Malta, the Blockchain Island!

There have been loads of developments in the regulation and compliance within the blockchain space recently. In fact, clarity and new laws for this sector have been springing up and growing exponentially in the 2 years. Alongside the new regulations on the treatment of companies and assets in the industry, new jurisdictions have paved the way forward innovating and offering solutions and answers of how to work and deal with the blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) space as it is often referred. One of those jurisdictions trying to lead the innovation and implementation of regulation and laws concerning DLT technology is Malta. One of the fastest growing economies in the EU and the world with 6.6% growth rate for 2018, GDP: 19B, public debt 50% of GDP, an inflation rate of 1.3 % and an unemployment rate of 4.6% *, the country offers the perfect foundations. In addition, to a booming economy, the country has managed to bring in many international DLT companies. The blockchain island. That is how Malta has been deemed by many internationally. From DLT insiders to governmental officials, a sense of security, understanding, and welcome is to be felt by DLT businesses looking to relocate on the island while more than half of the world has a negative or neutral position on having those businesses run from their countries. This small nation nestled on a beautiful rocky island in the Middle of the Mediterranean is offering not only amazing weather all year-around, beautiful beaches, and delicious food, but also the perfect hotbed and legal jurisdiction for blockchain companies. The video content prepared by Cointelegraph gives you a taste of the atmosphere on the island.

Who are some of those big blockchain companies and why are they moving to Malta? A throve of big hitters in the DLT space including two of the largest exchanges Binance & OKex are opening offices and setting up their HQs under the Maltese Jurisdiction and legal frameworks.  The Maltese government have managed to act swiftly into offering the assurance and assistance of business in the industry while trying to understand and communicate with insiders in the space. Three bills have been passed by the Government that creates this favourable environment to set up a blockchain business under the country’s law. The first bill, called Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill means that the government provides credibility and legal assurance. The second one, the Innovative Technology Arrangements Bill, deals with easing the way of registration and legitimization of a blockchain business in the small nation. The third one is the Services and Virtual Financial Assets Bill that provides a solid framework for cryptocurrencies, ICOs, wallet providers, exchanges and asset managers. With the hope that the legislation will bring more blockchain companies to the island added to favourable tax laws on international corporations with as little as 5% are also a deciding factor for those businesses looking at the island. Moreover, Malta is a strong member of the EU allowing companies that decide to set up business their access to the free trade within the European market. This, of course, will bring along foreign investments and employment opportunities that are vital for a small country with little natural resources or manufacturing facilities. The country has a much bigger plan in place

blockchain-strategy

Although Malta is not only after the financial benefits of bringing blockchain business under its wings. The regulatory and legislative bodies also make careful consideration of the nature of the business seeking to understand and legitimize it rather than accept it unconditionally. Malta is focusing on blockchain technology and its intricacies rather than short financial gains from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions.

malta-485321_1280
Source: One of the main ports of Malta brought by Pixabay

Malta is not only seeking to accommodate blockchain companies rather become an innovation hub for technology entrepreneurs and startups. The island nation has tackled well the last digital trend of business with Gaming and Online Gambling and it is well underway of riding the wave of the new blockchain trend. Moreover, the Maltese are already eyeing up the Artificial Intelligence revolution that is also underway and want to accommodate AI companies alongside the DLT ones. Malta.ai hosts the national initiative towards the development of an AI strategy and encouragement of companies and national policies. This move would create an amalgamation of technology pioneers nestled together in the speck in the Mediterranean working on complicated technological problems seeking to push the technology world forward.

 

*National Economic Data for Malta taken from – https://tradingeconomics.com/malta/gdp-growth

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