The state of crypto in Southern Europe: Malta leads the best way


Regardless of the turbulence that broke out within the crypto market this summer time, there is a crucial long-term marker that ought to be thought-about in any complicated evaluation — the mixture of adoption and regulation. The most recent report by EUBlockchain Observatory, named “EU Blockchain Ecosystem Developments,” tries to measure this mix inside the European Union, combining the information on every member nation from Portugal to Slovakia. 

As the unique report counts greater than 200 pages, Cointelegraph ready a abstract with the intent to seize essentially the most important details about the state of crypto and blockchain in Europe. Beforehand we’ve coated Western and Northern Europe, however this cycle finishes with the Southern Europe area.


Numbers: Over 10 blockchain answer suppliers.

Regulation and laws: Based on the report, “blockchain, together with their by-product cryptocurrencies in addition to different types of blockchain financing, stay largely unregulated in Greece.” In 2022, Greece introduced a draft invoice on “rising data and communication applied sciences, strengthening digital governance and different provisions,” introducing necessities for the deployment of synthetic intelligence (AI), Web of Issues (IoT), blockchain and different distributed ledger know-how (DLT). Digital asset suppliers are required to register with the Hellenic Capital Markets Fee (HCMC).

Taxes: The earnings that arises from cryptocurrency transactions is taxed beneath the capital features tax, which constitutes 15% for people.

Notable initiatives: HCMC and the Financial institution of Greece have each carried out their very own Innovation Hub, whereas the latter launched a regulatory sandbox in collaboration with the European Financial institution for Reconstruction and Growth.

Native gamers: Mobiweb Applied sciences, an offshore net growth firm; Synaphea, a supplier of blockchain options to enterprise; Metabloq, a blockchain-based software program developer.


Numbers: $46.5 million (47 million euros) in whole funds raised by blockchain tasks, 97 blockchain startups.

Regulation and laws: In 2019, the Italian Parliament permitted a definition for DLTs and acknowledged the authorized validity of sensible contracts.

Taxes: In 2016, the Income Company issued a ministerial decision that addressed sure features of the tax remedy of Bitcoin (BTC) and different cryptocurrencies. In accordance with that decision, a person’s earnings from exchanging crypto isn’t topic to taxation. Nonetheless, if the person’s account stability exceeds 51,645.69 euros (about $51,000), they’re topic to capital features tax, which constitutes a flat 26% charge.

Notable initiatives: Since 2015, the Ministry of Financial system and Finance has launched two pilot tasks to check DLTs in public administration. The primary one was SUNFISH (Safe Data Sharing in federated heterogeneous non-public clouds), which used sensible contracts on a blockchain infrastructure to make sure integrity and secrecy within the trade of knowledge between the Ministry of Financial system and Finance and the State Police. The second was PoSeID-on, a platform for private knowledge administration and knowledge safety.

In 2017, the Ministry of Agricultural, Meals and Forestry Insurance policies launched Wine Provide Chain 4.0, a pilot challenge enhancing the traceability of the wine provide chain.

In 2019, the Ministry of Financial Growth partnered with IBM to check a platform based mostly on the non-public permissioned infrastructure of IBM Hyperledger Material to supply an answer for stakeholders within the textile provide chain.

Native gamers: Volvero, a blockchain-based car-sharing app; EvenFi, a regulated peer-to-peer crowdlending platform; EcoSteer, an IoT and blockchain software program firm.


Numbers: $139.5 million (141 million euros) of whole funds raised.

Regulation and laws: In 2018, the Maltese parliament enacted three legal guidelines establishing a complete regulatory framework for blockchain and digital currencies. The Digital Monetary Property Act regulates the sphere of preliminary coin choices, digital belongings, digital currencies and associated providers, whereas the Revolutionary Technological Preparations and Companies Act permits the Malta Digital Innovation Authority to supervise the registration of know-how service suppliers.

The nation’s monetary regulatory framework acknowledges 4 distinct classes of digital belongings, topic to a unique algorithm: digital cash, monetary devices, digital (utility) tokens and digital monetary belongings (VFAs).

Taxes: Digital cash and utility tokens will not be on the record of capital belongings within the Revenue Tax Act and are thus not topic to capital features tax, whereas securities and VFAs are.

Notable initiatives: Malta was the primary nation to put in a blockchain-based IP register and switch 60,000 data utilizing the blockchain community. Following that, the federal government of Malta launched three new blockchain tasks: a challenge for the certification of meals merchandise produced on the island of Gozo, a blockchain-based property planning system for making certain transparency of processes, and a blockchain-based copyright and IP system.

