Crypto-friendly banks in Malta
Traditionally, banks in Europe have been very slow to adapt to new technologies such as blockchain or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This oftentimes has to do with government pressure and long procedures. This leads to significant obstacles for crypto businesses and private or corporate investors hoping to find suitable banking services.
Looking into the possibilities of opening a bank account in Malta as a crypto company? You may have read a thing or two about the complexities that are involved in trying to reach that goal. Fear not. E&S Group has vast experience in the world of crypto services. And through our excellent relationship with various Maltese banks, we can assist you all the way.
Malta’s crypto regulations – Blockchain island
Malta positioned itself as a global leader when it comes to cryptocurrency business regulations. The regulator in charge of cryptocurrency exchanges is the Malta Financial Services Authority or MFSA.
Not so long ago, bills like:
- Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act
- Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act
- Virtual Financial Asset Act
The legislation established a regulatory regime applicable to crypto exchanges, ICOs, brokers, wallet providers, advisers, and asset managers. Through these bills, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations or DAOs are recognized as a new type of legal entity. The biggest difference between a DAO and any other form of legal entity? They fully operate without a conventional board of directors. They instead rely on software programmed to make all decisions.
Shortly after the passing of these essential bills, there was the birth of a new regulatory body, called the Maltese Digital Innovation Authority. Its primary role is to assist service providers and innovative technology arrangement applicants in their registration and certification processes.
Crypto-friendly banks expected to open in Malta
Back in 2018, Roderick Psaila, a Malta-based banking expert spoke about the future of crypto-banking at the Delta Summit in Malta. The three-day event was the world’s first official government-approved event of its type. It attracted over 1500 delegates from all over the world.
Speaking as a part of a discussion panel, he was responding to criticism of traditional bank’s hesitancy to embrace blockchain, DLT, and cryptocurrencies. Although the Maltese government has approved the DLT legislation in November 2018.
“We are already seeing new, smaller banks show a willingness to adapt to this distributed ledger technology, but legacy banks will take longer to come round. Because of their systems in place and because they tend to expect higher standards,” he said.
He also stated that he believes that certain banks favorable to crypto businesses will open in Malta within the next year. This will be amenable to crypto, as well as being conducive to the industry’s growth.
This could be because it is unlikely for the banking industry to fully adopt and embrace companies involved in blockchain and cryptocurrency until matters around its compliance with the anti-money laundering framework were finalized. Until this framework has been deemed acceptable to banks, it doesn’t matter how acceptable it is to operators, ultimately the banks have the final say.
Also on the panel was Michael Matthias who is the CEO of digital currency Dascoin. He stated the need for banks to catch up with modern technology instead of shying away from it.
“And yet, as blockchain technology becomes more mainstream, it is not far fetched to imagine a near future in which cryptocurrency is used as the coin of choice in everyday payments and transactions,” he said.
The Delta Summit, the first of its kind has been called a resounding success by all that attended. Dr. Christian Ellul, Director of E&S Group also spoke on a panel discussing Malta’s bright future as the “blockchain island”. Other speakers at the event included the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, Changpeng Zhao the CEO and Founder of Binance, and other global stakeholders in the blockchain, crypto, DLT, and ICO sectors. If you have any questions about ICOs, and Malta’s legislation regarding ICOs and blockchain please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What makes a bank crypto-friendly? (table)
It will take a while for banks to soften their stance on crypto in general. A first good step towards that direction may be the acceptance of withdrawals from reputable exchanges.
There are already some banks that have been set up to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. A few of them own crypto facilities, next to the ones that act as normal banks but allow transactions to certain exchanges.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the United States already has a rule proposed that would eliminate the blacklisting of legal industries. Including blockchain and crypto firms! For instance, Kraken already has its banking license in the States, but not yet in Europe.
Through the upcoming alternative platforms such as Revolut, traditional financial institutions can’t afford to stay behind. If they don’t adapt to the new realities, they might become obsolete. Now is the perfect time to start transitioning to a “full service” bank, since most consumers require such a solution.
Here is a list of some of the best banks in Europe for crypto corporations:
- Agribank (Malta) – an open-minded bank that handles clients that others mostly refuse
- Paytah (Malta)
- Founders Bank (Malta) – Binance and Polychain are funding a crypto-friendly bank in Malta. They are currently in the process of obtaining a full EU banking license under the regulation of the MFSA and the European Central Bank.
- Solarisbank (Germany) – offers a crypto custody
- SEBA (Switzerland)
- Bank Frick (Liechtenstein) – partner of Ledger
- Dukascopy (Switzerland)
- Orounda (UK)
- Sparkasse (Germany)
- Swissquote (Switzerland)
- Mister Tango (Lithuania) – allows banking to certain exchanges
- Bankera (Lithuania)
- Majestic (Lithuania)
- Simplex (Lithuania)
- Mercuryo (Estonia)
Opening a bank account as a crypto company?
Let us guide you through the 4 steps you need to take in order to open a business bank account for your blockchain or cryptocurrency business (link to the first article “how to open a bank account as a crypto company”).