Malta: “The Blockchain Island”
17 Jul 2018
By: Jason Whang
With wavering regulatory jurisdiction in countries around the world for cryptocurrency-based businesses, it is virtually impossible for these companies to securely know where they stand in compliance with the law. To combat this uncertainty, Malta has recently passed three bills to become the first world jurisdiction to pass “legal certainty” for businesses in the cryptocurrency space with the hope of establishing Malta as the “global hub for market leaders in this new sector” (Georgiev). These bills regulate Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) by noting the prerequisite steps a company must take to be eligible, establish the “Malta Digital Innovation Authority” (MDIA) to oversee and implement certain guidelines for these businesses, and make blockchain-based companies recognizable in the eyes of the law.
Subsequently, numerous cryptocurrency exchanges have begun envisioning the potential for growth in Malta. OKEx, BitBay, and even Binance, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange, have already established outposts to operate out of Malta, and Binance has expressed interest in setting up a “blockchain-based bank with tokenized ownership” (Huillet). This decentralized bank is known as “The Founder’s Bank” and would be community owned and operate using “legally binding equity tokens” given out in exchange for investments (Huillet). Although this would require a license verified under Maltese regulation, Malta’s progressive sentiment on limited regulation, simpler processes for companies to set up ICOs, and interest in possibly introducing a national cryptocurrency should only support this system. As such, Cryptanite Blockchain Technologies Corp. has also taken interest in establishing a headquarters in “The Blockchain Island.”
Cryptanite has begun establishing relationships in Malta with its recent partnership with QGen Group. QGen is a risk management service based in Malta that specializes in aiding businesses with Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) initiatives to reduce fraudulent activity by identifying and monitoring individuals they transact with. Cryptanite hopes to pioneer this growing space by implementing innovative AML and KYC features in its Cryptanite App and making that available not only in the US but also in other countries in Europe and eventually worldwide. Cryptanite believes that partnering with QGen, the National Winners of the Customer and Market Engagement Award in Malta, to further help develop compliance regulations in Malta and other countries is a perfect fit for its tech-savvy team. With Malta’s recent advancements in the blockchain space, Cryptanite views the island as the premier location for growth and expansive influence.
Malta’s Junior Minister for Financial Services, Silvio Schembri, has noted: “I am optimistic that further companies will choose Malta to operate from with a system that offers stability and that will eventually result in further economic growth” (Georgiev). Cryptanite sees the enormous potential with the Maltese island and seeks to be the first to make use of its hidden treasure.
Georgiev, Georgi. “Malta Becomes First World Jurisdiction With ‘Legal Certainty’ for
Cryptocurrency.” Bitcoinist.com, Bitcoinist.com, 5 July 2018, https://bitcoinist.com/malta-blockchain-bill-law-legal/.
Huillet, Marie. “Malta: Crypto Exchange Binance Backs Plans to Create First Decentralized, Tokenized
Bank.” Cointelegraph, Cointelegraph, 13 July 2018, cointelegraph.com/news/malta-crypto-exchange-binance-backs-plans-to-create-first-decentralized-tokenized-bank.