Malta’s Prime Minister has welcomed a Chinese cryptocurrency exchange to his country. Joseph Muscat personally signed the tweet welcoming Binance‘s operation to the island EU state.
Muscat, who is also the Leader of the Labour Party in Malta, states it is part of their effort to be “the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses”. He also notes that Malta is working to be the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies.
The news comes as Malta reports it recorded a fiscal surplus in the first two months of 2018. Government debt has been reportedly down and revenues up by 81% when compared to final year of the previous administration.
The exchange’s move to Malta has been praised as positive in the crypto community. Coming on the heels of this week’s G20’s outcome on cryptos, it is also considered another sign of progress with governments’ acceptance. However, while Malta may be deemed to be ahead of other EU countries to gain from its early move, it may be too early to celebrate.
As at Friday March 23, Binance is ranked the top exchange in 24 hour volume rankings in the world. According to CoinMarketCap, the exchange transacted a total of over $1.65b in the past day to lead others. OKeX comes behind with a 24-hour volume of $1.04b.
So far, there hasn’t been any objection of any sort to the move by another EU country. Binance was just warned by the Japanese financial service agency JFSA for operating in Japan without a license. With time, its operational move to Malta could be questioned by other EU countries. Until that is out of the way, fingers should remain crossed.
On why the exchange chose to move to Malta, its CEO, Zhao Changpeng (CZ), says they are “convinced that Malta will be the next hotbed for innovative blockchain companies, and a centre of the blockchain ecosystem in Europe.”
Malta’s Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, Silvio Schembri, asserts that Binance’s presence in Malta will sustain the vision to make the country ‘The Blockchain Island’.
On the bad side
A scammy report has since followed the announcement though. It promotes a free 5000 ETH giveaway by the CEO of Binance, CZ, to celebrate the development. Interested participants are expected to deposit a certain amount of ETH to get a ten-return immediately.
As at the time of this writing, about 27 ETH has been deposited into the wallet which seems only to be receiving deposits with no outflow. CZ has denied the offer and added a CZ ‘not giving crypto away’ tag to his Twitter handle.