The tiny, unassuming European island nation of Malta now trades more cryptocurrency by volume than any other country in the world, according to recent reports from Morgan Stanley. It beats out the next highest countries: Belize, Seychelles, the United States and South Korea. This is due to well-defined and easily accessible regulations on cryptocurrency, which create investor security and trust, the reports say.
Interestingly, the country is nowhere near the top of the list when it comes to the most exchanges. The top five in this category, starting with the most exchanges, are the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the United States, Singapore and Turkey. Malta ranks 22nd and Belize ranks 24th. So how does so much cryptocurrency change hands in these relatively small nations?
As it turns out, the reasoning is that this duo hosts the two biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, at least in terms of raw volume. Malta's is Binance, which recently moved to the country from Hong Kong. OKEx, the second largest in this category, is in Belize.
The United Kingdom, with the most exchanges, only accounts for an embarrassing one percent of the total global trading volume.
The reports found that well defined regulations are the likely reason, causing investors to choose these smaller nations as their registered bases. The regulations don't even have to be lenient either, just properly written. The investor confidence buds from potential traders having a better understanding of what to expect in the future of these well-regulated countries, rather than the uncertainty that has been plaguing larger nations, causing overall cryptocurrency prices to plummet.
It's worth noting, however, that Malta has adopted a rather favorable view toward cryptocurrency in general, especially in contrast to countries like China who have all-but outlawed them. In the end, this often overlooked archipelago has the last laugh, as the enormous exchange volume is likely bearing great dividends for the Malta's economy.