Malta — the Blockchain Island of Regulation, STO’s and Online Gaming
I recently came back from a week in “Blockchain Island” aka Malta, the new emerging Crypto friendly safe haven. I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of industry colleagues and have had countless conversations which all seemed to circle back to the same questions and conclusions.
For months now it seemed like the issue of regulations in regards to securities has become the “hot potato” for legislators around the globe- No jurisdiction has presented a full, coherent or conclusive framework for STO’s, this has lead many in the industry to speculate and play guessing games trying to predict how this emerging phenomenon will look like from a regulatory perspective. And then comes Malta- A country best known for being the innovator of online gaming platforms and EA-games (not to mention ancient history and freshest seafood) and makes it clear for everyone that they are taking the lead in blockchain regulation, implementation, education, and other “ion” verbs.
It started with the Prime Minister of Malta speaking on the subject of Blockchain at the General Assembly in the UN in October, continued by two major summits held within one month and lastly, drafting clear frameworks and calls of action in regards to STO’s. Both the government and the financial institutions of Malta are (literally) embracing blockchain and DLT companies and calling for new ones to start their projects (and become legal entities) in cooperation with Malta financial institutions and set shop in the island.
NEO had the pleasure to participate in the Delta Summit conference, where NEO’s GM, Johnson Zhao, gave a keynote speech. We’ve had the honor of attending an evening gala where the prime minister of Malta spoke with shining eyes on the potential of blockchain technology and what it can bring to the world. We’ve sat down with government officials who are open to dialogue and mutual collaboration and we’ve met excited exchanges and projects who couldn’t stop talking about how moving to Malta was the best move they’ve made.
As we see both infrastructure layers and STO issuers try to make heads or tails out of the current regulatory landscape, Malta takes lead with a welcoming announcement and makes sure the very much eager space hears them, loud and clear. Exchanges focusing on Security tokens, financial institutions and blockchain companies that are planning on offering securities in digitalized formats all have different opinions and input on what and how would be the best way to make this revolution happen.
As I mentioned, the gaming industry in Malta isn’t’ surprised by this approach, Malta is one, if not the leader in the online gaming industry, and major companies in this space met with us and shared how the island accelerated and became a catalyst for the industry, which many believe will be executed in the same manner for blockchain companies.
NEO Smart Economy is focusing on two of these very important activities: Games on the Blockchain and Security Tokens; Creating a standard for NEO along with working with projects, entrepreneurs and leaders in these fields. Being a Smart Economy which is built on three pillars; Digital Identity, Digital assets, and Smart contracts it comes as no surprise that we are taking a great interest as well as working hard on implementing these concepts within our ecosystem.
What will happen once larger jurisdictions such as the US, UK, and the EU start setting permanent rules and laws in place? At present, Is Malta just becoming the guinea pig for these more “traditional” jurisdictions until they make up their mind? Will these new companies, be it exchanges or projects, move back to their native countries or continue operating from “Blockchain Island” regardless? There are still many uncertainties in regards to the future in this sense, and these questions still remain. Can the online gaming model really be copy-pasted for the blockchain industry? Probably not, but can they foster a new model that will be curated for these new needs of Blockchains, STO’s and DLT projects? The thousands who’ve been flocking to the island seem to think so.
Malta — the Blockchain Island of Regulation, STO’s and Online Gaming was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.