Binance Moving to Malta - Island Nation Known for Tax Evasion and Money Laundering

in #malta5 years ago (edited)

The Good

Binance and it's 1.6 billion dollar a day crypto-exchange are heading to the Mediterranean island of Malta. Up until now, Binance's operations have been conducted in multiple countries in the Asia Pacific without having a central headquarters. These nations include: Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan. The announcement comes just days after Japanese authorities notified the company it was operating without consent from the Japanese Financial Services Agency.

In remarks made by Binance CEO Zhao Changpeng, he praised Malta's favorable climate for cryptocurrencies stating:

Malta is very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech.

Zhao also noted that he'd been recently invited by the Maltese government to examine a bill in the works that is crypto-friendly. Furthermore, he stated that Binance was on the verge of securing a deal with local banks that would provide access to deposits and withdrawals.

Since Binance currently trades exclusively in cryptocurrencies and tokens, having access to fiat currency is another huge draw for the world's most popular crypto-exchange.

The Maltese government's newly created, Digital Innovation Authority, has emerged in coordination with new

legislation to provide legal certainty in the sphere of Blockchain technology and by extension cryptocurrencies.

Step one deals with setting up the authority, step two deals with launching a Bill that will set out the regime for the registration of Technology Service Providers and the certification of Technology Arrangements. Lastly, step three will launch a Bill that will set out the framework for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the regulatory regime on to the provision of certain services in relation to virtual currencies.

-Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for the Digital Economy

The Digital Innovation Authority aims at providing stability in a volatile and uncertain marketplace.

Government has launched a policy document which seeks to set up the Malta Digital Innovation Authority alongside other legislation to provide legal certainty in the sphere of Blockchain technology and by extension cryptocurrencies.

Malta Independent

With a focus on making Malta a blockchain technology trailblazer, one of the main focuses of the government initiative is to make financial dealings more efficient, reliable and cost effective.

The Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, also spoke positively about plans to make Malta a global pioneer for blockchain technology in the years ahead.

They are coming to our country because we have a regulatory system which is the first of its kind, and I guarantee that it will be the best in the world.”

Binance's decision to set up shop in Malta makes sense for the company as governments continue to crackdown on crypto-exchanges, ICOs and cryptocurrencies from the US to China. Having a crypto-positive country with regulations designed to support the industry is hard to come by and an opportunity even harder to pass up.

The Bad


Broadly speaking, the Maltese system provides companies with numerous tax exemptions making it a very attractive location in which to conduct business.

The regulatory system that Prime Minister Muscat speaks of so glowingly is also notorious for its capacity to facilitate tax evasion and money laundering.

The gaming industry, specifically online gaming, has become an economic boon for the country generating 12% of the county's GDP. Consequently, billions of dollars in revenues has also attracted the attention of Italian Mafia clans, such as the 'Ndrangheta' (Calabrian Mafia), who operated a $2 billion money laundering operation through Maltese registered companies in 2013. In addition, separate Italian Mafia clans have plotted to infiltrate multiple Maltese gaming companies.

Authorities in Malta and the EU have tightened regulations in response to the increased activities of organized crime on the island.

Just last week five Italian gambling companies exited the country after an investigation by the Malta Gaming Authority and Italian police into illegal betting shops associated with the Mafia. One business had its licence cancelled, one suspended and the other three terminated their own contracts to avoid further scrutiny.

This may be a good sign for the Maltese but corruption on the Island goes well beyond organized crime, the Prime Minister and several of his cabinet members have been at the center of corruption allegations for years. Notably, the tireless efforts of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in exposing the deep seeded corruption in the Maltese government in the months leading up to the car bombing and targeted killing.

The Ugly

Before her assassination in October 2017, Galizia lead the Maltese investigation into the Panama Papers which implicated Joseph Muscat's closest advisor and a top ranking minister in his government. Muscat's chief of staff Keith Schembri allegedly established several shell companies in off-shore tax havens just after Muscat took office in 2013.

The current tourism minister, Konrad Mizzi, is also named in the Panama Papers because of his connections to several shell companies as well, chief among them Hearnville Inc, in connection to Nexia BT. Mizzi has been accused of siphoning more than 130,000 euros of public funds to private accounts.

