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Binance shines light on Malta as crypto’s new tax haven

Now all you have to do is move there

Malta

Malta, birthplace of the late, great Robert Palmer (via Pixabay).

Good news for European Binance customers: The one-year-old cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong is looking to set up shop on Malta The prime minister of Malta personally welcomed the crypto behemoth to the Mediterranean island nation between Sicily and Tunisia. The move may be good news for the EU’s wealthy, too.

On Thursday, , the exchange got a slap on the wrist from Japan for operating without registering first. A few hours later, the company’s CEO, Zhao Changpeng, told Bloomberg that Binance will start a “fiat-to-crypto exchange” on Malta instead.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat personally tweeted his greeting to company:

EU leaders follow the U.S. convention of signing their initials on personally written tweets to separate them from regular press-release style information and metadata shows it was sent from a personal iPhone, not a desktop computer.

FinanceMalta, a quasi-government financial institution, has been very active in marketing and providing education on the Maltese-style of finance that has huge incentives for global customers, not just the Euro Zone–which Malta joined in 2008. Maltese financial firm EXANTE, lead by FM, debuted the world’s first bitcoin hedge fund and presented at the Bitcoin 2013 conference in San Jose.

Binance’s potential move is news not just for crypto enthusiasts but for blockchain businesses and ICOs. Malta has been working over the past two months  building a pro-business regulatory environment to regulate and support ICOs. This is good for the blockchain ecosystem as smaller ICOs can develop in a less taxing environment.

Malta is one of the few EU countries that does not assess a property tax. The forever-booming real estate market around the main harbor of the tiny island nation will now be a safe harbor for crypto gains due to a couple of local regulations.

According to No More Tax EU, Foreigners resident in Malta aren’t subject to income tax in Malta on income arising outside Malta which isn’t remitted to a Maltese bank account. Additionally, foreigners resident in Malta aren’t subject to income tax on any foreign sourced capital gains, even when they remit these gains to a Maltese bank account “for example capital gains made by buying and selling shares on foreign stock markets.”

Unlike the principality of Monaco, Malta is a member of the European Union. Also unlike Monaco and the tiny nation of Andorra, Malta does not have minimum stay requirements for official residents, which would explain why there are so many incredible AirBnbs available.

Brendan Sullivan is a writer, producer, and author of the memoir Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives. Disclosure: he owns cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter.