The Reddit Bitcoin community boasts more than 1 million subscribers from all walks of life. Some of the biggest names in crypto are daily contributors, and it’s this very community that has spoken out against Malta, saying that it will never be the blockchain capital of the world. After a torrid week for the Maltese blockchain community, as DQR closed its doors, things are starting to go from bad to worse for the self-proclaimed “blockchain island”.
An Island Full of Hot Air and Empty Promises
These are not the words of an angry Redditor, but those of a government official. Kristy Debono – PN Spokesperson – said, “Instead of spouting empty words, the government should ensure we are not amateurs where it comes to the economy and that due diligence is carried out properly when giving out licenses. We can’t continue denting our reputation and credibility.” The fact that a government official is coming out and saying the blockchain island’s promises were full of hot air is not a good sign for the future of the country’s status as an industry hotbed.
Not Taking Bitcoin or Blockchain Seriously Enough
Back in 2017, Malta made a promise to become Bitcoin and blockchain friendly as the crypto hype was ramping up. Rumors quickly began to spread of crypto and blockchain regulations that would turn Malta into a leading crypto and blockchain jurisdiction. However, what landed instead were a set of bills that heavily regulated the industry, making it rather hostile towards Bitcoin.
This new “crypto and blockchain friendly” attitude led the biggest commercial bank on the island – Bank of Valletta (BOV) – to ban all of its customers from buying crypto on exchanges. After BOV took this stance, every other bank on the island followed suit, creating essentially a crypto black zone, echoing the Chinese mantra – Blockchain not Bitcoin. There are a number of local ways to buy crypto for the Maltese, but with no access to your private keys, whether this is real crypto or not is still up for debate.
Lack of Technological Advancement
Unfortunately, Malta doesn’t have a pedigree as a technological innovator and this could have caused the blockchain island to sink before it even began. Malta isn’t synonymous with leading the world in technology and innovations and is in fact one of the last countries in Europe to get its hands on the latest tech. Card and contactless payments are still a new feature to the island, with the majority of the Island’s bars, shops, entertainment facilities, and restaurants still only accepting cash or check.
Corruption Causing Chaos for Crypto
Whether you want to believe that DQR could have paid the government to create regulations and the Malta Blockchain Summit to give it an award, is up to you. But, as one keen-eyed Redditor was quick to point out, Malta’s corruption could be very bad for the blockchain and crypto industry. Distancing blockchain and crypto from this cesspit of corruption is vital commented one Redditor.
It’s clear that the Reddit community doesn’t have any faith in Malta as a crypto and blockchain island. Perhaps it’s time the nation threw in the towel and left the innovation up to the big players that know what they are doing.