Konrad Mizzi   ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database(2).png

These three government officials were at the heart of Galizia's quest exposing deep rooted corruption in the Maltese political system. Galizia made many enemies with her political blog Running Commentary and the majority of the Maltese people believe that she was targeted because of her fearless work. Galizia also was simultaneously investigating links between organized crime and the gaming industry. Almost 6 months after her murder, Daphne's killer(s) have not been brought to justice. Several arrests were made in early 2018 but the Galizia family believes the men are low-level patsies. None of those arrested were the subject of Daphne's investigative journalism.

To make matters worse, Daphne Caruana Galizia is still being attacked months after her death. At least 32 libel suits brought by financial backer, Silvio Debono, of the ruling Labour Party as well has lawsuits filed by Konrad Mizzi and even the PM Muscat continue to move forward posthumously. The intention is clear, to wipe out Galazia's work, to discredit her claims and expunge her memory from existence.

Related Posts

Binance in Malta

While most will eagerly welcome Binance's move to Malta, there are some real concerns here for the crypto-community.
The history of money laundering as it relates to online activity in the gaming industry is troublesome as crypto detractors have continuously attempted to associate crypto with money laundering. Also, the deep corruption of the political system and the presence of organized crime in the gaming industry is equally worrisome.

I've been actively researching Malta's corruption for several weeks now, if you'd like to know more please read my previous posts and keep an eye out for more I hope to release in the coming days and weeks.




I addressed this exact same topic in my most recent post.
See it:

Money laundering and "state backed" coins like Venezuela's Petro could be partially responsible for crypto bear market.

This welcoming of money laundering and corruption in my opinion is very bad marketing at the very least and dangerous at the worst. Why would Binance make such a damning move during a time when the Petro (state backed token) is being launched and crypto ads are being banned on Twitter?

If anything the push should be toward increasing legitimacy for crypto exchanges not for this. Money laundering is what is keeping institutional investment out. It could be single handedly the cause of the current crash because if all the institutional capital pulled out then it would explain at least some of the drop. The fact that the SEC doesn't want to approve certain things due to the unregulated nature, the fact that the IRS is embracing ambiguity, Binance doing that only adds more fuel to the fire.

Thanks for your comments, much appreciated. I can see why Binance would want to move somewhere more supportive of crypto that offers some measure of stability but Malta is very very corrupt. Actually, the extent of the corruption is mind numbing, I just pointed to a few examples here.
From what I hear, Binance is very open and transparent about their operations but the power of organized crime in that part of the world should not be underestimated as I'm sure their keen to find ways to exploit crypto in the same ways as they did with online gaming.

I agree that from a marketing perspective, it would be wise to try to stay clear of any association with money laundering of course, as we know that it's often used in the fear-mongering around cryptos.

I did also read that Binance is looking to transform their business into a 'decentralize exchange', and I thought that was a least some positive news.

A decentralized exchange is good but has pros and cons. One of the cons is you will not get institutional money to flow into it. So liquidity could be a problem.

The fact that the SEC doesn't want to approve certain things due to the unregulated nature, the fact that the IRS is embracing ambiguity, Binance doing that only adds more fuel to the fire.

I'm confused a little bit. Is not the goal of the Crypto Community to have the currency be a solution or complete work around to the already manipulated and very controlled financial and govt system? Effectively removing consent from the system of enslavement they have installed? If so why then would anyone either expect, OR desire to have the approval of these entities? If they approve of Crypto it would seem to me that implies it is something that is helping them to retain control of the world. I'm pretty new as far as involvement with this because I assumed (perhaps like a dummy, lol) when bitcoin launched years ago that they were going to figure out a way to shut it down quickly unless they were behind it in some way.

The crypto community is not static. In order for it to grow it has to embrace the values of the world it is in. The SEC is not the only possible provider of safety. Self regulation is possible and preferred.

Tax evasion and money laundering are a matter of perspective. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter.

That's not good. The appearance of impropriety is often worse than impropriety. Markets are no exception to this rule.

I would rather it be centered in some humane place, but the humane places seem to be rather strict on how currency functions.

Thanks for highlighting this move. I'll have to keep my eye on it.

Where would be the ideal place for a company like Binance to relocate?

What is Iceland's position on Crypto?

That's a great question but to be completely honest I don't know which country strikes the right balance in terms of policy and regulations. I'd like to know the answer myself. It's probably too early to tell as most countries are trying to figure out how to handle the arrival of cryptos and blockchain tech. Maybe a big reason why the Maltese are jumping at the chance to get out ahead of the pack in an attempt to attract new industry and more investment in their economy.

Is there any effective or desirable policy other than hands off at this point in time?

