By Lexi Willetts, published 5 November 2018
Malta, notorious for tourism, gaming and low tax rates, is establishing itself as the now known Crypto Island.
But as gaming extends a toe into alternative safe harbours like Paris and Sweden, Malta has reacted by recruiting crypto and blockchain based industries to grow new economies and maintain its commercial appeal. This week Malta released the The Virtual Financial Assets Act, 2018 (The VFA Act), which sets out to regulate the field of Initial Virtual Financial Asset Offerings and Virtual Financial Assets and its attempt to create stronger ICO regulatory frameworks and behaviours.
Alongside of hosting the Malta Blockchain Summit, an event that drew crowds over twice as large as it’s Korean blockchain counterpart, in Malta you’ll find Binance, the largest crypto-exchange with a BNB market capitalisation of c.$1.3 bn, who opened an office there after stricter regulations in Japan and China. You’ll also find ICO of the Year winning project Chiliz led by former gaming veterans, as well as awesome developer talent creating technical projects that are being embraced by Google and the like.
But is the country’s infrastructure yet to match this upcoming business opportunity?
New roads connecting the airports are apparent; app based taxi services are in operation (eCabs not Uber — you’ll need to download); the housing landscape is evolving with rents rising, in some cases over 120% in the last 4years (no such luck for salaries BTW); the occasional glossy Italian fashion store flanked by European-ignored high street brands are the total sum for retail; all under an island skyline that shines ramshackle Beirut-style buildings, new taller apartment blocks, hotels and commercial builds.
That said, a late evening walk through St Julian’s, the home to 5*hotels, shopping malls and large scale conferences, and you could be forgiven for thinking you were wandering Magaluf in post exam season. This ocean view spot offers strip bars aplenty, Hugo’s architectural horror and screaming euro pop. Move through the maze of bars and you’ll likely be caught in a sea of street-side drinkers creating waves with their uninhibited behaviours; look closer and you’ll witness drunken souls netted by street sirens, who escort them to more private spot. Yep, it’s quite the night scene.
If Malta succeeds in its vision to become a leading crypto country, internationalisation, cultural and economic improvements will surely need to follow.
My advice, if you are blockchain-venturing into Malta, be prepared to grow and be part of growth, both in industry and culture. If not, you’ll be quickly tapping eCabs and taking that new highroad out of there…
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Contact Lexi for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Coinweb is a blockchain business on a mission to make blockchain more connected and more personal.
Our goal is to create solutions to make the blockchain more mainstream and easy to use, focussing on products and services that will deliver mass adoption of blockchain.
Coinweb has built a hyperlayer that seamlessly connect and creates interoperability between blockchains and a Coin Name System (CNS) that makes your wallet address as easy to use as an email address.