Malta, a country whose population is slightly under half a million, is not one that instantly springs to mind when it comes to innovation and wild, exciting things. And yet it has become the first country to endorse blockchain as a real ‘thing’. According to Cointelegraph, “the Parliament of Malta has passed three bills into law that establish a regulatory framework for blockchain technology.”
This means that Malta has – almost overnight – become a safe haven for cryptocurrencies and anything that can be improved or made safer using blockchain technology.
You have to wonder, of course, why the Parliament of a small island in the Meditteranean went to this length to, essentially, enable blockchain-backed digital currencies to flourish. Is it tokenistic? Are they trying to be the Luxembourg or Switzerland of distributed ledger technology? And why are they doing this, when so many other countries, and banks, are basically turning their backs on Bitcoin and the like?
The answer is probably ‘yes’ and ‘good question’ to these points.
It is also probably pretty clever. Whether Maltese officials sat around a table brain storming how to become windswept and interesting or not, the fact is that someone has put a stake in the ground.
It is clear that blockchain technology will have a great number of applications. Stories and news about new applications for it are a daily occurrence. From keeping tabs on shipping containers, to guaranteeing the supply chain from field to shelf, from identity applications to safeguarding and managing personal data, there are definitely many, many uses that are emerging.
So, for a country to officially open its doors for a leading-edge technology that is causing consternation in many corners is brave, to say the least.
We have to congratulate Malta. And if in several years’ time we look on the island as the Luxembourg of blockchain, then they will have done something no one expected – made Malta wind-swept, interesting and possibly a lot richer.