The Republic of Malta is an island located just off the Southern Italian coast. It has an estimated population of just 460,000 people and a total area, estimated at 316km2, with this in mind you can argue that all in all, Malta is quite a small place.
Yet, even with this in mind, Malta is slowly becoming the blockchain capital of Europe. At its current rate, in a few years’ time, we might even see Malta as the blockchain capital of the world, overtaking big players within the industry such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
This is because, authorities within Malta have been working on legal frameworks for the facilitation of cryptocurrencies for quite some time now. They have been at the fore of fostering a cryptocurrency and blockchain community and thus, have allowed for a community of innovative blockchain based start-ups. This has of course paid dividends, with the likes of Binance and Kraken now moving to Malta to take advantage of the authorities’ liberal attitudes towards cryptocurrencies.
Some reports have also recently stated that worldwide, we are seeing highest cryptocurrency trading volumes come from marketplaces based within Malta.
How have the Maltese authorities allowed this to happen?
Since 2017, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) have been working on producing legal frameworks for the facilitation of blockchain technology. Moreover, in 2018 the Maltese Parliament also drafted three new bills which directly relate to cryptocurrencies, one of which, known as MDIA, has been established to ensure that Maltese blockchain based businesses operate within the framework established by the MFSA.
In essence, Maltese authorities are using regulation to their advantage and not to hamper crypto-workplaces. In comparison with Japan, who are enforcing strict regulations onto cryptocurrency exchanges, Malta are offering a more open and relaxed stance to this, whilst ensuring their framework is constantly built upon and adapted through working with blockchain based companies who are relocating to the island.
We have to see this as a positive thing. Really, if Malta starts to reap the benefits of fostering a very open cryptocurrency climate, other countries who remain on the fence should start to learn lessons from Malta and as such, implement their own similar style of framework. Therefore, with the whole world watching to see how Malta handle this revolution, they are becoming prolific figures within Europe and the rest of the world and therefore one day may very well overtake the big Asian states as the home for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.