Malta’s Premier Praises Blockchain and Crypto Currencies before UN General Assembly

Speak­ing at the 73rd UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly in New York at the end of Sep­tem­ber, Mal­tese Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat sparked a sen­sa­tion in the blockchain scene. In his speech, he addressed, among oth­er top­ics of world pol­i­tics, the impor­tance of glob­al coop­er­a­tion in the explo­ration of and research into inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies such as the Blockchain and Dis­trib­uted Ledger Tech­nolo­gies. He praised the future poten­tial of this still young tech­nol­o­gy and explained why the island state was the first coun­try in the world to opt for an offi­cial, legal frame­work around it. It was a par­tic­u­lar­ly strik­ing state­ment he made in the same speech how­ev­er, that dom­i­nat­ed the head­lines in par­tic­u­lar.

Cryptocurrencies as the ”inevitable future of money”

In his 17-minute speech to the UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly, Mus­cat spoke on a wide range of top­ics includ­ing the threat of increas­ing iso­la­tion and emerg­ing nation­alisms, pos­si­ble trade con­flicts and the impact of cli­mate change before point­ing out the great poten­tial and oppor­tu­ni­ties of mod­ern tech­nolo­gies. He stressed the tremen­dous pos­si­bil­i­ties of the dig­i­tal age and the need to approach them with an open atti­tude and a glob­al dis­course.

As an exam­ple, he men­tioned that Mal­ta was the first coun­try in the world to cre­ate a legal frame­work around the top­ic of blockchain/distriuted ledger tech­nolo­gies. Thus, legal cer­tainy had been cre­at­ed for an indus­try that had pre­vi­ous­ly only exist­ed in a “legal vac­u­um”.

Blockchain is the fun­da­men­tal tech­nol­o­gy under­ly­ing cryp­to cur­ren­cies, which would be the ” inevitable future of mon­ey “. He fur­ther explained that cryp­to cur­ren­cies cre­ate more trans­paren­cy and thus help to dis­tin­guish between bad and good com­pa­nies.

Muscat Highlights Further Benefits of DLT Technology

Mus­cat then went on to dis­cuss oth­er oppor­tu­ni­ties cre­at­ed by Blockchain and Dis­trib­uted Ledger Tech­nol­o­gy. For exam­ple, he men­tioned oth­er exam­ples of health­care sys­tems where patients could have full con­trol over their med­ical data and talked about how emis­sions trad­ing could be tak­en to the next lev­el.

It would be pos­si­ble to check whether human­i­tar­i­an aid actu­al­ly reach­es its intend­ed des­ti­na­tion. Thanks to DLT, it could be ensured that users won’t lose access to their legit­i­mate prop­er­ty as a result of com­pro­mised data.

But the tech­nol­o­gy also has far-reach­ing impli­ca­tions for busi­ness­es and gov­ern­ment agen­cies. Com­pa­nies could demon­strate more respon­si­bil­i­ty and account­abil­i­ty to their share­hold­ers, while states are adjust­ing from hoard­ing data about their cit­i­zens to reg­u­lat­ing an envi­ron­ment in which cit­i­zens entrust the state with the han­dling of their own data.

Why Crypto/Blockchain Matters to Malta

Blockchain tech­nol­o­gy and cryp­to cur­ren­cies in par­tic­u­lar are very impor­tant for the small Mediter­ranean island. Mal­ta has already enjoyed a rep­u­ta­tion as an impor­tant and inno­v­a­tive finan­cial loca­tion. For this rea­son, the gov­ern­ment rec­og­nized the huge oppor­tu­ni­ty in time and has start­ed to posi­tion itself as the “Blockchain-Island”.

In the sense of Mus­cat’s phras­ing of cryp­to cur­ren­cies as the “inevitable future of mon­ey”, Mal­ta’s gov­ern­ment wants to make the coun­try the most attrac­tive and inno­v­a­tive loca­tion for the under­ly­ing blockchain indus­try.

In addi­tion to safe­guard­ing Mal­ta’s rep­u­ta­tion as the most pro­gres­sive finan­cial loca­tion in the Mediter­ranean, it is expect­ed that the estab­lish­ment of inno­v­a­tive start-ups and blockchain com­pa­nies will also enable the coun­try to take advan­tage of the grow­ing mar­ket. Advan­tages include the cre­ation of new jobs, addi­tion­al tax rev­enues through the set­tle­ment and growth of suc­cess­ful blockchain start-ups and, of course, the devel­op­ment of indus­try-spe­cif­ic know-how through attract­ing qual­i­fied staff and blockchain experts from all over the world.

