An official claimed that Malta will not be permitting to buy citizenship with crypto via the Individual Investor Program (IIP).
Concerns brought to attention by the Financial Times in their Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Index publication claim that Malta’s push to be one of the blockchain pioneers could result in crypto being converted into legal tender used by program agents.
Malta has already stated it’s positive outlook on blockchain technology, at the moment three crypto and blockchain bills have been approved by the Parliament, and a crypto stock exchange is to be launched.
Regarding the possibility that crypto will be accepted in IIP purchases, a spokesperson explained:
"As explained at length during the parliamentary debate, which is publicly available, Malta is neither issuing its own cryptocurrency nor making cryptocurrency legal tender. This fact is well known to the operators and investors being attracted as a result of the new framework."
It wouldn’t be fair to claim that Malta lacks diligence when it comes to these matters, as the aforementioned report ranked Malta at the very top along with a number of other countries. Any applicant denied a visa to a friendly country that Malta has a visa-less agreement with, is required to show persuasive evidence of any out of the ordinary circumstances why this happened. Every applicant is also required to show a "genuine link to the state" through residing there for a full year.
The relatively low position of Malta in the index (8th out of 13 countries), comes "as a result of its comparatively high investment requirements, travel and residence requirements, processing times, and the reputational damage suffered as a result of its programme being singled out for investigations by global anti-corruption groups."
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
- Malta is aiming to be one of the first countries to have fully regulated crypto, and the fact that they are aware of the ways crypto can be used to compromise the system and are wary of them is a good sign.
- The outlook Malta has on crypto, and the bills that are being issued, are a great way for Malta to attract investors from the crypto sphere.