Malta, the ‘Blockchain Island,’ is currently top of the list of those countries when it comes to cryptocurrency exchange trading volume, a new study has found. This is due to the island’s current regulatory framework, which has been described by some experts as the best in the world as far as crypto is concerned. This is quite a strange result, however, since no cryptocurrency exchange, including OKEx and Binance, is actually operating from Malta although they have set up offices on the island.
The study, which was first reported by news.bitcoin.com, also noted that over-the-counter (OTC) and peer-to-peer (P2P) exchanges were far more popular in developing nations and in countries where non-cash payments were widely distributed.
The report was conducted by financial services provider Worldcore, covering data from the months of June and July. Using statistics from a Morgan Stanley study conducted early this year, the study compared two lists of countries—one containing the top destinations by volume traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, and a second one with those that lead in terms of OTC and P2P trading volumes.
The study also confirmed that those jurisdictions that offer a favourable business climate through crypto-friendly legislation and those with well-established regulatory frameworks accounted for a larger slice of the cake with regards to exchange-based crypto trading. According to the report, Malta topped the list with a reported $1.2 billion followed by the Seychelles and Belize with $700 million each.
In a statement, Worldcore CEO Alexei Nasonov, who also led the research team, said: “Crypto exchanges are most often registered in countries with preferential taxation, and many over-the-counter trades occur in nations with low financial culture or strict tax legislation.”
Meanwhile, direct exchange methods have been popular in second- and third-world countries, including Russia, Nigeria, Colombia and Kenya, according to the study. Analysts said this is largely due to the relatively undeveloped system of non-cash exchange of crypto assets as well as fiat via appropriate payment systems and banks. There were also other causes, such as the situation in Russia, where crypto-specific regulations were still not adopted into law.
The researchers also believed that trading platforms would continue to migrate to destinations providing favorable conditions and preferential tax regimes. Malta is a good example—the island nation has already attracted companies like Binance, which is also exploring opportunities to launch a decentralized bank called Founders Bank apart from other partnerships with companies like NEufund to create a token based system. OKex, another Chinese-run cryptocurrency exchange, announced in April that it is relocating to the island, while Polish Bitbay also revealed its plans to move to Malta in May.
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