In a "60-minute" segment broadcast on Sunday, journalists take a critical look at Malta, the smallest nation of the European Union and the center of fast-moving technology sectors: blockchain, cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence.
Nicknamed "Blockchain Island", Malta has established itself as an attractive launch pad for blockchain startups and for cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance, OKEx and BitBay. To become a popular destination for blockchain entrepreneurs, the government has drawn a clear regulatory framework in which others have been less clear or even obscure.
Welcome to #Malta 🇲🇹 @binance. Our goal is to be the global pioneers in the regulation of blockchain-based companies and the quality and choice jurisdiction for world-level fintech companies -JM @SilvioSchembri https://t.co/3qtAQjOpuQ
– Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) March 23, 2018
But in this "60 minute" segment, investigators say the Malta appeal as a safe haven for business developers is ruined by corruption allegations and a sticky reputation for money launderers.
"Europeans are thronging here for an economic tanning." Oligarchs, to moor their superyachts, Malta is already a well-established center of online gambling, but since taking control in 2013, the The current government has sought to remodel the country as a mecca for emerging and complex technologies such as cryptocurrency and blockchain Prime Minister 44, Joseph Muscat, is the high priest of this new gospel. "
"A simple overturn in the Mediterranean, Malta is proud of this wave and its courageous personality, but as we discovered on a recent visit, there is a fine line between the edge and the margins, the sun and the shadows. old attractions and new buildings, Malta is gaining a reputation for rampant corruption and dubious relationships.And then there is the question of the murder of a journalist: Daphne Caruana Galicia. "
Malta is trying to establish itself as a hub for almost all voguish growth-sector-crypto, blockchain, AI, as you call it. But it is also gaining an unpleasant reputation amid allegations of rampant corruption. https://t.co/U55SoIu7nI pic.twitter.com/Fx1lkffAdD
– 60 minutes (@ 60 minutes) December 23, 2018
Seemingly unable to rewrite his past or redo his reputation, the report concludes that Malta continues to attract unpleasant characters instead of respectable computer scientists and business people about to launch revolutionary ideas and new technologies.
"Perhaps in that same entrepreneurial spirit, the government has launched a program, some call it a scheme, to sell passports to the super rich in the world."
According to the report, the program has raised about $ 1 billion in revenue from magnates from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and around the world who are allegedly acquiring Maltese passports to "violate European borders".
Speaking at "60 minutes", the online journalist Manuel Delia says that passports allow the super rich to hide where they come from.
"The Maltese passports give them not only free movement for themselves through European airports, but they give their money, their capital, the free circulation throughout Europe".
Despite being accused of supporting dubious commercial activities, Muscat supports blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, which are digital forms of money that exist beyond borders. They make passports – with the purpose of moving money across borders – obsolete.
You can check the complete "60 minutes" segment here.
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