Malta, a small nation that became known as the ‘blockchain island’ for its friendly approach to cryptocurrency-related businesses, has seemingly been dominating the cryptocurrency markets when it comes to trading volume.
The country, which was the first to establish a full regulatory framework for distributed ledger technology (DLT), saw leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance move there after facing regulatory problems in Asia last year.
The exchange seemingly started a trend, as since then various large cryptocurrency trading platforms have followed its footsteps and moved to the cryptocurrency-friendly nation. Exchanges that are now registered in Malta include OKex, BitBay, Alpahex, and Nebula.
The influence these exchanges have is notable in the market, and has helped Malta stand out. According to CryptoCompare’s March 2018 Exchange Review, monthly trading volume from Maltese-registered exchanges increased 56% since February, leading the crypto market by volume.
Behind Malta were Hong Kong and South Korea, as these countries saw trading volume flowing through exchanges registered there by 54% and 21% respectively. The report notes that in March, Malta-registered exchanges traded $56.1 billion, while those in Hong Kong traded $53.1 billion, and those in South Korea traded $40.2 billion.
While Binance and OKEx helped Malta lead the crypto markets by trading volume, various cryptocurrency exchanges including LBank, BitZ, and HitBTC helped Hong Kong get to second place. South Korea’s place was achieved thanks to UPBit and the controversial Bithumb.
Welcome to #Malta 🇲🇹 @binance. We aim to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies -JM @SilvioSchembri https://t.co/3qtAQjOpuQ— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) March 23, 2018
Other countries in Europe notably stayed at the bottom of the pack when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges’ trading volumes. Malta’s leadership can be attributed to its attitude towards blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
As covered the country’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, revealed in September of last year he believes “blockchain makes cryptocurrencies the inevitable future of money.” Malta’s pro-crypto approach saw become the first country to put all educational certificates on the blockchain, and have a cryptocurrency-related conference. In it, OKEx was named “Crypto Exchange of Year.”
Despite its friendly approach, the ‘blockchain island’ has also issued warnings against “get-rich-quick” bitcoin scams and other allegedly fraudulent firms trying to swindle investors.