Cryptocurrencies will not be used to purchase citizenship through IIP
Cryptocurrencies will not be used to purchase citizenship through the Individual Investor Programme (IIP), a spokesperson from the Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services has confirmed.
The statement comes in response to recent concerns that Malta’s adoption of blockchain tech could result in programme agents accepting cryptocurrencies and coverting them into legal tender for fee payment. The doubts were highlighted in The Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Index, which was published by the Financial Times.
Asked whether cryptocurrencies will be used in IIP purchases and if the Ministry was looking to improve its due diligence process to deal with these types of requests, the spokespersons said: “As explained at length during the parliamentary debate, which is publicly available, Malta is neither issuing its own cryptocurrency, nor making cryptocurrency legal tender. This fact is well known to the operators and investors being attracted as a result of the new framework.”
In a May 2018 report, Malta ranked first, along with Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St Kitts and Nevis, when it came to due diligence. Malta bars any applicant who, without being able to demonstrate special circumstances, “has been denied a visa to a country with which Malta has visa-free travel arrangements”. The country also insists on applicants establishing a ‘genuine link to the state’ through a one-year residency requirement.
Malta is leading the way when it comes to embracing the new tech, with three cryptocurrency and blockchain bills – the Virtual Financial Assets Act, the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, and the Technology Arrangements and Services Bill. They were approved by Parliament at their second reading.