Malta builds its ‘blockchain island’ with three legislative bills
Malta is building its prowess as a “blockchain island” approving unanimously three bills on distributed ledger technology and blockchain in a second reading in Parliament on Tuesday.
Two bills regulating digital ledger technologies (covering blockchain) are the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Bill and the Virtual Financial Assets Bill. A third bill Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill brings virtual financial assets in Malta under the supervision of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.
The new regulatory structure covers companies operating on blockchain and also will provide a legal framework for initial coin offerings and regulate crypto wallet providers, cryptocurrency exchanges and asset managers.
Silvio Schembri, the Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation within the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta also announced the new CEO of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority tweeting:
Today Maltese Parliament unanimously approved 3 bills on DLT/blockchain, a 1st in the World. Honored to have driven these bills. Announced that Mr Stephen McCarthy will be the CEO of the new #Malta Digital Innovation Authority. #BlockchainIsland -SS
— Silvio Schembri (@SilvioSchembri) June 26, 2018
Future of money
Malta’s regulatory move is the latest accommodating the cryptocurrency arena and recently drawing a few cryptocurrency exchanges including Binance, which is moving its operation from Hong Kong to Malta. The Prime Minister Joseph Muscat after the government outlined the crypto-friendly legislative framework in March this year called it ‘innovative’ and the ‘best in the world’.
Dr Muscat is excited by the visionary prospect of cryptocurrencies and said they were the “inevitable future of money”.
“Have any of you ever thought about what gives paper money its value when it’s ultimately just pieces of paper? It is because society attributes value to it. Now some people, who in my opinion are geniuses, are arguing that that value can similarly be attributed to virtual currencies,” said Dr Muscat.
“The concept sounds confusing right now, but I have no doubt that it will form the base of a new economy in the future. Just as we attribute value to pieces of paper, so too will future generations attribute value to electronic storage systems.”