The first draft of a national strategy to promote Bitcoin and blockchain technology has reportedly been approved by the Cabinet of Malta. This move follows the proposal by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for the EU to become “the Bitcoin continent.”
Malta Wants to Lead Worldwide Bitcoin Adoption
Joseph Muscat, Malta’s prime minister
Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat reportedly announced that the first draft of a national strategy to promote Bitcoin and blockchain technology has been approved by the Cabinet, according to Malta Today.
At a conference organized by the parliament’s Economic and Financial Affairs Committee, Muscat expressed that Malta will become one of the first countries in the world to embrace Bitcoin and its technology.
“I understand that regulators are wary of this technology but the fact is that it’s coming,” he noted. Promising that the strategy will soon be published for public consultation, he said:
We must be on the frontline in embracing blockchain and Bitcoin…we must be the ones that others copy.
In February, Bitcoin.com reported on Muscat’s proposal for the EU to become the “Bitcoin continent.” At this conference, the prime minister reiterated his position. He, once again, called for the EU to harness the potential of Bitcoin and seek to become the “Bitcoin continent of Europe”.
Malta’s Strategy to Attract Investors
“Having a strategy would encourage investors to come here. Malta could be a trailblazer in this sphere,” the Times of Malta reported Muscat as saying. “We need to be a frontline country when it comes to this innovation; we cannot wait for the regulators to reach their conclusions and then have to copy what other countries are already doing.” In addition, he explained that “the island also needed to look at adopting cryptocurrency, in spite of the wariness of regulators.”
Silvio Schembri, Malta’s MP
Theo Dix, an EY consultant, said, “if Malta develops a legal framework, blockchain technology companies would be encouraged to come here.” EY (formerly Ernst & Young) co-hosted the conference.
His sentiment is echoed by the chairman of the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee, Labour MP Silvio Schembri. He estimates that if Malta can attract even 1 percent of the UK’s fintech post-Brexit, “it would mean an injection of €200 million into the local economy.” He wants Malta to have “the world’s best environment for the development and commercialisation of fintech models and disruptive innovation,” thus fulfilling his dream for the country to become the “the Silicon Valley of Europe”, Malta Today reported.
Other than the regulatory framework, Schembri believes Malta already has the right geographical position and weather conditions, as wall as “strong financial system, skills base, entrepreneurial spirit and can-do approach”. All these factors make his country a perfect test-bed for fintech companies. He added:
The government should ensure that Malta has the appropriate regulatory framework, the right tax system and the best infrastructure to support this ambition.
What do you think of Malta’s strategy to embrace Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Gov.mt