While countries around the world argue and dither over how to effectively control, manage, or ban cryptocurrencies, the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta is looking to become the blockchain capital of the world.
Valour and Firmness (and Crypto)
When it comes to effective cryptocurrency regulation and encouragement, Malta is years ahead of (most of) the competition.
As noted by Bloomberg, the island nation’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, has claimed that cryptocurrencies are “the inevitable future of money” and will form the future global economy’s foundation.
However, Maltese officials also understand that cryptocurrency carries benefits in the near-term, with Binance planning to “eventually hire up to 20o people” during its relocation from Hong Kong.
Welcome to #Malta 🇲🇹 @binance. We aim to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies -JM @SilvioSchembri https://t.co/3qtAQjOpuQ
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) March 23, 2018
Malta has made itself an attractive destination for cryptocurrency exchanges and companies with its fair and defined rules and regulations, which the government claims “will offer legal certainty in a space that is currently unregulated.” On top of that, the archipelago offers an enticing tax rate of as little as 5 percent for international companies.
Fight for First
The island is currently positioning itself in direct competition to major cryptocurrency hubs Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong — all of which house a plethora of major exchanges.
Japan is arguably in the lead currently, with pro-cryptocurrency regulation aimed at eradicating theft and fraud while protecting consumers and encouraging development. South Korea and Hong Kong had dithered, on the other hand, leaving the door open for Malta to assert its dominance.
Malta also faces competition from one of its European counterparts: Switzerland. The low-tax country already plans on regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs) and has developed what many in the cryptocurrency sphere call “crypto valley.”
The announcement that Binance — one of the largest exchanges in the world — plans to move to the island of Malta has sent ripples throughout the cryptocurrency market, as did the announcement of similar plans from rival exchange OKEX, German blockchain firm Neufund, and digital-currency-focused gaming platform The Abyss.
What’s more, Tron-founder Justin Sun has gone on record to claim that he is “seriously considering” moving to Malta. Ian Gauci, Malta-based partner at GTG Advocates, told Bloomberg:
We anticipate that more outfits will be looking at Malta, and the interest will be on a wider spectrum and not exclusively cryptos.
Look for Malta to continue making news in the blockchain space when it hosts the Malta Blockchain Summit 2018 in the beginning of November.
What do you think of Malta’s push to become the blockchain capital of the world? Is your country crypto-friendly? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives