The Mediterranean island of Malta is set to become a key component of blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation and evolution. There are plans for the world’s first decentralized bank to be built regulation-ready, in the future blockchain hub of the world.
A Decentralized Bank
In a Bloomberg report on July 12th, cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao were said to be backing the world’s first decentralized bank named the ‘Founders Bank’.
A unique characteristic of the bank will see that it owned in parts; Founders Bank will be issuing a “legally-binding equity token” offering through a blockchain-based equity fundraising platform called Neufund.
According to comments made by Binance on Bloomberg, Binance has taken a five percent stake alongside other anchor investors at a 133 million-euro ($155 million) pre-money valuation.
However, the Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat remains sanguine in the face of these hurdles, saying in a recent speech describing the countries future, “The concept sounds confusing right now, but I have no doubt that it will form the base of a new economy in the future. Just as we attribute value to pieces of paper, so too will future generations attribute value to electronic storage systems.”
The equity-token sale would be a collaboration with a major European stock exchange and conducted under German regulations, though the exchange at present has not been named.
Motions in Malta
In March of this year, Binance announced plans to move its operations to Malta; this came after rigorous reviews of several other potential locations and conclusively, the European island proved itself worthy of the largest crypto exchange in the world.
On July 4th, Malta passed three bills into law that legalized cryptocurrency businesses, making it the first ‘legal certainty’ country for the industry. The island has been especially bullish on crypto for quite some time; proposals for new rules regarding cryptocurrency investments were made in late 2017 and by March 2018 the three recently passed bills were entered into debate.
Cointelegraph spoke to Simon Chembri, (13th July), a partner at Ganado Advocates — a leading law firm in Malta which was a critical component during the drafting of the new legislation. He comments, “The purpose was to make Malta a blockchain hub, attracting a number of investments in the country.”
Which is simple enough, however he also gave bullish comments on the legitimization of distributed ledger technology (DLT), blockchains, ICOs, crypto assets etc. by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, saying, “It gives the opportunity for DLT frameworks at the outset to come over to Malta and voluntary, — if they want — register, or have their DLT framework licensed or certified by this new authority…”
Later adding in regards to a national cryptocurrency, “At this stage, there is nothing set as an agenda by the Maltese government. But we are aware that other countries are considering this and have already taken steps. And we would not be surprised if that would be the next step.”
Ranked third most ‘crypto-friendly’ nation by a BlockShow Europe study earlier this year, it would be no surprise to see Malta reach and hold the top spot should the study be conducted again after the Founders Bank is launched.
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