Native gamers: Quidax, a digital belongings trade; Vaiot, an AI- and blockchain-centered developer of clever digital assistants; Efforce, a platform for tokenized power financial savings.


Numbers: $43.5 million (44 million euros) in funds raised by blockchain suppliers, 28 blockchain startups.

Regulation and laws: Cryptocurrencies will not be tried as authorized tender, however there’s a division between utility tokens and safety tokens based mostly on the tokens’ performance. The central financial institution regulates the registration of digital asset service suppliers.

Taxes: The authorized entities offering providers associated to cryptocurrency should pay a 28%–35% capital features tax. On the time of writing, there’s no capital features tax on particular person holdings in Portugal, however that’s about to alter — the nation’s proposed finances for 2023 presumes a 28% tax charge for people.

Notable initiatives: In public admistration, the primary use case is the platform, constructed on blockchain and utilized by residents to current and talk about their civic initiatives. The agricultural sector applies blockchain for monitoring meals merchandise whereas enhancing security. Veracruz, the Portuguese almonds producer, has collaborated with Arabyka to use blockchain know-how within the provide chain.

Native gamers: Anchorage Digital, a monetary platform and infrastructure supplier for digital belongings; Revault, a multiparty vault structure supplier; Sensefinity, a Hyperledger-based answer for meals provenance certification.


Numbers: $86 million (87 million euros) in whole funds raised, 200+ blockchain firms.

Regulation and laws: Digital currencies will not be thought-about authorized tender, and their trade is a value-added tax (VAT) exempt. They’re largely ruled beneath laws that pertains to commodities, particularly the final guidelines of the Civil Code and the Code of Commerce. The Nationwide Securities Market Fee issued pointers on the content material and format of promotional campaigns for cryptocurrencies in an try to make sure that “the promoting of the merchandise affords true, comprehensible and non-misleading content material, and features a outstanding warning of the related dangers.”

Taxes: Capital features from the trade of digital currencies are topic to a variable tax charge starting from 19%–23%. Digital foreign money mining stays unregulated.

Notable initiatives: In 2018, Spain launched a regulatory sandbox for novel fintech tasks, together with blockchain and digital currencies. The identical yr, BBVA financial institution turned the primary on this planet to make the most of blockchain know-how in its monetary merchandise.

Native gamers: Belvo, a developer of open banking API options; Bit2Me, a cryptocurrency trade; Consentio, a blockchain-based fee platform for logistics.


Numbers: $148.4 million (150 million euros) in whole funds raised, 48 blockchain firms.

Regulation and laws: No particular references to digital currencies and blockchain applied sciences exist within the nation’s laws. Nonetheless, the Distributed Ledger Know-how Invoice was revealed for public remark in 2021 and is now present process authorized vetting.

Taxes: Based on Mondaq, at current, the earnings from crypto buying and selling is taxed beneath company tax at a charge of 12.5% since cryptocurrency is acknowledged as a taxable asset. Jeff Bandman, teacher on the College of Nicosia and EUBOF Skilled panel member, instructed Cointelegraph that after the umbrella blockchain legislation is enacted, the finance ministry will present additional steering relating to the taxation of cryptocurrencies.

Notable initiatives: The native Innovation Hub was launched again in 2018 by the Cyprus Securities and Trade Fee. In June 2020, VeChain introduced that the Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus will probably be using its blockchain-based answer to retailer COVID-19 outcomes.

Native gamers: NoBanx, a crypto deposit platform; Simdaq, a platform for mastering buying and selling and asset administration; Coinomi, a blockchain pockets.

Key takeaways 

The information from the report proves that the island of Malta remains to be manner forward of its Southern European counterparts when it comes to boosting the crypto business. Talking to Cointelegraph, Joshua Ellul, professor on the College of Malta and EUBOF Skilled panel member, highlighted the position of the Maltese authorities in offering authorized certainty to digital monetary belongings and repair suppliers — and the advantages of the nation’s dimension for that matter:

“Such agility was attainable resulting from Malta’s small dimension, which can be a motive why Malta’s ranges of investments are considerably decrease. This isn’t simply remoted to blockchain however to all sectors.”

Ellul believes it’s not unintentional that the upcoming pan-European Markets in Crypto-Property (MiCA) draw on Maltese regulatory design for digital belongings in some respects. 

“Many say that MiCA has many resemblances to Malta’s VFA regime; some say Malta is ‘MiCA-ready.’ This, together with a wholesome native ecosystem, together with teaching programs, thriving firms, experience in varied blockchain-related providers and progressive regulation, will make Malta a horny vacation spot to arrange store, which we hope will change funding numbers within the years to return,” he mentioned.


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