Ever since launching the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) in 2000, Malta steadily become a capital for online casinos and game providers. Now, the Mediterranean island nation is trying to become the hub for blockchain gaming and other cryptocurrency related companies.
Blockchain refers to digital technology that stores records (a.k.a. blocks) of data. This has recently become useful with provably fair gaming, which are casino games that use blockchain to show how each bet is completely fair.
Many online gaming sites now accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which uses blockchain to store transactions. And Malta wants to become the center for this budding new industry. The MGA has already drafted a proposal for blockchain-related licensing and sent it to the European Union (EU).
“The Malta Gaming Authority’s (MGA) strategy to be at the forefront of remote gaming regulation while embracing innovation, is balanced with the recognition that a prudent approach in this area is sensible and needed," the report reads.
Malta is unique when compared to other European nations, because they can issue gaming licenses all over the EU. An MGA license is known as one of the most prestigious in the world.
This gaming licensing business has proven very lucrative for Malta. And it's easy to see why Malta wants to extend their unique position to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Essentially, the MGA would expand beyond just online gaming to deal with the crypto industry too.
Of course, many online casinos that offer provably fair gaming and accept cyrptocurrencies will be interested in basing their operations in Malta.
Malta's experience is in the online gaming realm. This is why officials are currently seeking advice from those knowledgeable on the industry.
For example, they've spoken to a Vienna-based startup called HERO, which launched their initial coin offering (ICO) last September. HERO seeks to revolutionize online gaming by allowing players to create or join games on the Ethereum blockchain network.
“We were asked to advise because we were one of the first companies in Europe that launched an ICO within a clear legal framework”, says Christina Roth, who heads communications at HERO. “Malta was looking for stakeholders who were knowledgeable about complex regulations regarding blockchain and crypto projects.”
HERO already runs a successful eSports prediction platform called herosphere.gg. And they've developed HEROcoin ($PLAY) to cut out the middleman in online gaming.
The MGA has released a report on their observations regarding blockchain and virtual currencies. And they're now in the process of examining the industry for the next 6 months.
Their report explains that some of the key advantages to blockchain-based gaming include transparency, reducing potential cheating, and lowering the need for third-party auditors.
Malta has been a pioneer in online gaming. Now it's clear that they want to be at the forefront of the next big breakthrough in gaming technology.