Bitcoin

Forget the “blockchain island”, Malta now wants to become a digital enclave

The Maltese government continues to separate from its once prominent blockchain agenda. as it intends to take a broader approach to developing the digital economy.

In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, Kearon Bruno, President of the Think Tank for Digital Economy, an advisory body charged with diversifying and consolidating Malta’s business portfolio:

“We’re moving away from [ser] a blockchain island and more towards a digital island because we believe more in this holistic vision that encompasses all aspects and technological components. “

According to Bruno Malta is now advocating a “global vision” for its digital economy strategy. The expert group formed in June 2020 includes representatives from the fields of gambling, financial services and information., among other.

Forget the “blockchain island”, Malta now wants to become a digital enclave
Forget the “blockchain island”, Malta now wants to become a digital enclave

In September 2018, the then Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat presented his country as a “blockchain island” at the United Nations General Assembly. As Cointelegraph noted Official rhetoric is less and less focused on blockchain, while Muscat had to resign at the end of 2019 due to a local political crisis, which led to a cabinet reshuffle.

Another group member, Beverly Tonna, exemplified the new holistic approach of how the Malta Financial Services Authority set up a regulatory testing environment for financial technology companies earlier this week. She explained:

“The aim is to make Malta more attractive for new companies. If you work in a sandbox environment, there is more room for custom approaches […] Yes, we are moving away from cryptocurrency and blockchain and are now looking for financial technology operators. “

However, Tonna noted that: Malta “does not deviate from what we did before” and “is still very active in the area of ​​virtual financial investments”.

If a regulatory framework is not met, cryptocurrency players leave the island

MFSA has not yet issued any licenses under the country’s legal framework for cryptocurrencies, namely the Virtual Financial Assets Act, which was originally introduced in summer 2018.

The slowness of regulations has caused some cryptocurrency companies to leave the island, apparently Binance as well. who enjoyed a degree relationship with the local government and even held a private event at the official residence of the President of Malta.

Earlier this year, the main cryptocurrency broker was called by the local watchdog. which issued a statement that the platform “is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the cryptocurrency space”CEO Changpeng Zhao said Binance “is neither headquartered nor operated in Malta”.

At that time, Malta’s junior minister for financial services and digital economy, Bartolo Clayton, He told Cointelegraph that the MFSA statement on Binance does not “mean that the government has, in one way or another, introduced a stricter or stricter stance on crypto.but simply an authority that explains facts. “

“On the contrary, the Maltese government is determined to consolidate the blockchain along with other specialized sectors,” he added.

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