leaders speak of global warming, pollution, and world peace. Crypto taking over fiat was announced by a top public official, not just some crypto-enthusiast shilling a doubtful coin or fraudulent ICO. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the dawn of a new financial age.
Have the Maltese Changed Their Perception of Crypto?
Malta is one of the smallest countries in the world with a population estimated at 475,701. A few Bitcoin ATMs are located on this island and there is room to grow.
According to statistics from April 2018, Malta was the №1 country in trading volume despite being only the 24th regarding the number of cryptocurrency exchanges.
After the government passed the aforementioned pieces of crypto legislation, Malta became a lucrative destination for crypto exchange headquarters like OKEx.
But do the common citizens of Malta use crypto? Not much. You’ll be surprised that the results of the poll taken by Cointelegraph reveal that in 2018 not a single student at the University of Malta had a clue about the “Blockchain island”. Nevertheless, by 2019, the media changed public discourse. We can only suggest that Malta’s way to crypto dominance will inevitably incentivize its technology-driven population to use crypto in their everyday life.
Considering the incredible choice of crypto platforms hosted in Malta, crypto operations and trading won’t be a hard task for the locals. Since brands of exchange platforms are omnipresent, the choice for Malta’s citizens seems to be easily made.
Unlike many other countries, Malta is known for its zero Bitcoin taxation. This is an encouraging point for handling payments in Bitcoins.
The welcoming attitude of the Maltese authorities towards blockchain and crypto businesses attracted top global exchanges and crypto entrepreneurs.
With a clear legal framework and supportive infrastructure, it took a very short time to turn Malta into a global blockchain hub. Malta-based exchange platforms include such brands as OKEx, Bitbay, Coindeal, AAX.
Cryptocurrency Enterprises in Malta
Currently, there are 20 entities registered under Malta’s Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Act and many more companies are applying for local licenses by the MSFA.
A couple of words about growing crypto and blockchain businesses operating in Malta:
- ICO Launch Malta
Have you ever heard of security token offering (STO) platforms? Now you have. ICO Launch Malta has raised over €1.1 B, which means it’s well worth mentioning here. The company provides technical services associated with launching ICOs and security token offerings by partnering with MFSA licensed corporate service providers.
This “next-generation investment company” is also based in Malta, a full Eurozone member with an advantageous blockchain specific regulatory regime. Exante offers the opportunity to get first-hand trading experience using their web trading program that enables the user to access 50+ of the world’s financial markets.
- Ledger Projects
A team of technologists, industry experts and academics use DLT to execute transactions and agreements. Their LP 01 project is a property transfer management application that facilitates notarial work. It provides access to real-time information on sales of properties in a country.
Stasis provides custodial services, third-party audits, and deals with secure smart contracts combining the vast potential of the cryptocurrency market with the stability and reliability of traditional currencies.
The Prospects of Cryptocurrency in Malta
The plans to turn Malta into the forefront of the blockchain industry have been implemented to a remarkable extent. Local authorities put fair efforts in to prepare a supportive framework and the results were not long coming. Malta-based exchanges alone produce a notable share of trading volume. Should the same pace remain for the local crypto market, we may expect more exchanges and crypto businessmen to contribute to the island’s prosperity.
However, Malta’s way to leading positions in crypto has not been without hindrances. It was reported that access to bank accounts for crypto businesses is still a point of vulnerability. Some industry leaders (like Genesis Mining) seemed to have waived their former plans on moving headquarters to Malta.
It makes observers believe that more structural improvements need to come. Education in the sphere of blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology is an essential first step to strengthening the industry from within.
Understanding that, Maltese government issued €300,000 in grants to fund different scholarships and the University of Malta introduced a DLT master’s degree. Currently, Malta is one of the soundest blockchain centers in the world and has everything to thrive as the industry’s trendsetter.