The chairman of the Digital Economy Research Center, Kearon Bruno, said that Malta is no longer a “blockchain island” – the government intends to focus on the development of the digital economy.
According to Kearon Bruno, you shouldn’t just focus on the development of distributed ledger technology. It is much more profitable and more effective to use an integrated approach to the development of the digital economy and take into account all aspects of technology development. Note that the research center was formed in June 2020. It includes representatives from the gaming and financial industries, as well as specialists in the field of information technology.
In 2018, former Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, positioned the island as a “blockchain hub.” With the support of Muscat, Malta launched a project in which all diplomas and certificates of education issued in the country can be stored on the blockchain. Later , leases were also transferred to the blockchain . However, after Muscat resigned due to the political crisis late last year, Malta has stopped focusing on blockchain.
Another research center participant, Beverly Tonna, noted that this week the Malta Financial Regulator (MFSA) has created a regulatory sandbox for fintech firms. This means Malta is shifting its focus away from blockchain and cryptocurrencies, providing more opportunities for financial technology-focused startups. At the same time, Malta does not deviate from what has been done before in the field of blockchain and is still showing interest in virtual assets.
The Maltese government is only seeking to integrate blockchain with other niche sectors. Although Malta started developing a regulatory framework for blockchain in 2018 , some cryptocurrency firms registered in Malta are changing jurisdictions. So, the Bittrex exchange left the island due to the toughened rules of the local government regarding the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.