Malta, a small island country in the Mediterranean, has been making waves in the crypto world since 2017. Its pro-crypto stance has attracted many investors and entrepreneurs to set up shop on the island. In this article, we will delve into why Malta is a crypto-friendly country, what crypto legislation has been put in place, and the various residency and citizenship programmes available for crypto investors.
Crypto Legislation in Malta since 2017
Malta’s pro-crypto stance has been evident since the country’s parliament passed three bills in 2018, collectively known as the “Blockchain Island” legislation. These bills aim to provide legal certainty for companies operating in the blockchain and crypto space, making Malta an attractive destination for crypto entrepreneurs and investors.
One of the key pieces of legislation is the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA), which regulates Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), crypto exchanges, and wallet providers. It ensures that these entities are operating within a transparent and secure environment while protecting consumers from fraud and other illegal activities.
Another significant piece of legislation is the Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act (ITAS), which provides a regulatory framework for innovative technology arrangements and services. This Act regulates distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts, among others, and creates a regulatory sandbox to test new technologies.
Malta’s regulatory framework for crypto and blockchain technology is the most advanced in Europe, making it a haven for crypto investors and entrepreneurs.
A Malta-lifestyle for Crypto Entrepreneurs
Malta is not just a crypto-friendly destination; it’s also a fantastic place to live. The island offers a unique lifestyle, with beautiful weather all year round, stunning beaches, and delicious Mediterranean cuisine. The cost of living is also relatively low compared to other European countries, making it an affordable destination for entrepreneurs looking to relocate.
In addition to its beautiful scenery and relaxed lifestyle, Malta has a thriving tech scene. Many start-ups and tech companies have set up shop on the island, creating a vibrant and innovative atmosphere. The Maltese government also offers various incentives to attract foreign investment, including tax breaks and grants.
Residence Programmes for Crypto Entrepreneurs
Malta offers several residency programmes for entrepreneurs looking to relocate to the island. These programmes include the Global Residence Programme (GRP), the Residence Programme (TRP), and the Permanent Residence Programme (PRP). Each programme has its requirements and benefits, but all of them offer a straightforward path to residency in Malta.
The GRP is open to non-EU nationals and requires a minimum annual income of €100,000, among other criteria. The TRP and PRP are open to EU nationals and offer several tax benefits, including a flat tax rate of 15% on foreign income.
Investor Residency Leading to Citizenship
Malta Citizenship by Investment is also an option for crypto investors looking to settle in Malta. The Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme (MCES) allows investors to acquire Maltese citizenship in exchange for a significant investment in the country.
The investment options include a contribution to the National Development and Social Fund, purchasing government bonds, or investing in real estate. The MCES programme is one of the most attractive citizenship programmes in Europe, providing visa-free access to over 180 countries worldwide.
Malta: Legal and Tax Crypto Considerations
English is an official language in Malta and serves as the language of education, business, and finance. Malta does not impose any language tests in its investor routes to residence or citizenship. Unlike many other European countries, Malta does not apply worldwide taxation to persons resident in Malta for tax purposes. Malta does not have any wealth taxes, property taxes, inheritance taxes or entry/exit taxes. Business taxation, referred to as corporate income tax is effectively 5% for Maltese companies owned by foreign shareholders despite their new Maltese citizenship.
European Citizenship Lawyers
Our European citizenship lawyers advise on the various citizenship and immigration routes in Europe. We dedicate personal attention to each client and oversee each citizenship case individually. We help our clients assess which European citizenship route best suits their objectives and whether they qualify for relevant laws. As Maltese citizenship agents with extensive experience of Maltese citizenship and investor immigration, we offer a holistic coverage of all immigration and relocation and all relevant tax and legal services.
ACC Immigration Advisors (Malta company registration number C-44042) is duly authorised to act as a licensed Malta citizenship agent in terms of the Agents (Licences) Regulations, 2020 (L.N. 435 of 2020) and bound by the “Licence Agreement and Code of Conduct and Ethics for Agents” entered into with Community Malta Agency, under official Malta licence number AKM-ACCA-21.
Our services for Crypto Investors
At our firm, we specialize in assisting crypto investors with their residency and citizenship in Malta.
Our services include:
- Immigration advice: We provide expert guidance on the best-fit residency and citizenship programmes available in Malta, assessing your eligibility for such programmes.
- Applications for Maltese residency and citizenship programmes: We are licensed filing agents but provide legal and tax expertise to compile a high-quality application file that you deserve to ensure that your application is processed efficiently.
- Tax planning and advisory: We provide tailored tax planning solutions to ensure legal certainty of your favourable tax position in Malta.
- Crypto source of wealth reports: We prepare reports confirming legal source of wealth and provide crypto wallet screening and AML and sanctions screening.