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Malta Is Gearing up to Greenlight Bitcoin Gambling

The nation of Malta – long a pioneer ter internet gambling – is quickly moving ahead with plans to permit for the legal use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at online casinos.

Ter a fresh vraaggesprek, Joseph Cuschieri, executive chairman of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), which oversees the country’s land-based and online casinos, said that the regulatory figure has commissioned a detailed technical examine to explore the best path forward for legal and regulated cryptocurrency use ter gambling.

“Wij believe that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies are emerging innovations which need analysis and an assessment of the risks and opportunities for potential adoption te the gaming sector,” he said.

Cuschieri told CoinDesk:

“The form and form of the framework governing cryptocurrencies will be announced ter due course and once the risk assessment is carried out. Once the results of the explore are evaluated, the MGA will make its position official on how cryptocurrencies will be adopted.”

The agency expects to detail the findings from its explore ter the fourth quarter of 2017.

A chunk of the puzzle

Cuschieri’s comments come on the high-heeled shoes of a recently released white paper by the MGA exploring how its legal and regulatory treatment to online gambling vereiste evolve to keep rhythm with technology.

One of the report’s conclusions is that cryptocurrencies should be embraced for purposes of competitive advantage, and because more widespread use and application of thesis technologies is certain.

“The Authority is cognizant that the rise of crypto-currencies is inescapable. Conscious of the need to remain at the forefront of innovation and to keep up with fresh developments te technology and the industry . the Authority is committed to permit the use of cryptocurrencies by its licensees ter the instant future.”

The thrust for legal and regulated cryptocurrency gambling is a component of a broader, aggressive thrust by the Maltese government to develop a blockchain strategy and position itself at the forefront of the technology’s adoption.

“Wij vereiste be on the frontline ter embracing this crucial innovation, and wij cannot just wait for others to take act and copy them. Wij voorwaarde be the ones that others copy,” Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said te April when the draft strategy wasgoed very first exposed.

Silvio Schembri, Malta’s parliamentary secretary for digital economy, told local press this week that the island is committed to rolling out distributed ledger technology across the public sector and attracting blockchain companies.

“Wij’ve heard enough about the opportunities posed by blockchain and it’s now time to waterput words into act to create fresh opportunities for both citizens and the economy. It’s my priority to turn this vision into a reality.”

Bouncing requests

But creating a regulatory framework for the fast-moving technology requires balancing the careful examine of consumer protection and anti-money laundering implications with competitive pressures from other jurisdictions.

Bitmalta, a local cryptocurrency advocacy group, applauded the MGA’s initiative, but called upon the agency to stir quickly te order to keep tempo with other nations looking at legalized cryptocurrency gambling.

The group said ter a statement:

“Other jurisdictions such spil the UK have already legislated te favor of the use of cryptocurrencies by remote gaming operators, and unless Malta wants to play 2nd fiddle to such other jurisdictions, it should ramp up its efforts to embrace such technologies.”

Cuschieri insisted that while a key objective is to attract fresh operators and investment to the island, he wouldn’t be welcoming te just anybody.

“Our key priority is always the integrity of our jurisdiction. Whoever does not meet our gezond and decent, regulatory, anti-money laundering and consumer protection standards is not welcome te Malta,” he said.

Out of the shadows

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency casinos have bot one of the predominant applications of blockchain technology since its invention a decade ago, but many of thesis entities have operated out of unregulated or lightly regulated jurisdictions – raising concerns about their use by unsavory actors.

Cuschieri reckons that the most straightforward way to tame illicit behavior is to bring thesis types of casinos out of the shadows.

“Wij stiffly believe that the best way to control gambling, prevent criminal activity and protect players is through sturdy and effective regulation and enforcement,” he said, adding:

“Prohibition or barriers only lead to underground activities and black market operations. The latter is not te the best rente of players and the sector te general. That is why it is best to establish see-through regulatory regimes so that wij bring integrity and trust into the system.”

The leader ter blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a rigorous set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests te cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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