Most cryptocurrency trading in the world will soon take place on virtual marketplaces based in Malta, research by Morgan Stanley has shown.
Malta’s position at the peak of the rankings has been significantly boosted by a recent decision by Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, to relocate here.
“Many exchanges may have users in a particular country, but this is often not where the company has chosen to legally register,” Morgan Stanley strategist Sheena Shah said. “The majority of cryptocurrency trading volumes operate out of companies legally located in Malta.”
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has declared he wants Malta to become a “global trailblazer” in the regulation of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology underpinning them.
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“Millions of people already attribute value to virtual currencies, which has created an entirely new market,” Muscat said. “The concept sounds confusing right now, but I have no doubt that it will form the base of a new economy in the future. Just as we currently attribute value to pieces of paper, so too will future generations attribute value to electronic storage systems.”
Cabinet this week formally approved three Bills to set up a digital innovation authority to regulate and certify blockchain companies and to set out a legal framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs). Parliamentary secretary for the digital economy Silvio Schembri has claimed the bills will prompt banks to loosen their restrictions on blockchain companies as they will no longer be working in a legal vacuum.
Apart from Binance, other crypto-projects such as Tron, Monaco, Okex and BigONE have also declared interest in relocating to Malta.