When you think of the tiny, Mediterranean island of Malta, you might think of Knights Templar, beautiful coastline, and lazy days in the hot summer sun. But did you know it is also fast becoming the new global hub for the exciting and disruptive world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology?
Over the last 18 months, cryptocurrencies and their associated technologies have taken the world by storm and everyone and their aunt seems to be investing in and trading with coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. There is no doubt that this technology is set to change the world- from finance to real estate, education to healthcare, and even logistics and voting- no stone is left unturned when it comes to the innovative power of crypto. But why is Malta at the heart of it? Let us read on to find out more.
Location, location, location
Let’s face it, if you had to choose between basing your company on an island surrounded by crystal blue waters that enjoys over 3000 hours of sunshine every year, or, say London- where would you choose? When it comes to location, Malta has it all; it is less than a three-hour flight from all major European airports, it has a huge expat community and friendly, English speaking locals, a great infrastructure, and a good standard of education and healthcare facilities. Did I mention that the weather is glorious, it is full of culture, and the beaches and coastline are to die for? Malta has the perfect location in the heart of the Mediterranean and it offers an outstanding quality of life to anyone that lives and works there.
Regulatory flexibility and governmental support
Malta has always been a welcoming jurisdiction when it comes to digital industries. Over a decade ago, it was one of the first countries to legislate in support of the iGaming industry and it now holds the title of the most respected online gaming regulatory jurisdiction in the world. The same is happening with ICOs, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology. The Maltese government has drafted three bills, that when passed, will cement its place as the world’s only jurisdiction to create a legal framework that both protects clients and operators, whilst ensuring the continued development of the sector. This development has lead to a large influx of crypto companies into the country with industry giants Binance announcing that Malta will be home to their new headquarters. The Maltese governments’ approach towards regulation and compliance with international standards, whilst also ensuring the burgeoning industry is allowed to flourish, is unique and has really helped to put Malta on the map. When the new legislation is fully implemented, ICOs will be vetted and regulated, service providers such as brokers, investment managers, and eWallet providers will be supervised, and clear standards will be established that will protect the consumer and operator alike.
A history of innovation
Malta has always tried to stay one step ahead of the crowd, particularly when it comes to technological innovation. As mentioned earlier, it is home to the iGaming industry which in turn has helped to create a flourishing digital ecosystem on the island. Malta was also one of the first countries to get a citizenship by investment programme approved by the EU. From law firms and corporate service providers to marketing agencies and IT consultancies- Malta is home to many providers that have adapted to service the world of technology. Innovation also runs in the veins of the Maltese people and there is a huge pool of local talent- multi-lingual, highly educated, experienced in innovating sectors- that are ready to be a part of the next big thing.
A welcoming business environment
If you want to start a business, employ staff, remit revenue, and commence operations from Malta, the process is a lot more straightforward than in many other jurisdictions. With a notoriously pro-business government at the helm, Malta offers great fiscal incentives, easy to set up company structures, a range of double taxation treaties, and many other benefits for businesses that choose to make Malta their home. This flexibility and support can take a lot of the headache out of setting up a business, allowing you to do what you do best- being successful.
Cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology and ICOs are not going anywhere any time soon and as each day passes, it is becoming more clear that if you want to be in this industry- Malta is the place to be. With an exceptionally high standard of living, a talented workforce, a supporting government and legal framework, and of course, a lot of experience in the Fintech sector, it is not hard to see why its population as a go-to jurisdiction is increasing.