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70% of “Blockchain Island” Firms Have Given Up


Malta’s pioneering crypto regulation is a flop, judging by the roll call of startups that failed to obtain a license.


  • The Maltese financial regulator has published the names of 57 crypto companies that failed to complete its licensing process.

  • The island's crypto regulations have proved too stringent for many firms.

  • The regulator said that 26 startups were still being considered.


Approximately 70% of the crypto and blockchain startups which completed the first stage of the application process failed to obtain a Maltese financial services license, according to data published by the Maltese financial regulator last week. Malta’s crypto regulations were billed as the most innovative in the world, when they were announced in 2018. But despite the nation’s crypto-friendly image, and “Blockchain Island” hype, the application process is expensive, and regulations are too stringent, industry insiders told Decrypt. “The regulation in Malta came out of a mindset of technocracy, rent-seeking and EU-obedience. Exactly the opposite of what’s needed,” said Leon Siegmund, a board member of Malta’s Blockchain Association and founder of Bitcoin Club Malta. The Maltese Financial Services authority (MFSA) received 340 preliminary crypto license applications last year. But, to date, it has not issued a single licence. Read More...



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