And since Blockchain is still a very young tech­nol­o­gy, there is a glob­al race to see which coun­tries can estab­lish them­selves as key play­ers in this indus­try. In com­pe­ti­tion with coun­tries such as Switzer­land, Liecht­en­stein, Esto­nia and Sin­ga­pore, Mal­ta has been able to come out on top thanks to its ambi­tious and for­ward-think­ing gov­ern­ment and the world’s first legal frame­work for DLT tech­nol­o­gy.

Malta Has Already Taken a Multitude Of Steps

In sim­ple terms, Mal­ta is the num­ber 1 in terms of leg­is­la­tion regard­ing Blockchain and DLT tech­nol­o­gy. As we have already report­ed, 3 impor­tant leg­isla­tive ini­tia­tives have been adopt­ed by the gov­ern­ment of the Blockchain Island, which put togeth­er form the legal frame­work men­tioned above.

For exam­ple, the Vir­tu­al Finan­cial Assets Act defined 4 dif­fer­ent license class­es for rec­og­nized DLT ser­vice providers and spec­i­fied the role of VFA agents. With the Mal­ta Dig­i­tal Inno­va­tion Author­i­ty Act it was decid­ed to intro­duce the spe­cial super­vi­so­ry author­i­ty for Mal­ta’s blockchain indus­try. The Inno­v­a­tive Tech­nol­o­gy Arrange­ments and Ser­vices Act defines reg­u­la­tions for the reg­is­tra­tion and licens­ing of tech­nol­o­gy providers in Mal­ta, where­by aspects of DLT and Smart Con­tracts as well as cryp­to cur­ren­cy exchanges in par­tic­u­lar are addressed.

But the efforts of the Mal­tese gov­ern­ment go beyond the pass­ing of laws. Anoth­er ini­tia­tive was the co-orga­ni­za­tion and offi­cial spon­sor­ship of the Blockchain Con­gress “Delta Sum­mit” at the begin­ning of Octo­ber. In addi­tion to an impres­sive line-up of high-pro­file speak­ers such as Chang­peng Zhao, CEO of the largest cryp­to exchange Binance or Roger Ver, founder of, Min­is­ter Sil­vio Schem­bri and Prime Min­is­ter Mus­cat did not miss the oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak at the con­fer­ence.

So it comes as no sur­prise that Mus­cat used the media atten­tion of the world stage at the UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly to address the future-ori­ent­ed atti­tude of his gov­ern­ment in the mat­ter of Blockchain and to slight­ly drum up pub­lic­i­ty for Blockchain Island.

It is clear: no oth­er coun­try with­in the EU (or world­wide) cur­rent­ly offers a more attrac­tive and promis­ing loca­tion for the foun­da­tion and estab­lish­ment of a com­pa­ny with DLT tech­nol­o­gy. Founders ben­e­fit from a clear legal frame­work, the abil­i­ty to have the DLT mod­el reviewed and licensed by the state, and the con­fi­dence of (poten­tial) investors.

If you are also inter­est­ed in found­ing a DLT com­pa­ny and are con­sid­er­ing to locate in Mal­ta, then we will be hap­py to help you. Find out more about our com­pre­hen­sive ser­vice and con­sult­ing ser­vices for blockchain and DLT or make an appoint­ment to dis­cuss the next steps in set­ting up your com­pa­ny on the island of Mal­ta.

About Dr. Jörg Werner

Dr. jur. Jörg Wern­er, born 27 May 1971, attend­ed the law school of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Leipzig and passed his first state exam­i­na­tion in the State of Sax­ony in 1996. After suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ing his manda­to­ry legal intern­ship, he suc­cess­ful­ly passed the sec­ond state exam­i­na­tion of the State of Sax­ony-Anhalt in 1998 and was admit­ted to the bar and began to prac­tice as a Ger­man attor­ney (Recht­san­walt) before the court of Magde­burg the same year. He worked as an attor­ney at the Law Offices of Prof. Dr. Fre­und & Kol­le­gen until he formed the firm of Wrede & Wern­er. He was also admit­ted to prac­tice before the Supe­ri­or Court of Naum­burg. In 2001, he moved the firm’s offices to Cen­tral Berlin, where he was admit­ted to prac­tice before the Courts of Berlin. Dr. jur. Jörg Wern­er then com­plet­ed his doc­tor­al stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ham­burg and grad­u­at­ed as a Dok­tor der Rechtswis­senschaften (Doc­tor of Laws).

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