I was impressed by Iceland in 2008 and with the Domestic Surveillance shit shortly thereafter. They seemed like a real straight shooting polity on the issues of the day. Banksters went down there. Yay!

I heard some alternate realities on Iceland's public policy, and they were not all muffins and cotton candy as it sounded from the pro-human blogosphere at the time.

So I have no idea what they're deal is, but it seems like they'd be cool with it.

Good information and perspective. I have a binance account, and have a couple pennies there. On the surface, I'm happy they're making a move to give themselves more freedom. Under the surface is where the scary things swim.

And then, ah yes, with more freedom comes more corruption by those willing to take advantage of those freedoms and use it to help themselves.

It's a double-edged sword. We want freedom for ourselves, but don't want others to take advantage of that freedom for their own benefits...yet we'd probably do much the same if we could.

Your information gathering is superb, and at least the rest of us can choose to use Binance or not with eyes wide open.

An exchange which holds other people's money has no moral or reasonable justification to desire more freedom. More freedom to do what exactly? Bitconnect had that kind of freedom and see what happened?

It's not necessarily more freedom to DO a certain thing; sometimes it is freedom FROM certain things. If crypto suddenly became illegal (as an extreme example) I'd want my exchanges to be in a place where legality could not touch it.

If crypto became illegal here? If its illegal in one country and not another then Binance could move corporate headquarters. My point is why should we trust a centralized exchange which is supposed to be regulated and trying to attract the big pocket customers when it moves to a country which has a questionable reputation in finance? I just think from a marketing and PR perspective the move is senseless.

If crypto suddenly became illegal everywhere or in the US for example then I would think it's very stupid to then trust a foreign country and centralized foreign exchange with your money. If the company goes to a specific country specifically to avoid legal consequences then I would be wondering what that company has to hide that it would do that rather than strive for compliance?

It seems to me that blockchain technology can be both hyper anonymized and hyper transparent and I honestly haven't figured out which is its greater strength. Which makes this situation in Malta both puzzling and fascinating to me.

Yes, it's hard to know what to think about the move to Malta. In a way I feel like I'm raining on people's parade, especially since the markets have been in a slump lately. But, I've been examining Malta for quite some time now and thought I should point out the endemic corruption in that country.

I'm having real trouble with this transparent/private dichotomy.

I'm far more OK with my interactions online being public than I am having them sucked up, warehoused in some yuge data silo, and experimented on. I'm thorny and loud when it comes to politics and I had a very successful guerrilla piece on Social Security that was picked up as a PR front by DFA, AARP, and some large unions. Shuttered up the Privatization of Social Security Scam on the strength of a blog post. Score 1 for the little guy. I don't want shit hanging out in the shadows to be dropped on unsuspecting citizens for social control.

My point is that I'd rather have all that shit out in public; my uncomfy Leftist commentary has and will cost me business. It's kind of how I'm rolling right now. k9disc... that's me pretty much everywhere.

Anyway... great point about the transparency/privacy thing. I'm struggling with it. I'm also having a problem with the split between the libertarian and monetarists concept of currency, value, and markets.

I'm a strong proponent of regulated markets. But it's kind of like the private/transparent thing. I want privacy, but I'll take transparency and public access in lieu of corporate exploitation and profiteering. I want well regulated markets, and a well regulated economy, but I'll take a non-rigged economy over what we've got now any day.


An interesting turn of events and well explained here. It's a bit unsettling with even the best of exchanges between the hacks/constant threats of hacks, looming regulations and licensing issues and the general looseness characteristic of crypo based companies. I trust Binance for the most part, but even they leave things to be desired...

The worst thing an exchange can do if centralized is to try to avoid regulations. All centralized exchanges should embrace regulators or who the hell needs them? If they aren't trying to be regulated then the offer the user no advantage over a decentralized exchange.

I agree but also disagree. So the absolutely agree they should be regulated.

But a broker's whole point of existence is to offer liquidity to the markets they serve, and Binance does that job as well as or better than most of it's competitors.

It would be great if decentralized exchanges could support all the trading activity, variety of coins / tokens and volume that centralized exchanges do, but they do not and will not for the forseeable future. Not only that, it takes a whole process of reorientation away from the centralized services mindset that we're all mostly entrenched in. That will take years if not a least a decade or longer to get enough people on board in order to decrease such reliance on centralized systems....

