When you think of the island of Malta, you probably think of sun, sea, and sand. That would be correct, but you would have missed out one very important thing- its flourishing digital technology industry.
Over the last decade, Malta has evolved to so much more than a prime holiday destination and it is now home to some of the most exciting, disruptive, and innovative industries in the world. Long established as the global home of online gaming operators, it is now considered as one of the most reputable iGaming jurisdictions in the world and this has led to a flurry of related industries springing up around the country. Fintech, IT, financial services, private banking, web and software development, specialist marketing agencies- these businesses continue to flourish and grow at an exponential rate.
Malta is making waves
But now, in 2018 there is a new industry that is making significant waves on this small, Mediterranean island. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain seem to have come out of nowhere and are taking the world by storm, infiltrating every industry imaginable and offering previously unheard of solutions to the business world’s most pertinent problems. From elections to logistics, healthcare to real estate, and even crypto vending machines that dispense beer. No stone appears unturned when it comes to exploring the potential of this technology. But where does Malta fit in?
Earlier this year, the Maltese government announced three new bills that when enforced, would seek to regulate and provide legal clarity to the cryptocurrency, ICO, and blockchain industries. Whilst some jurisdictions have chosen to legislate in such a way that these burgeoning sectors have been crippled and stifled, Malta chose a different approach. Realising the potential that exists in this area, as well as acknowledging the need to provide surety and confidence to all stakeholders, they came up with a solution.
A source of inspiration
Not only is Malta set to become the only country in the world that is legislating in support of the sector, but it is also expected that their legal framework will inspire and influence other countries to follow suit. Like Malta did with iGaming- instead of outlawing and forbidding such business activities, they seized the opportunity to regulate and encourage the industry and were able to reap substantial rewards as a result. Subsequently, the iGaming industry now contributed 2% of the annual GDP and it is expected that cryptocurrency will follow in its rather large footsteps.
Not only does Malta offer regulatory surety when it comes to crypto and related industries, but it also offers a welcoming business environment complete with fiscal incentives, over 70 double taxation treaties, and a highly educated, digitally savvy, multi-lingual pool of talent. Asides from the 3000+ hours of sunshine it benefits from every year, it offers an unparalleled quality of life, extensive networking opportunities and it’s become an extremely attractive jurisdiction for start-ups and established businesses.
Binance believes in Malta
In March 2018, Zhao Changpeng CEO of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance announced that the company would be moving its operations to Malta. As well as serving as an incredible vote of confidence for the EU nation, it also sparked the interest of many other established, international brands.
Malta makes sense for cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses as it has every ingredient that the industry needs to grow and succeed. As a jurisdiction, it offers regulatory surety, governmental support, complementary businesses and service providers, as well as an abundance of innovative individuals and entrepreneurs who flock here to enjoy the plentiful business opportunities and high standard of living. When you combine these things together, it is not hard to see why Malta is fast becoming the hub of the crypto and blockchain world.