Though Malta has long been the igaming capital of Europe, it’s now a trailblazer in blockchain, cryptocurrencies and DLT too.
Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Sicily, lie the Maltese islands. Despite its small size, this independent member of the European Union is fast becoming known as Blockchain Island.
Already the centre of the European iGaming and sports betting industry, with a smattering of fintech for good measure, plus all the supporting infrastructure, it now has the world’s most progressive legal legislation providing for blockchain, cryptocurrency and DLT (distributed ledger technology) businesses.
A Blockchain Island Rises
The rapid emergence of Malta as the ‘Blockchain Island’ has come about in large part due to the efforts of forward-thinking officials like Silvio Schembri, Malta’s Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, who have relentlessly been explaining the benefits of embracing blockchain to the Maltese government, and showcasing Malta to blockchain players around the world.
Despite the new blockchain-friendly laws only being passed on 4th July 2018, Malta has already attracted big crypto businesses like Binance and OKEx and is seeing some exciting start-ups emerge like the esports oriented tokenised voting platform ChiliZ.
A combination of government and private initiative is seemingly powering Malta towards blockchain dominance, with a very real first-move advantage, and this is illustrated perfectly by the upcoming Delta Summit.
Big Names Move In
Billed as Malta’s leading blockchain and digital innovation summit, it takes place from 3rd-5th October 2018 and has a long list of big name partners and participants, including Bloomberg Media Group, OKEX, Monaco, BitBay, Binance, Cubits, Evercoin, Conomi, Ledger Projects, Tron, Aena, Neufund, Thomson Reuters, Bitemycoin.com, RecordGram, GTG Advocates, Shipchain and more.
In addition to the world’s most forward-thinking legal framework and rapidly improving infrastructure, Malta boasts a useful tech-savvy English-speaking workforce thanks to iGaming and online betting – an industry that is increasingly embracing blockchain and AI technology.
The geographical location of Malta also makes it ideal for international businesses looking to attract talent. With one of the best climates in the world, excellent air links to Europe and beyond, world-class entertainment and social scenes, it is easy to convince people to relocate to the islands.
Being a small nation that nevertheless has a relatively big population – in fact, the smallest member of the European Union, at just 316 km², but has a population of just under 500,000 – means that Malta really is a cosmopolitan melting pot of ideas and energy, perfect for encouraging innovation and start-ups.
Of course, Malta is not the only place to recognise the advantages of the crypto, blockchain and DLT based economy of the future, with authorities from Catalonia to Thailand also attempting to capitalise – but so far, only tiny little Malta has taken such clear and concrete steps to make things happen.
#BlockchainIsland is causing quite a stir in the crypto community
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