Malta looks set to lead Europe as the continent goes into its seventh consecutive year of economic growth. The island’s economy is forecast to expand by 4.2 percent over the course of 2020, driven, in part, by its embrace of blockchain technology.
The growth forecast figures come courtesy of the EU Commission. The organization summarised the economic projections made for European Union’s member states in a report titled, “Autumn 2019 Economic Forecast: A challenging road ahead” on Twitter earlier today:
— European Commission
(@EU_Commission) November 7, 2019
The EU Commission is forecasting previous economic growth to continue into 2020 and 2021. It anticipates an overall rate of 1.2 percent. This has actually been downgraded from a projection published this summer, which had the rate of growth at 1.4 percent.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, explained the reasoning behind the commission’s revised projections:
“We could be facing troubled waters ahead: a period of high uncertainty related to trade conflicts, rising geopolitical tensions, persistent weakness in the manufacturing sector and Brexit.”
Malta’s Exciting Growth
As part of the overall report, the EU Commission has published growth forecasts for each of its member states. Comfortably leading the pack is Malta at projected growth of 4.2 percent.
Malta’s good economic fortunes seem likely a direct result of the nation’s proactive stance towards technological innovation and particularly, blockchain technology. Regular BeInCrypto readers will likely be familiar with the term “blockchain island” already. The European island nation has been keen to develop regulatory frameworks that support the industry.
The government passed the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Assets Act in 2018. These legislative measures, often referred to as the Digital Innovation Framework, have set the nation apart from almost every other and has made Malta a highly attractive destination for blockchain-related startups.
The favorable business and legal climate in Malta has prompted some of the most well-known companies in the crypto-asset industry to relocate to the “blockchain island.” Cryptocurrency exchange giants Binance and OKEx are amongst their number.
Malta’s prime minister is also well onside with blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation. As BeInCrypto reported last year, Joseph Muscat called the adoption of cryptocurrencies inevitable in front of the United Nations’ General Assembly.
More Than Blockchain
Of course, it’s not just blockchain companies that Malta has been proactive in attracting. Another industry that will undoubtedly be adding to the island’s growth in the coming years is that of online gambling. Similar to blockchain, Malta’s legal and business climate for online casino operators is one of the planet’s most favorable. Numerous big names from the casino industry and one of the largest licensing bodies on the planet, the Malta Gaming Authority, call the nation home.
In its current embrace of both blockchain technology and online gambling, Malta’s regulatory landscape might be doing an even greater service to both industries than first meets the eye. After all, online gambling presents many of the challenges proponents of blockchain technology claim the technology addresses. Not only is the industry reliant on forms of online payment, but security, transparency, and trust are also all paramount too. Online casino operators being neighbors with blockchain startups will no doubt lead to some potentially revolutionary partnerships down the line.
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