cointelegraph>>>>>>Malta is renowned for its crypto-friendly politics, whose efforts in the field have earned it the moniker of “blockchain island.” However, its push for becoming the international crypto hub has attracted criticism from both global watchdogs and local opposition.
Crypto-friendliness is one of the main priorities for the Maltese government
On Jan. 24, the Times of Malta reported on preliminary findings that the IMF allegedly presented after visiting the island. The international organization highlighted blockchain — alongside remote gaming sectors and the government’s citizenship-by-investment scheme — as being high on their list of concerns regarding possible Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance violations.
Indeed, blockchain has remained one of top priorities for the Maltese government since July 2018, when it approved three blockchain- and crypto-related bills, aiming to establish a strong and transparent crypto regulatory climate: namely, the Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Asset (VFA) Act.
Announcing the changes via Twitter, Silvio Schembri, the junior minister for financial services, digital economy and innovation within the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta, claimed that the country became “the first world jurisdiction to provide legal certainty to this space.”
The 3 Bills that will regulate DLT have been approved by Parliament and enacted into law. Malta , the first world jurisdiction to provide legal certainty to this space. #blockchainisland @JosephMuscat_JM
— Silvio Schembri (@SilvioSchembri) July 4, 2018
Indeed, throughout 2018, a significant number of foreign crypto players who faced regulatory difficulties back home — including cryptocurrency exchanges OKex, Binance and BitBay — set up their operations in Malta due to the development of a friendlier crypto space. Additionally, Malta has the lowest corporate tax percent for international companies in the European Union — set at just 5 percent, comparing to the average of 22 percent — which appears to be an attractive factor for such relocation as well. Given that such legislation is scarcely present in other countries, where crypto is either not regulated or prohibited altogether, Malta indeed might seem like a logical destination.