OKEx, Binance Win as Malta Draws Blockchain, Crypto Businesses

Chinese exchanges – OKEx and Binance – have won at the first Malta Blockchain Awards held in the Maltese town of St. Julian.

OKEx was awarded as the best cryptocurrency exchange while Binance gets for being the best at corporate social responsibility. The two exchanges are some of the players in the crypto industry showing interest in expanding their operations to the European island country this year.

Maltese President, HE Preca at the first Malta Blockchain Awards

As a precursor to the Malta Blockchain Summit held between Nov.1 and 2, the awards could signal the island’s invitation to other crypto projects seeking to extend their reach. Malta has been working to position itself as a global base for Blockchain and as a crypto-friendly country that welcomes investments in related fields. Its Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, personally welcomed the Binance exchange to the country and even raised the evolutionary prospects of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies before fellow heads of states at a UN meeting.

Binance and OKEx relocated to Malta at a time when the Maltese Parliament worked on and passed three laws establishing the regulatory framework for blockchain, cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology (DLT). Now on Nov. 1, the three DLT laws officially go into effect as a regulatory framework within the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. It will enable the newly-established Malta Digital Innovation Authority and the Malta Financial Services Authority to start receiving applications for licenses from more crypto-related businesses.

The Summit’s agenda includes a €50,000 prize Hackathon to be mentored by industry figures like John McAfee and Jimmy Zhong. It will also hold an ICO Pitch for 37 ICOs seeking investors. For those of them that see the environment created by Malta’s legislative move as conducive for their business interest, the ongoing Summit could give them the headstart they need to launch their startup.

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