There are countries that are more open to innovation than others. There are those countries that have organically developed some interest in cryptos. For instance, you have South Africa that is now showing a healthy crypto market. In addition to this, you also have countries such as Venezuela that even has a state-sponsored crypto that is backed by the country’s oil.
However, in terms of rules and regulations, Malta is probably the country with the friendliest approach to cryptocurrencies. And for this reason, it isn’t surprising why many blockchain startups and companies are now going to the country.
Recently, Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat has confirmed that the country’s parliament has come up with three bills that will embrace the blockchain sector. According to Muscat, the bills are going to pass the third and final reading this Wednesday.
According to the Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Innovation and Finance Silvio Schembri, “This is the last stage of the legislation that will put Malta on the international map for blockchain and crypto regulation. There is no political consensus on this roadmap and we are foreseeing that this area will be the mainstay of our economic growth for the next 4-5 years”.
The final reading will happen after the Maltese Parliament pass the second reading for the said bills. The said bills will also be tackling guidelines for ICOs and the crypto exchanges that are looking to establish in the country.
First Crypto-Friendly Blockchain Island
In May 2017, Malta established itself as a “blockchain island” leaning towards crypto-friendly rules and regulations. Muscat mentioned at that time that “We must be on the frontline in embracing blockchain and Bitcoin… we must be the ones that others copy”.
And because of this, Malta welcomed Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange as it decided to relocate its headquarters to the island in March. In addition to this, you also have OKEx, which is the world’s second crypto exchange in terms of trading volume that has now established in Malta as well.
And it isn’t stopping there. When Poland’s biggest crypto exchange, Bitbay paused their operations because domestic banks have refused to offer banking services, it has then decided to move to Malta after the incident. The company cited that they chose the island because of “productive discussions with the government of the Republic of Malta and a friendly business environment”.
There are countries that are now looking to regulate cryptocurrencies. In fact, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has started to define Bitcoin and Ethereum as commodities while stating that ICOs are mostly securities. And for this reason, John McAfee even decided not to deal with ICOs anymore in order to avoid potential lawsuits.
Japan is also making the necessary changes in their crypto regulations. It has upped the standards for crypto exchanges to operate in the country. In addition to this, it has also banned the use of cryptos that add a layer of anonymity.
What exactly will Malta’s rules be? Will this allow the crypto market to prosper or does it meant that dubious crypto projects have found a haven where they can operate?