With huge cryptocurrency brand names like Binance, OKEX, making moves to call the island nation their home, Malta is emerging as something of a hub for digital currency activity. The reason for the cryptocurrency boom in Malta is because Malta has been making an effort to be an attractive jurisdiction for cryptocurrency companies.
Latest in the news, joining the line in Malta is Poland’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platform, BitBay which announced on May 29 that it would cease operations in the country in favor of a move to Malta. The platform revealed the decision in a statement published on its website. BitBay blamed the increasing operational restrictions brought about by the refusal of banks to offer services to the firm as the reason for the move.
BitBay users will still be able to use all functions of the exchange in Poland until tomorrow, May 31st, after which access to accounts in the country will no longer be possible. However, all other functions of the BitBay exchange in Poland will still be active until the expiration of the company’s notice period on September 17th, when all trade on the BitBay exchange in Poland will be suspended.
Starting September 18th, users will only be allowed to withdraw funds deposited into their accounts. Users will not be able to deposit them there afterward. A portion of the statement on the platform’s website reads:
“The activity of the BitBay exchange in Poland requires cooperation with Polish bank. Unfortunately, the last Polish bank ready to provide bank services undertook unilateral decision to finish the cooperation with BitBay with the effect at the end of May. In those circumstances, the continuation of providing high-quality services by BitBay exchange in Poland is no longer possible.”
BitBay claims that the company has been analyzing other jurisdictions within the EU for months, in search of a friendlier business climate for its exchange operations. The Republic of Malta was chosen for its efforts to create a more welcoming environment for crypto and blockchain companies.
Poland isn’t the only country where banks are restricting services to cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The central bank of Iran and Zimbabwe recently barred banks from transacting with crypto exchange services.
Joseph Muscat, Malta’s Prime Minister, is a crypto and blockchain enthusiast who believes that bitcoin and other digital currencies are the future of money. Thus, under the aegis of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, the country is trying to develop regulations that will encourage the growth of nation’s cryptocurrency market.
Last month, Malta’s cabinet approved of three separate bills relating to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, including measures that would introduce a framework for regulating cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
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