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Operations are slated to commence in January 2019.

Malta on Thursday unveiled the world’s first blockchain and cryptocurrency stock exchange as the Malta Stock Exchange (MSX) created a new subsidiary to take charge of the archipelago’s digital asset and fintech transactions. MSX’s Fintech and Digital Asset arm will operate in the private and technology sectors.

The creation of a blockchain stock exchange follows the MSA signing a deal with OKEx to develop a new security tokens trading platform. The joint project is looking to attract institutional investors and convince them to invest in digital currencies.

OKEx announced that:

 “The partnership was formalized in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Valletta, Malta on July 19, 2018. Both parties will endeavor to finalize a Joint Venture to be established by Q3 2018.”

Under the deal, OKEx and MSX will establish a joint company before the year ends with the target of commencing operations in January 2019. The joint initiative will make use of OKEx’s crypto expertise and MSX’s knowledge in regulatory compliance.

The small Mediterranean nation is aiming to transform itself into a "Blockchain Island," as the government relaxes policies on blockchain technology. This move is part of Malta’s ambition to become a cryptocurrency haven which is anchored on the belief that the nation could benefit from the wide application of distributed ledger technology, particularly in its education and transportation systems.

Joseph Borg, head of blockchain advisory at the law firm WH Partners commented on the plan:

"Malta has accepted the fact that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are inevitably going to become more popular. By taking this step, Malta is destined to become a hub for innovative technology startups and established blockchain-based businesses to thrive, while creating economic growth on the island."

Early this month, the Maltese parliament signed three legislative proposals into laws to establish a regulatory framework to regulate cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Asset Act were passed on third and final reading to cement Malta’s position as a crypto and blockchain hub.

Under the three laws, companies will now have the tools to trade in digital currencies under a regulated environment actively.