Hoping to see where this leads. Heard of Malta and it's "treachery" in money laundering.
It might still just be due to weird coincidence as well or simply due to circumstance that could not be avoided.
Or still yet, Binance may be on the verge of becoming something bigger in the "not good" sense.

Do well to keep us updated @v4vapid

good job by binnance

Surely this is good news, might have coinbase a bit worried, cheers mike

Well, I actually like Binance.
Binance is the first ever exchange where I bought my Ripple :D

Ripple is a bankster coin... when it peaks dump and buy something legit (I'm liking BNB right now with this news)

I believe this will be good for Binance in the end, it seems like they really look at for their customers/investors

should we not open account in binance in that case

Great news, and post! Cool, Welcome to Europe Binance <3

And I like the sound of a crypto frinedly bill, consulted with Binance :)

As of money laundry I don´t think this move of one company will have any effect, only their income will change due to lower taxes and fees.


Yea I read about this move of binanace to Malta from @investing's recent post and I saw it as a good move. I mean, what could go wrong, but you post has given me a different light to this. It is no doubts that crypto currency has been linked to money laundering if we wanabtell ouraelves the truth so i ask myself...what good if the presence of Binance ijnmalta gonna do?

You want to know what's really been linked to money laundering??? US currency!

Well Malta is part of the EU. Binance is going to be regulated. as long as it does things properly, stays within the regulatory parameters and does not put our crypto at risk then they there is no more FUD. The downside is that it takes time, and sometimes iteration, to update the system. Coinbase must be sweating now. This is a real threat to their nearly monopoly business.

Thanks for the upvote on my post @v4vapid, as you noticed I also wrote about relocating to Malta (but with a different spin on it), this was a very interesting read, thank you very much @v4vapid! Did not know about some of the more recent events in Maltese politics.

This binance would have been run by Pablo Escobar ,whole game would have been different..

Excellent post
Nice articles

very good news, thanks for sharing @v4vapid and congratulations for the MALTA country pro-crypto
I am very happy to hear this happy news

Binance's decision to set up shop in Malta makes sense for the company as governments continue to crackdown on crypto-exchanges, ICOs and cryptocurrencies from the US to China. Having a crypto-positive country with regulations designed to support the industry is hard to come by and an opportunity even harder to pass up.

image Binance in Malta.China Fights to Control Crypto > Binance is expanding to Europe, while trying to minimize it's risks for entering the Eurozone.Malta, a small island nation in the Mediterranean, has been chosen for it's small republic government.It has been deemed "pro-blockchain" and the government is excited about the prospects of Binance operations within their borders.> Chinese government officials continue to struggle in the battle to contain freedom of currency in China.The country is blooming with new users and innovators, and it is proving to be larger than the regulators can handle.This new realization is sparking fears of further government tyranny in the new innovative sector.hopefully this will be good news and I personally hope crypto widened its wings and more successful.thanks for your great article @v4vapid

Well Malta; is part of the EU? Binance is going to be regulated; as long as it; does things properly, stays within the regulatory parameters and does not put our crypto at risk then they there is no more fUD; The downside is that it takes time? and sometimes iteration, to update the system. Coinbase must be sweating now: This is a real threat to their nearly monopoly: business?????

Oh really? Hmm, makes me a tad curious. Binance has been facing an uphill battle with China and their operations, it would make sense for them to relocate to a place a little more welcoming. Binance has been super transparent with all their operations, and that's why I use them so much. I always keep the bulk of my coins in offline storage, so I'm not too worried about how they handle their business, but I'll stay tuned. Thanks for always making such detailed articles, @v4vapid ! I actually look forward to your content! I also greatly appreciate your continued support for my articles/videos too! I wish my upvote was worth more so I could make a bigger impact for you, but I'm getting there! Always 100% vote from me. Cheers!

International politics and crimes specifically corruption go side by side. Those who set the laws for the people break the laws too. So the statement from the Govt. of Malta is quite natural as they wanted more and more business.

Government has launched a policy document which seeks to set up the Malta Digital Innovation Authority alongside other legislation to provide legal certainty in the sphere of Blockchain technology and by extension cryptocurrencies.

On the other side you got some wonderful research based content that would give an awareness to the investors and seller about the inner situation of the Malta.

A huge salute to you for the efforts you're putting to eradicate the evil of corruption from the society @v4vapid :)

Wonderful news... I've got to get some more BNB!!!

Terimakasih atas informasi nya, sangat berguna dan bermanfaat, sukses selalu v4vapid

Yup. In the middle of Europe we have 'Cayman' islands.

