Maltese Crypto Businesses Eyeing Estonia and Swiss
Eman Pulis, the organizer of the Malta Blockchain Summit, has stated that while blockchain, cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence (AI)-related businesses are still finding it hard to secure banking services in the nation, Estonia and Swiss are fast attracting these firms, according to a Times of Malta report on May 12, 2019.
Maltese Crypto Firms Facing Challenges
Per the report, Eman Pulis has revealed that operators of blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) startups in Malta are facing critical banking challenges unlike what’s obtainable in Switzerland and Estonia, where financial institutions have now embraced bitcoin-based businesses.
While several DLT and crypto-focused businesses have been migrating to Malta in recent times, which is due to the amenable digital assets policies that have been implemented by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), Pulis has hinted that financial institutions remain wary of servicing these businesses.
“The hype about Malta as the Blockchain Island peaked during the Malta Blockchain Summit of 2018, but while the Virtual Financial Asset firms have secured approval from the MFSA, banks are still unwilling to open accounts for them,”
Financial institutions, on the other hand, are concerned that catering to blockchain operators could frighten their correspondent banking relationships and potentially affect Malta’s ability to work in the U.S. banking system.
Stakeholders’ Collaboration Important
Importantly, Pulis has urged stakeholders not to be dissuaded by the setbacks in the Maltese cryptosphere, since a lot can be achieved through their collaboration. He has also hinted that measures are being put in place to ensure Malta remains at the forefront of the blockchain and cryptocurrency movement.
One of such is a dedicated task force whose primary objective is to formulate incentives that could attract AI and crypto companies to the island.
With the increasing popularity of digital assets, bad actors are continually getting more sophisticated in their illicit acts. Pulis says the government is now trying to create laws that would foster consumer protection and eliminate fraudsters in the industry.
“The government wants to find ways to prevent criminal abuse of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), while the MFSA is looking at ways to protect the end user and ensure that consumers can make claims to protect their rights.”
While the Maltese financial regulator keeps licensing cryptoasset agents, Pulis has warned that these firms may decide to look for banking partners in other parts of the E.U, if Maltese banks fail to act fast.