Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain have already been embraced by the government and people of Malta — which has tried to establish itself as the world’s “blockchain island.”
Now, in an address to the United Nation’s General Assembly, Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said he sees blockchain technology as the tool which will allow bitcoin and crypto to “inevitably” gain widespread, mass adoption and become the future of money.
Muscat has previously said he believes bitcoin and blockchain have the ability to eliminate third party service providers, giving users more freedom over information and money.
“I passionately believe technology revolutionizes and improves systems,” said Muscat. “This is why in Malta, we have launched ourselves as the blockchain island.
“By being the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate this new technology that previously existed in a legal vacuum. Blockchain makes cryptocurrencies inevitable future of money. More transparent, it helps filter good business from bad business.”
Malta’s attitude to bitcoin and blockchain has been praised by the global cryptocurrency industry, with the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, saying the company will be investing in Malta to help grow its local blockchain industry and local cryptocurrency companies.
Muscat’s praise of bitcoin and blockchain come as countries around the world grapple with how best to regulate and rein in bitcoin and cryptocurrency companies, which many regard as operating outside of the law.
“Blockchain can provide solutions to health care systems where patients have real ownership of their medical records,” Muscat added.
“Emissions trading systems can be taken to the next level. We can help verify that humanitarian assistance is reaching its intended destination. We can make sure that nobody is deprived of their legitimate property because of compromised data.”
Last month the industry was labelled a “wild west” by the British government as it promised to bring the burgeoning sector under better regulatory scrutiny to prevent money laundering and reduce risk to investors.
However, there was good news for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies last week when U.S. search giant Google scrapped its bitcoin ad ban, paving the way for regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to buy ads in the U.S. and Japan and opening up the industry to a huge number of potential new investors.
The decision to un-ban bitcoin-related ads on the world’s biggest search engine comes after a wave of bullish predictions for the bitcoin price last month.
Over recent months many of the world’s biggest banks and financial services companies have been gearing up to launch bitcoin products, including the likes of U.S. investment banking giant Goldman Sachs.
With the Google bitcoin ad ban at least partially lifted it could open the door for these established financial companies to advertise their bitcoin products on Google’s platform.
Many are though still sceptical of bitcoin and the future of cryptocurrencies, but young people appear most open to accepting new forms of currency. In a survey published in August, it was found U.S. students are twice as likely as the country’s average to own cryptocurrency.
With 18% of U.S. student respondents saying said they own (or have owned) bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency, twice the rate of the general population, it suggests bitcoin ownership and adoption could grow as this generation matures.
Article originally written by Billy Bambrough for Forbes.com.