Over the past year, the small island nation of Malta has become synonymous with cryptocurrency due to its positive outlook and support of the industry. After the cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance opened offices there last year following heavy regulation in China, the country further cemented its claim as ‘Blockchain Island.’
However, more recently the Maltese government appears to have curbed its enthusiasm for the emerging digital assets market. The leader of Malta’s opposition party The Nationalist Party, Adrian Delia, is a vocal critic of cryptocurrencies and has used the sudden silence to voice his opinions.
“Malta was touted as Bitcoin Island by the government but the government has been completely silent over the Christmas holidays on practically everything,” he said in a recent interview on local broadcaster NetFM, mistakenly referring to it as Bitcoin Island instead of Blockchain.
In response to the claims, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services cited ongoing plans by the Maltese government to improve security and regulations regarding cryptocurrency and better inform citizens of the risks posed by them.
Despite allegations of involvement in domestic abuse cases and pressure to step down from his post, Delia has stated he has no intention of resigning and intends to continue serving as leader of the Nationalist Party.
Malta remains a popular destination for cryptocurrency firms, with several having moved operations to the island over the past year. In addition to Binance, both fellow exchanges OKEx and smaller Polish outfit BitBay have opened offices or are planning to open offices in the country. Recent research from financial powerhouse Morgan Stanley reveals that a large percentage of cryptocurrency trade volume flows through Malta.
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