Malta Signs Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Bills into Law

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The government of Malta confirmed last week that it had approved three crucial bills that provide the necessary regulatory framework for the blockchain and cryptocurrency market.

According to Malta Today, the three laws were namely the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, and Virtual Financial Asset Act.

This was a giant step taken by the government of Malta towards turning the country into a major blockchain and related technologies hub.

The bills also outline the various branches of the government set to work in tandem, with Bill 45, for example, which tasks the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) with the promotion and development of the blockchain and crypto industry in the country.

The MDIA agency, which has yet to be formally established, will also provide regulatory guidelines on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), educate the wider public, safeguard the reputation of the nation as a major blockchain hub, as well as protect investors.

The Cryptocurrency Market on Blockchain Island

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat posted a tweet on Wednesday regarding the new legislative development, touting his country as the first in the world to officially provide a holistic legal framework that regulates blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

Regions such as The Isle of Man already have jurisdictions related to blockchain regulation, but Malta says it’s the first to offer comprehensive regulation.

With a population of approximately half a million people, Malta has made major advances in diversifying its industries. Its gambling industry, for example, boasts over 270 companies and provides employment to over 9,000 professionals.

The gambling industry alone is said to have contributed about $1.29 billion to the Maltese economy in 2017 and has been growing steadily with revenues expected to reach $29.17 billion in 2020, up from $19.33 billion in 2015. It is expected that the new cryptocurrencies and blockchain framework will have a similar effect on the economy.

The Government of Malta Welcomes Blockchain Companies

Major cryptocurrency companies such as Binance, deemed one of the largest crypto trading exchanges in the world, have already set up base in Malta.

And earlier today, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that he was meeting with cryptocurrency investors, saying, “Our diaries are currently filled with meetings with these investors.”

He added that there are ongoing talks with the Ministry of Education to encourage learners to pursue careers within upcoming industries.

Malta’s move comes in the wake of crippling crackdowns by authorities in the United States and China targeting cryptocurrency exchanges, and the small nation currently seems like an attractive haven for blockchain companies.

Binance, for example, was founded in China, took refuge in Japan, received a note to shut down operations and swiftly made Malta its new base.

This and related events across the world have pushed more companies to look to Malta, which seeks to implement crypto and blockchain-friendly laws and indeed become the blockchain island.

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