Excellent post @v4vapid upvoted and resteemed. If we think of it from the perspective that the universe (including ourselves) are a play upon vibration and energy. Then throw some fringe science into the mix .. by zooming past cellular life, past the atom and into the quantum realm where we would start to see that every structure in the entire universe is connected. Within this realm you will see that every particle in the universe has self organised into one huge interconnected intelligent whole. The whole is itself an amalgamation of interconnected single systems “all in one”. Much like a unified field, but in effect a unified field of consciousness and intelligence. Indeed we are not just a drop in the infinite sea, we are the sea and so our consciousness would appear to exist outside of the mind but is equally anchored by the physicality of the brain. The ability to remote view is (I believe) valid which kind of suggests that our psi abilities are not impeded by said physicality but by our perception of the possible. I equally believe our governments came to fear the inherant ability, power that lays dormant within our psyche. Indeed imagine what a world of remote viewers would be like for them! :D Another post my friend.

yes, keep it coming. great read! :) personally we will always have corruption but maybe just maybe with blocktech we can get to the heart of the situation with data faster?

maybe we have to hang out at mount doom just to be able to throw the bitcoin into the fire in the short term? :)

Frankly I'm all for tax evasion and the problem with money laundering is not the laundering. Stop the illegal activity and the laundering will stop as well.

On the other hand, I'm interested in learning more about the government corruption issues. I will definitely check out your other posts.

Interesting article. I subscribed, I hope for reciprocity!

Great insight! People only want to see the positives when Binance moves to Malta, will keep an eye on them 😀

I guess, I'm 'that guy'... the one you don't want at your party bringing everyone down. lol

A really complete article, I've followed u & I'm looking forward to reading something else from u.

Binance- Contests or market manipulation strategy ?? Fraudulent analysts, Case QLC
In the last two months I have noticed that the company in charge of the Binance exchange services, holds contests ... I had not paid much attention and neither importance, until the day I see that a cryptocurrency coming out of nowhere called QLC goes up 45 % of a single moment, until then I did not find anything strange ...

But then I see a lot of financial analysts on Instagram saying they made that prediction ???? Prediction based on what?

When I review the graphs and the EMA lines it is very obvious and clear that the inclusion in Binance of QLC impact on the rise and it was almost impossible to make a prediction of that rise and to add a factor of induced distortion the Binance page creates a contest of trading ...

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The creation of trading competitions in a cryptocurrency on an exchange page is the clearest thing that can be in distortion of markets and takes away enormous credibility to the page as a market instrument ...

! [Without title] ()

In terms of stock markets it would be talking about privileged information management or induce chaos, in the graph you can see that after the contest ended the currency under 15% in free fall.

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Those Instagram accounts that say that they made the prediction of the sudden rise of QLC based on graphics are liars to be respectful in the qualification ... Before many tell me that Binance is just an exchange, I remind you that it is the most important of all by number of coins and volume handled.






I think the larger countries are making a huge mistake by not welcoming these exchanges, if I were a leader, especially of a smaller country, I'd be doing everything in my power to attract the attention of these exchanges.

According to the latest news, March 25 morning, Prime Minister of Malta delivered a speech on the political rally held in Majia Ba announced that the Government is working with a number of potential encryption monetary negotiations investors, these encryption currency investments People want to relocate their businesses to the country. The Prime Minister stated that the government will hold a series of meetings with these investors in the coming weeks and months.

It's good for cryptocurrency because the down going prices of cryptocurrency will rise again but will provide a way for Maltese as well as many other countries for corruption and money laundering. I think Maltese government agreement is good but if it proves good too and not used for tax evasion and money laundering.

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hopefully Binance can live in a bubble in Malta.. In theory it could be possible as they don't need anything from anyone else.. time will of course tell!..

Very nice posting sir. Maltatoday is a great website.

Well I don't think it is a good idea disclosing all our crypto secrets so that the IRS/SARS can monitor our moves...

Let see if the global elites will hunt Binance down and render them inoperable in the short run...

I have a free bot to trade on binance:

Buy More BNB )))))))))))))))))))))))))

Yes buy more BNB my friends

I thing all the arguments are valid and give an objective outlook on the matter. I would still rather go with Malta than China, felt kinda relieved when this was announced. :)

I kinda want to start a tourism campaign for Malta.

DANGER: Link is phishing scam, don't log in!!!!!!

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