It was only a matter of time for Malta, before governments came knocking on the door for help with blockchain regulation. However, a slightly unexpected government came knocking first. Vanuatu – a small chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean – is longing to join the ranks of Malta, Gibraltar, and Poland where blockchain technology is regulated in a bid to energize its economy. The Maltese government have jumped at the chance and even welcomed the idea of a Commonwealth of Blockchain Islands.
Barking up the Wrong Tree
When it comes to implementing blockchain and crypto regulations, Malta claims to be the first. Yet, the real truth is that Gibraltar launched its blockchain and crypto-friendly laws back in January. In fact, the Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has been telling companies to stop applying for regulation, as the laws are not actually live yet – meaning the Maltese blockchain and crypto space is still unregulated. Malta’s new laws are due to go live sometime in November, so if Vanuatu really wanted to team up with a blockchain regulated country, it picked the wrong one.
Vanuatu Cautious of Cryptos
Back in September, the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV) warned its citizens that cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal tender in Vanuatu, nor is it regulated or issued by the government of Vanuatu. It wants its citizens to remain as safe as possible, while fostering a positive attitude towards the crypto industry.
Over in America, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a rather negative approach to cryptos and has been accused of killing the American crypto industry – something Vanuatu wants to avoid. Its quest to get help with blockchain and crypto regulations means that Vanuatu is trying to take the industry seriously. It’s also attempting to show the world that even small nations can adapt to huge technological advances.
Bitcoin for Passports
Similarly to Malta, Vanuatu has a rather controversial passports for sale scheme. This means that people looking for citizenship can invest a sum of money into local assets – such as stock, bonds, and real estate – as well as making a donation to the government in order to be rewarded with a passport. Back in October 2017, Vanuatu declared that it will accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for its passports – something that Malta might do in the future. Malta has come under fire for selling passports in the past, as it has allegedly not been doing appropriate checks and government officials have been profiting from the process.
Vanuatu needs to remain wary of its new blockchain industry that Malta is helping to create, as even on the blockchain island crypto scams are running rife. Malta recently got its first crypto scam, and Vanuatu could soon get its first crypto scam too if it doesn’t act with due caution. It’s great to see countries welcoming blockchain with open arms, as every country that regulates the industry brings it one step closer to global acceptance.