Malta, a small European island, is all set to become the go-to destination for blockchain enthusiasts. The country’s government is eager to turn the island into a hub for blockchain and allied distributed ledger technologies and develop it into a haven for virtual currencies such as the Bitcoin. Blockchain technologies make it possible for transactions to occur on a peer-to-peer basis, by eliminating the need for having intermediaries play a role, thereby
enhancing cost-effectiveness and security.
This technology, already being adopted in various industries, also has the potential to inject new life into the Maltese education and transport systems. For a multiplicity of reasons including but not restricted to an overhauling of their education and transport systems, the government has undertaken to turn Malta into a functional “blockchain island”. The Parliament of Malta recently passed three bills (4 July 2018) which are aimed towards encouraging innovation in blockchain and similar spheres, while setting down a regulatory framework for that same. With this series of legislation, the government looks forward to being able to catch the eyes of Fintech investors from other countries who could prospectively settle in Malta and expand its budding blockchain economy. By placing its foot forward in the blockchain space, at least legislatively, Malta has become one of the pioneers in guaranteeing legal safety to this field. Josephin Borg, who heads the blockchain advisory side of the WH Partners legal firm, welcomed the move and sounded appreciative of the measure to encourage blockchain businesses that is also likely to bring about overall economic growth in this little island.
In Europe, Malta is one of the pioneers in the field of blockchain-friendly legislation. Other European countries such as Lithuania and Estonia are also catching up fast, with Lithuania also developing a crypto hub and Estonia attempting to launch a national cryptocurrency called the Estcoin. Malta, however, has gone beyond the ambit of just cryptocurrency and has delved into the world of blockchain technology and the wide gamut of applications it portends. Earlier, Switzerland had also taken a lead in opening the doors to these new forms of technology, notably developing its Zug canton as a “crypto valley”.
The Maltese government has earlier tied up with blockchain firms like Omnitude to improve its public transportation, with Learning Machine Technologies to better higher education and has also opened doors to a possible decentralized bank, the first in the world. Indeed, Malta is becoming a successful “Bitcoin Island” with exchanged like Binance also knocking on its doors.