Examining Malta’s Rise to Crypto Blockchain Hub Status

Binance and OKEx, two of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms have announced that they will be moving to Malta. The former will be establishing its headquarters while the latter is planning to expand its operations to the tiny Mediterranean Island. The Binance and OKEx announcements came in quick succession to each other signalling that perhaps Malta could become the new global crypto hub.

Comprehensive Crypto Regulations and Favorable Tax Laws

Since the September 2017 ban on ICOs and foreign cryptocurrency exchange platforms in China, a wave of regulatory crackdowns has emerged in some countries around the world.

South Korea soon followed suit and stories out of the EU and the United States spoke of government desire to regulate the hitherto unregulated crypto market. In the wake of the bans in China and South Korea, many players in the Asian theatre moved to Japan which had been a crypto-friendly country. While that fact hasn’t changed much, recent happenings in Japan has necessitated a series of strict regulatory rulings that seem to be forcing some of the biggest exchange platforms to friendlier climes.

The Maltese government approach to crypto regulations is one that seems to appeal to cryptocurrency exchange platforms. For one, the country’s regulatory plans aren’t being formulated without the input from crypto stakeholders as the government recently approached Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao for a sit-down session to discuss potential crypto regulations. This type of dialogue between government and the crypto community isn’t common in most countries as government agencies generally cast a jaundiced glance upon the crypto industry.

The proposed Maltese cryptocurrency regulatory framework will cover brokers, asset managers, crypto traders, and exchange platforms in what is reported to be the most comprehensive crypto regulatory framework in the industry. The government wishes to provide legal certainty for crypto stakeholders so as to allow the market to flourish. Apart from these regulations, crypto companies will also be able to take advantage of tax breaks that will see them pay as little as 5 percent in taxes.

Potential Benefits

Crypto stakeholders aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit as the government believes its plans will positively affect the economy of the country. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is a firm believer that cryptocurrency is the future of money. The influx of crypto companies into the country will provide jobs for Maltese citizens and residents. Binance has already announced that it will hire as many as 200 people to facilitate its relocation to Malta. Jumping on the emerging bandwagon, other crypto and blockchain companies could make the move to Malta, creating a bustling crypto hub in the country.

Already, Neufund, a German blockchain firm and The Abyss a cryptocurrency gaming platform have also announced plans to move to the country. Tron, a U.S.-based blockchain company is also considering moving to Malta. According to Justin Sun, the founder of the company, more crypto and even blockchain enterprises are beginning to see Malta as an exciting proposition in terms of being a base of operations.

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