Malta's Crypto Government Regulation & the Delta Summit

The Delta Summit is Malta’s leading blockchain and digital innovation summit. Held on 3-5 October 2018 in Malta, we speak to Dr James Jansson of XCredits who gives his thoughts on the summit and the new government regulation surrounding crypto.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regulation around blockchain from the Maltese government is not a one size fits all. Some projects won’t be a good fit.

  • Malta as a blockchain hub is attracting people from all over the world, especially Europe and Asia.

  • It is a good destination to get ideas about blockchain technology and crypto even if you fall outside the regulatory framework as many people are working in that space.

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Lucy Lin, Forestlyn,
Dr James Jansson, XCredits,

Link to the interview:

Abridged transcript of the interview below

Lucy Lin: 
Hello. I'm Lucy. This is James. We are part of the Australian delegation here in Malta. We're walking around town.

Dr. James J.:  We're in a seaside village in Malta.

Lucy Lin: Yes. It's quite beautiful. We went to the walled city of Medina already. We've been to Valletta. We've seen the cliffs and now we're walking around town.

Dr. James J.:  Yeah. We've got a big church just here and the bells are going.

Lucy Lin:  You can hear them in the background. They're quite loud actually.

Lucy Lin: We're both here at Delta summit. What's your favorite part of the Delta summit?

Dr. James J.:  I think it was good to meet lots of new people here in Malta.

Lucy Lin:  Yeah, agree.

Dr. James J.: We got to see lots of people from all over the world. Especially Europe, but also some of the Asian countries, where a lot of the exchanges are actually coming over here and starting to set up..

Lucy Lin: The favorable regulations that Malta has now imposed on blockchain companies.

Dr. James J.: Exactly. It makes it easier for them to operate and exchange without breaking the law which is good for them.

Lucy Lin: Very good.

Dr. James J.: Lots of very interesting people.

Lucy Lin: We got to meet CZ from Binance. Got to take selfies with him. That was quite exciting.

Dr. James J.: Yeah. Everyone was taking selfies.

Lucy Lin:
 He was a bit of a rock star.

Dr. James J.:  It was my entire LinkedIn feed was actually just CZ and some other person that I didn't know.

Lucy Lin: Roger Ver was here. We also had Tim Draper.

Dr. James J.: It wasn't as controversial with Roger Ver as it has been in other conferences. It wasn't the crypto cruise all over again.

Lucy Lin:  No. He was shilling bit coin cash for sure.

Dr. James J.:  Yeah. That's his job though. What was your favorite bit?

Lucy Lin:  I think the networking aspect was quite good. Met lots of really interesting people from all over the world. Got to hang out with the Australian delegation. We also met the Australian high commissioner. She was very nice to come out and hang out with us.

Lucy Lin:  Being in Malta itself has been quite a good experience. The Maltese people are really nice. At the same time there’re a lot of people moving here, so I wanted to see what that was looking like as well.

Lucy Lin: The conference itselfwas fairly well run. Lots of really high quality people. I've been to conferences before. Especially New York blockchain week had eight and a half thousand people.

Dr. James J.:  
This one was still pretty big. This one was 4,000 people.

Lucy Lin: At the same time, I think high quality people are coming to the first ...

Dr. James J.: First one in Malta.

Lucy Lin: Official event in Malta. Yeah.

Dr. James J.: It was pretty hectic though. At times the lines were pretty long.

Lucy Lin: The lines were long. Thereweren’t enough seats to see some of the conferences. We had to stand for CZ, Roger Ver. All the big ones.

Dr. James J.: 
I think that part of that is that it was actually a lot more popular than they thought it was going to be.

Lucy Lin: Correct.

Dr. James J.: It was huge. Absolutely enormous. They sold out and then they kept on getting more requests for more people to be signing up.It was quite good and quite big.

Lucy Lin:  Lots of investors, BCs were here. All the big exchanges were here.

Dr. James J.:  All the big exchanges.

Lucy Lin:   All of them. It's a great networking event. Highly recommend it. It is the first in Malta. Like I said, Malta's become blockchain island. All the eyes have been on Malta and will continue to be on Malta. They've got another big event in a couple of weeks' time as well. They'll probably have a huge turnout. Even bigger turnout than this one.

Dr. James J.:  I think so. They're trying to get all aspects of the government involved. I think it's kind of working. It's working quite well in some ways for them. Definitely a lot of attention is being put on the Maltese government and its acceptance of crypto.

Dr. James J.:  I'm a little bit cynical. I think that government regulation in this space is good for some things but not good for others. I don't think it's a one size fits all regulatory environment. It's not a free for all.

Dr. James J.: I think that the European representatives and the Maltese representatives have made it very clear that it's not a free for all, which means that certain types of projects definitely would be limited in their ability to be regulated under the Maltese system.

Dr. James J.: Despite that, it's a good place to hang out if you are in crypto even if you're not part of this regulatory framework.

Lucy Lin: Such as Businesses, yes. Anything that you haven't really liked as much?

Dr. James J.:  I think it was all pretty good. I think that people are a little bit excessively optimistic about government regulation. Government regulation is good because it means that companies can be confident in their ability to set up shop and not get into trouble for doing the wrong thing.

Dr. James J.: Ultimately, it's always going to be a regulatory set that falls within the bounds of what the government of the time thinks is acceptable. So it's not a free for all. Not every single project can set up in this space which means that, if you've got a project and you think that it won't be regulated in one region, it's not necessarily going to work here either, which is kind of to be expected.

Dr. James J.:  I think people are trying to make it sound like Malta will be able to do everything and they won't be able to do everything. That said, despite the fact that you might not be able to set up here, you might also just benefit from the fact that you've got so many companies here who are all working in the crypto space.

Dr. James J.: You might have an office set up here but maybe not your company registered here so that you can get access to the other companies who are taking advantage of all the stuff that's happening in the space.

Lucy Lin: There’re definitely a lot of companies that are looking to set up here. Certainly being here in the last week, I have met quite a number of companies who've come here to set themselves up. I've also been talking to a lot of companies who have already set themselves up. It's going to be quite an interesting space.

Lucy Lin: Additionally, we also met the Australian High Commissioner. She's been telling us quite a lot of interesting things, including the increase of Australian companies looking to move here. Especially blockchain companies, as well.

Dr. James J.:  Yeah. I think that there are a lot of companies not only from Europe. Malta's very close to many European countries but a lot of Asian exchanges have also come over. They are very active in this space.

Dr. James J.: Being Australians in this event has been very good for us. A lot of people have already met each other before but we're fresh blood. We're actually more interesting to some people in some ways at the moment but, as time goes on, maybe that will change.

Lucy Lin:  We all know that crypto and blockchain is a very global industry. 100%, very glad to have come. I think it's definitely a worthwhile event. I felt like I've learnt a lot. I've achieved a lot. I've met a lot of really interesting people. To come here to a place where it is leading regulatory reforms in the world, to hear it firsthand, to meet the ministers, to meet the government officials who are running all this has been really, really interesting and definitely a great experience.

Lucy Lin: That's it from us from Malta in this lovely fishing village that you see. Again, this is Lucy and James. We'll speak to you again next time.

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