Muscat makes pitch for Malta’s ‘smart’ cryptocurrency rules in Paris summit

Maltese prime minister on cryptocurrency rules: ‘you can’t be accepted as the new norm if you are in the wild, wild West’

File photo of Joseph Muscat addressing the Delta Summit in October 2018
File photo of Joseph Muscat addressing the Delta Summit in October 2018

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has vowed to take cryptocurrencies “out of the wild wild west” in a pitch for his country’s raft of laws for Blockchain technology and digital currencies.

Muscat was speaking at the inaugural GovTech Summit in Paris

“Since we have put in place the regulation even the most disruptive of companies want it. They want it for three reasons. First it offers piece of mind for customers; second it offers piece of mind for their investors and third is in order to be the new norm. You cannot be accepted as the new norm if you are in the wild, wild West,” Muscat told his audience.

“We are setting the standard and saying that, yes, these people went through these tests and so they become more legitimate. People often think of regulation as a negative, but in fact smart regulation helps innovation.”

Muscat said innovation was opportunity for small states “that might sometimes seem to be irrelevant to make their mark.”

Malta has introduced a Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA) and the Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act (ITAS), together with a new Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA).

Two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance and Bitbay, are making Malta a central hub of their operations.

The inaugural GovTech Summit opens in Paris, gathering political leaders, entrepreneurs and investors to explore how startups and new technology can improve public services and democratic practices.

President of France Emmanuel Macron said: “There has never been a better time to make public services more affordable and accessible, using new technology solutions. The GovTech Summit is a unique chance for public officials, intellectuals, tech innovators and investors to meet, share and discuss the future of government and democracy. I look forward to welcoming everyone to Paris.”

 

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