Malta — Little Island, Big Blockchain Plans

Malta leads blockchain adoption and regulation on a government level in Europe

Being a small nation definitely comes with its fair share of drawbacks, but it also makes for places whose governments can adopt new economic policy and innovate much more quickly.

When it comes to cryptocurrency and blockchain initiative regulation, we can safely count Malta as one of these agile adopters. Without much in the way of promotion, Malta’s ruling Labour Party, led by Joseph Muscat, started off 2018 with a bang — pushing out arguably the most aggressive government level support plan for blockchain in all of the European Union.

The plan is straightforward: Malta is working on constructing the legal framework to create a dedicated government body whose sole directive will be to regulate Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and IOT devices for companies who register their businesses on the island nation. The governing body is big news, but its the Maltese government’s commitment to actually create legal frameworks to protect these entrepreneurial efforts that’s perhaps most far reaching.

Blockchain ventures and currencies may thrive on their trustless, decentralized nature but having no legal protections in place at all — for those cases when bad actors manipulate the platforms those venture are run on — creates a significant hazard. Because when the proverbial shit does hit the fan in this new world, there’s not much anyone can do to fight back on a legislative level with clear efficacy.

Malta has developed a reputation in the last 15 years as a fintech & gaming mecca in Europe specifically because it has jumped on regulatory gateways to allow business to happen in emerging tech markets while other European countries lag behind. As it delves into its next economic driver — it’s beginning to form ties with another new-world financial center to do so.

Dubai.

The two centers are in informal talks to work in cooperation with one another on blockchain related enterprises. Coincidentally, speaking from Dubai’s Unlock Blockchain conference in the U.A.E’s business capital, Maltese Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri re-affirmed his island’s supportive intentions to a global audience, explaining that Malta’s initiatives,

“will help those who wish to invest in this sector to operate within a legal structure and gain the trust of millions of potential customers all over the world who want to make use of new services related to blockchain technology.”1

Malta’s goal is to satisfy regulatory barriers such as the need for KYC protocols, without making the island’s regulatory environment too inaccessible for innovators to come to. As one of the first large-scale Token Crowd Sales and blockchain founded businesses, chiliZ is really proud that our home base — a place we’ve called home for over a decade and across a slew of diverse projects in the gaming space — has decided to support our future as we push to disrupt esports.

1 https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180117/business/worlds-first-legal-framework-for-blockchain-in-malta.668198

Max Rabinovitch | CSO, chiliZ

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