Malta approves the world's first legal framework for companies that rely on blockchain technology.
Yesterday evening, the Maltese Parliament officially approved the third and final reading of the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Bill, a draft that contains three blockchain industry related laws: the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act and the Virtual Financial Asset Act.
This development marks the end of the parliamentary process of ratifying a bill, which in turn makes Malta the first country in the world with a comprehensive regulatory framework overlooking companies working on blockchain technology, the new asset class of cryptocurrency, ICOs and other service providers in this field.
#Malta 🇲🇹 officially the first country worldwide to have holistic legislative framework regulating #blockchain & #DLT technologies. We will be the #global hub for market leaders in this new sector. Now for the implementation of #BlockchainIsland -JM @SilvioSchembri— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) July 4, 2018
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat actually announced the passing of the bill at the Malta Chamber of Commerce during a press conference for the launch of EURS, a token launched by STASIS that tracks the Euro in a 1:1 ratio and now is available on the English DSX exchange.
The whole event was streamed live. It was also attended by Silvio Schembri, Minister of Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Gregory Klumov, CEO and founder of STASIS and James Farrugia, partner of the law firm Ganado.
Malta aims to become a "Blockchain Island", attracting well established companies, startups and investors who inhabit the ecosystem of distributed register technology (DLT) and cryptocurrencies. "This technology will complement our financial sector, especially through fintech", said Muscat.
Nonetheless to this day a number of Maltese banks refuse to offer their services to any customer interested in buying cryptocurrencies, for example through exchanges. Bank of Valletta, the main bank on the island, cited "risk appetite, regulatory directions and the exigencies of its correspondent banking network" to explain its position.
In addressing the situation during the Q&A session, minister Schembri said he acknowledges the necessities of bank sector and assured that the government started a dialogue with banks about it, but also added:
"You cannot stop technology. You can embrace it or it will command you".