The Maltese government’s plan to once again become a “blockchain island” has stalled due to the reluctance of local retail banks to work with cryptocurrency firms, according to Malta’s finance minister.
According to the Minister of Finance of Malta, Clyde Caruana, traditional banks have long written off firms operating in the blockchain and digital currency industry, and only a few startups have managed to establish cooperation with them. Caruana also noted the need for investment in resource development and training, which would ensure the prosperity of the industry.
However, without the participation of banks, it will be much more difficult to implement this initiative, since banks are ready to interact only with firms operating in traditional industries. Caruana believes that the skepticism of retail banks hinders not only the development of blockchain, but also other new industries in the country. The minister cited the example of a plan to use marijuana for medical purposes.
“There is always a chance to become the “center of the blockchain”. But if we want this to really happen, we need to work harder. It’s not just the novelty of the industries, but also the demand. If investors don’t find something they are interested in, they will think twice before investing there. In order to continue attracting investment to Malta, we need to train qualified professionals who can develop useful blockchain-based solutions, ” Caruana said.
Earlier, the chairman of the research center for the digital economy, Kearon Bruno, said that Malta is no longer a “blockchain island”. This is due to the fact that after the resignation of the former Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat (Joseph Muscat), the state focused on the development of financial, rather than digital technologies.
Bruno urged the government not to focus on distributed ledger technology, but to take a comprehensive approach to the development of the digital economy as a whole. It should be noted that already last year, Maltese cryptocurrency companies began to face difficulties when opening accounts in banking institutions.