Malta is not worried about crypto companies operating while their applications for licenses are still pending as the loophole does not mean they are free from obligations under the current regulations, officials from the island nation commented. Also in The Daily, a €3 million palazzo in Valletta has been put up for sale and the owner takes only cryptocurrency, a project aims to turn a Great Barrier Reef island into a crypto micro-economy, and a hotel in Perth cuts third parties out of the booking process using cryptocurrency.
Malta Taking Calculated Risk by Fast-Tracking Approvals for Crypto Firms
Malta, which is working hard to create one of the most crypto-friendly climates in Europe, has given fintech companies moving to the island a whole year to become fully licensed under the recently adopted legislation. Nevertheless, a high-ranking official in Valletta has denied claims that the loophole would open the door for crypto firms to abuse the regulatory framework.
In July, the parliament in Valletta approved three bills designed to regulate the sector and enable the establishment of crypto companies in Malta. Many notable players in the industry, including Binance, Okex, ZB.com, and Bitbay, have either opened offices there or have serious plans for when they set foot on the island. Crypto and blockchain businesses have a full 12 months to apply for a license under the new Maltese regulations.
However, the CEO of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), Joseph Cuschieri, says the clauses that allow unlicensed companies to carry on their activities until they are fully regulated, will not give them free rein to exploit the legal vacuum, Malta Today reports. Cuschieri stressed that crypto firms setting up businesses in the country before securing a license are nevertheless obliged to abide by the local legal provisions.
In a separate statement, Malta’s Prime Minister acknowledged that his government hopes the booming blockchain industry will diversify his nation’s economy. “We’re taking a calculated risk… [by cutting] layers of bureaucracy and offering fast-track approvals for digital players to set up shop on the island,” Joseph Muscat admitted in an interview, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.
€3 Million Valletta Mansion on Sale for BTC
A historic building in the center of Malta’s capital, 860 square meter palazzo worth an estimated €3 million, has been offered on the property market with a crypto price tag. The mansion, which can easily be turned into a hotel or used for offices, can only be purchased with cryptocurrency. The owner selling the property for bitcoin core (BTC) believes there are many affluent individuals in the crypto business community who view Malta as the most attractive place for investment. Quoted by Coinrivet, he says investing in real estate in Valletta is a smart move for anyone looking to establish themselves in the country which is promoting itself as the “Blockchain Island”. The mansion has been put up for sale through a project called Cryptohomes. The team behind it intends to list more properties priced in cryptocurrency in the future.
Tropical Destination to Be Revived as Crypto Micro-Economy
The Great Keppel Island off the coast of Central Queensland, once a popular tourist spot situated at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, is now at the heart of a project involving some serious crypto investments. An Australian consortium intends to revive it as a high-tech holiday destination that will offer quality accommodation in a new resort with luxury villas, a golf course, and a marina. The large crypto-backed property deal should also grow into a cryptocurrency micro-economy, claim the people behind it quoted by The Age. The developers from Tower Holdings, owned by Sydney businessman Terry Agnew, hope to fund it through a coin sale, more precisely a Security Token Offering (STO). According to the Australian publication, the $300 million project may become the most significant investment along the Great Barrier Reef for years.
Perth Hotel Accepts Cryptocurrency After Relaunch
The owner of a renovated hotel in the Scottish city of Perth has announced that The Lovat will be accepting crypto payments from its guests. Alfredo Alongi believes cryptocurrency can benefit the hospitality industry by removing third parties from the booking process. His hotel is partnering with Incognito, a coin developed by a University of Strathclyde graduate, the Herald Scotland reports. “Cryptocurrency has the potential to boost direct bookings as the transaction exists purely between the customer and the service provider – there’s no middle man and no additional fees for either party,” explains Alongi who is working to revive the business. The Lovat was closed down by its previous owners in January.
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