Malta might be a tiny archipelago on the Mediterranean map, but the nation is making a big name for itself in the world of cryptocurrency. Aside from successfully luring in the biggest crypto exchanges, Malta recently made history by passing “a true World First DLT Law,” cementing the nation’s position as the “world’s first blockchain island.”
First Country to Pass DLT Regulations
On July 4, Malta made history for being the first country to pass a set of DLT regulations, according to a report by Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates. The Maltese Parliament approved the third and final reading of the three bills that will regulate any activity related to blockchain, cryptocurrency, and DLT in the country.
While there are other jurisdictions that were able to pass laws on cryptocurrency and blockchain, Malta’s new regulations differ from the rest as they are more detailed and comprehensive. While other countries are waiting for other states to come up with a tried-and-tested legal framework before making their own, Malta bravely forged ahead on its own, making the small country a pioneer in the DLT space and the global crypto community.
Malta’s Three Regulations
The Maltese Parliament passed three bills into law, which are the “Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act” (MDIA Act), the “Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act” (ITAS Act) and the “Virtual Financial Assets Act” (VFAA).
The MDIA Act establishes the MDIA; a new authority set up to for the promotion and “development of the innovative technology sector in Malta,” which will be headed by Stephen McCarthy as CEO. Meanwhile, the ITAS Act will cover “the registration of Technology Service Providers and the certification of Technology Arrangements” and will serve as governing rules on technical issues such as software, architecture, DLT design and delivery, and smart contracts. On the other hand, the VFAA will “provide a proper framework within which ICOs and crypto exchanges would operate.”
Even before these laws were in place, Malta has already been known as a crypto-friendly nation. As reported by Bloomberg, the tiny island nation managed to lure two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges to put up shop in the country.
The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, made headlines early this year when it decided to open an office in the country. This was followed by the fourth largest exchange, OKEx, cementing Malta’s position as the major hub in the cryptocurrency world. With the new laws bringing certainty to the crypto space, Malta’s new title of being the “world’s first blockchain island” is certainly well deserved.