Malta’s Prime Minister Welcomes BinanceMarch 31, 2018
Binance, the world’s largest crypto platform is moving its operations to Malta; management announced March 23. And Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has warmly welcomed Binance and expressed his desire for the country to become a “global trailblazer in regulating blockchain-related businesses and choice for world-class fintech companies and also the jurisdiction of top quality.” Other government officials have joined the Premier in welcoming the trading platform and also spoke about Malta becoming “the blockchain island.”
The Mediterranean island, among the globe’s smallest islands, has a population of an estimated 450,000 and is a major center of finance and banking besides also being a major hub for online gambling sector. The European Union member state welcomes Binance after the crypto exchange was forced out of Hong Kong, China, following regulatory action. Japan also forced Binance to look for a home elsewhere.
The exchange seeks to introduce facilities for fiat payment, and Malta seems to be a good base since the island is plugged into Europe’s expansive banking sector. The island also appears among the top 32 countries in the world with the most advanced economy as rated by the IMF. Binance has explained that it chose to settle in Malta because of the “stability the island offers to financial technology firms via its regulatory framework and the existing pro-blockchain legislation. This development comes at the same time when Japan’s FSA (Financial Services Agency) published an order decreeing Binance’s operations in Japan. The order stated that the exchange was violating the country’s rules on funds settlement.
Malta is opening doors to cryptocurrency businesses
Many EU nations like the U.K have been skeptical of digital currencies and also reluctant to welcome tech firms working within this expanding sector. While most European nations’ governments have continued dragging their heels with, for instance, Britain going only as far as commissioning a task force for “managing the risks around cryptocurrency assets,” Malta has come up with a regulatory framework encouraging the use of crypto assets. The island also plans to enshrine one Virtual Currency Act into law.
Top government officials have expressed their desire to develop blockchain technology in Malta. Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, joined the Premier in welcoming the crypto exchange saying that Binance’s presence in the country sustains the vision of making Malta a Blockchain Island.” The exchange seeks to recruit about 200 staff members once it settles, a move that will offer a quick boost to Malta’s economy and support its quest of becoming a center for cryptocurrency innovation.
Changpeng Zhao, the exchange’s CEO said that “Binance will soon begin a fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange in Malta, and we are hoping to secure a deal with the local banks which can offer access to funds deposits and withdrawals.” The CEO also encouraged other cryptocurrency businesses to consider relocating to Malta.
This development is particularly good news to European crypto customers who will soon have another top crypto trading platform accepting fiat deposits. However, Binance’s grip on the crypto markets, which appears to be strengthening, raises one major concern: if the crypto exchange were to be hacked or suffer a technical problem, wouldn’t it significantly disrupt the cryptocurrency markets?