Maltese Parliament Shrugs Off Criticism over Crypto Initiative Inactivity

Malta’s opposition leader Adrian Delia has accused the government of a lack of activity on its “Blockchain Island” initiative.

Malta’s government has restated its commitment to making the archipelago the “Blockchain Island,” hitting back at recent allegations of inactivity by the opposition leader, Adrian Delia.

The Malta Independent quoted Delia as saying during an interview on the Nationalist Party’s NetFM on Sunday that the government has been “worryingly silent on the future of cryptocurrency” given the prolonged market downtrend. According to him, the lack of activity over the Christmas holidays is at odds with the “Blockchain Island” initiative.

In a follow-up story, the local news outlet reported that Malta’s Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation refuted Delia’s claims, saying that numerous measures have been taken in the cryptocurrency sector, including some through the police force. Efforts are also under way to ensure the public is well-informed about potential fraudulent activity in the industry, the Secretariat added.

The “Blockchain Island”

At a time when governments worldwide are expressing ambivalence about cryptocurrencies or even cracking down on them, Malta has been making fast strides in the crypto space.

In 2017, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat revealed his ambitions to establish the archipelago as a “Blockchain Island.” Speaking at the United Nations in October 2018, he said that cryptocurrencies are the “inevitable future of money” because their underpinning technology, blockchain, makes these financial products more transparent than traditional currencies.

The Maltese parliament also approved three cryptocurrency and blockchain-related bills last year, bringing legal certainty and integrity to the growing virtual currency market in the country. The crypto-friendly policies have already attracted several large cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, OKEx, BitBay, and Zebpay, which set up offices in Malta in 2018.

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