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Malta’s new government wants to consolidate blockchain despite rejecting Binance

Image by Nathan Hughes Hamilton from Flickr

Tue, 03 Mar 2020, 00:25 am UTC

The new government of Malta wants to operate a blockchain island despite rejecting crypto exchange Binance.

On Feb. 21, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a statement saying that Binance is not authorized to operate in the country. The agency also denied the claims that Binance is based in Malta, Cointelegraph reported.

“Following a report in a section of the media referring to Binance as a ‘Malta-based cryptocurrency’ company, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) reiterates that Binance is not authorized by the MFSA to operate in the crypto currency sphere and is therefore not subject to regulatory oversight by the MFSA,” MFSA wrote.

Even if MFSA has already rejected Binance, the new government of Malta has expressed its interest in blockchain. The new prime minister has yet to comment about the matter publicly, but Bartolo Clayton, whom Prime Minister Robert Abela appointed as the parliamentary secretary for financial services, digital economy, and innovation, said that they remain crypto-friendly just like former Prime Minister Keith Schembri. He stressed this by elaborating the post of Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, CEO of Binance, who said that the exchange never moved to Malta.

“Binance has never been in possession of an official license by MFSA. Such statement has been further corroborated by Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, on his personal Twitter account where he also stated that Malta has not changed its position. This, therefore, DOES NOT mean that the Government has in some way or another introduced a harsher or more stringent stance towards cryptos, but merely an authority stating facts,” Clayton said in a letter to Cointelegraph.

“The Government of Malta is committed to consolidate blockchain together with other niche sectors. It is the Maltese government’s belief that we believe that more synergies between these emerging sectors should be explored and encouraged in order to reap and exploit their benefits. Moreover, the Government of Malta is opting for an overarching and holistic strategy for the Digital, Financial and Innovative services in Malta. More details about the new strategy will be disclosed in the coming months,” he added.

In related news, Malta-based crypto exchange CGEX announced that it was shutting down in August after less than a year of operation. It effectively terminated its services in September 2018.

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