The Parliament of Malta has passed three bills into law that establish a regulatory framework for blockchain technology, local news outlet Malta Today reported July 4. The bills include the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Asset Act.
Silvio Schembri, Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation within the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta, tweeted about the passing of the bills today, noting that the island nation is a pioneer in providing a solid legal framework for blockchain companies:
“The three Bills that will regulate distributed ledger technology (DLT) have been approved by Parliament and enacted into law. Malta , the first world jurisdiction to provide legal certainty to this space.”
Schembri said that the move taken by the Parliament would put investors’ minds to rest as companies now have the necessary legal tools to operate in a regulated environment. The Junior Minister also expressed his optimism about companies choosing Malta as their base of operations, saying that the republic now offers a stable system that will “result in further economic growth.”
Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti of Maltese law firm Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates, said the passage of the new legislation is “a momentous milestone for Malta as a forward-looking economy, truly confirming Malta as the ‘blockchain island.’” Chetcuti noted that companies will feel more comfortable “committing to further investment, and setting up in Malta.”
A multitude of blockchain and crypto business have already located to Malta, as the country’s officials took regulatory steps to become the “blockchain island.” Recently, several cryptocurrency exchanges, including OKex, Binance, and BitBay have set up operations in Malta due to the development of a blockchain and crypto-friendly space within the country. In May, the Transport Minister of Malta announced a partnership with U.K. middleware blockchain startup Omnitude to improve the Maltese Public Transport Service using distributed ledger technology.
Moreover, the Malta Gaming Authority issued a document with guidelines on blockchain and cryptocurrency applications in the gaming industry, aiming to apply standards to games that use cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Last year, the government of Malta also announced is was developing a project to test the feasibility of using blockchain for the recording of academic certificates.