Billions in crypto and other virtual assets were moved through Malta during the blockchain island era
About E60 billion in cryptocurrency and other virtual assets were moved through the Maltese Islands when Malta was first heralded as a blockchain island and “controls were still considered lax”, a news report on the Times of Malta portal claimed yesterday.
The report, penned by journalist Ivan Martin, explained how this happened at a time when the regulatory framework was not as stringent as today, and when crypto companies were still operating without a licence, under what the news portal described as a “generous transitory period of up to one year”.
Anti money laundering experts had sounded the alarm as early as 2017, resulting in a tightening of laws in an effort to ensure that Malta avoids being put on a list of untrustworthy jurisdictions by the Financial Action Task Force.
Malta’s fate remains in the balance, as Financial Action Task force evaluators are still to give a definitive judgment on the matter. Other sections of the media have already claimed that, in order to guarantee a clean bill of financial health, Malta will have to bow its head and accept the EU’s proposed definition of sports-betting by ratifying the Macolin Convention.
Should this occur, sports-betting companies based in Malta may find themselves with reduced markets, as the definition outlaws customers from jurisdictions where sports-betting will be considered illegal.
However, it has also been widely acknowledged throughout the EU that Malta has already carried out substantial legislative reform in an effort to curb money laundering.
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