Three days ago, Bloomberg reported that cryptocurrency exchange Binance was planning to open offices in Malta. Binance CEO, Zhao Changpeng, said that the company is “very confident” that they will sign a deal with a Maltese bank soon. “Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech,” said Zhao. According to Binance’s official announcement, the shift will provide 200 job opportunities for people living in the country.
Today, the CEO of cryptocurrency Monaco Card, Kris Marszalek, tweeted that the company was also thinking about investing in the country.
@Monaco_card supports the bold vision of PM @JosephMuscat_JM and Malta's vision of the Blockchain Island. Looking into an investment in Malta following last week’s announcement by our strategic partner @binance @cz_binance
— Kris Marszalek (@Kris_HK) March 26, 2018
Malta: The Blockchain Island
In December 2016, the Malta Stock Exchange published a press release stating that it was planning to launch a “Blockchain Committee and Think Tank”. The country’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, announced that Malta would become “the global trail blazer” by adopting cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The Cabinet even approved a draft in April 2017 for a “national strategy to promote blockchain”. Later in September, the government publicly launched an advisory board for blockchain technology with software architects and blockchain experts as members.
Moving forward, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a discussion paper in November, requesting feedback on cryptocurrencies and ICOs, so that they could support these operations while providing security to users. The feedback received by MFSA in January 2018 focused on changing existing rules for cryptocurrencies, which is why it was announced that investors could legally partake in virtual currencies and ICOs.
These events drew attention to Malta, especially since previous crypto giants China and Japan have been tightening their hold on cryptocurrency exchanges operating in these two countries. One such company, Binance, finally decided upon Malta “due to its existing pro-blockchain legislation and the stability that it offers financial technology companies through its regulatory framework.” Hon. Silvio. Schembri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, said that allowing Binance to operate in Malta strengthens the country’s belief in making it “The Blockchain Island”.
Famously known as EU’s “tax haven”, Muscat believes that taxes are not the only reason crypto companies are looking at the country; “They are coming to our country because we have a regulatory system which is the first of its kind, and I guarantee that it will be the best in the world”.
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