According to the European Commission, Malta’s economy will grow by a whopping 5.2 percent in 2019. This makes the crypto-friendly island nation the fastest growing economy in Europe – well ahead of the major industrialized nations. For the German economy, for example, the experts predict just a meager growth of 1.1 percent.
The EU Commission does not expressly mention it. However, the crypto and blockchain industries in particular are likely to be responsible for the explosive economic growth. In the recent past, Malta has become a haven for cryptocurrencies. Some of the leading crypto exchanges, including Binance, have offices in Malta. There are also countless start-ups and other fintech companies.
All of this creates jobs, investment and rising incomes. In line with this, domestic demand has since the second quarter of 2018 replaced exports as the biggest growth driver. Already last year, this provided for economic growth of 6.2 percent. This trend is expected to continue in 2019 and 2020.
Why is Malta the new crypto center of Europe?
Malta is now one of the world’s crypto-friendly nations. The industry is specifically promoted by the state and benefits from transparent laws and low tax rates. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin an “inevitable future of money and the foundation of a new economic system.”
Therefore, it is not surprising that Malta is so popular in the crypto industry and likes to present itself as the “Blockchain Island”. Resident companies include known exchanges like Binance, ZebPay or BitBay. In addition, but also settle more and more smaller companies, for example, the Berlin-based start-up Neufund.
So far, Switzerland has been considered the leading “crypto-nation”. Due to increasing regulatory measures, Switzerland’s reputation has suffered more and more in the recent past. In the meantime, Malta is trying to establish itself as an alternative to Asian nations, which now also regulate the crypto sector more strongly.
However, the future remains unclear. The EU has also been considering stricter regulation of cryptocurrencies for some time. So far, there are still no concrete results – if uniform rules EU-wide come, but Malta could be affected with its crypto-friendly policy.
Also published on Medium.