A bitcoin billionaire is quietly building the world's very first decentralized bank on this tiny, idyllic island

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Valletta MaltaIn Green / ShutterstockThe island of Malta has warmly welcomed the blockchain industry.In Green / Shutterstock

  • Plans for the world's first decentralized bank are taking root in Malta.
  • The project is backed by the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, which was founded by bitcoin billionaire Changpeng Zhao. 
  • Malta has been very receptive to cryptocurrency projects in the past.

Plans for the world's very first decentralized bank are taking root in Malta.

According to Bloomberg, the project is backed by bitcoin billionaire Changpeng Zhao's cryptocurrency exchange, Binance.

Binance, which uprooted its operations to the tiny European island of Malta earlier this year, has been warmly welcomed by the country's prime minister, Joseph Muscat. 

In March, Muscat tweeted that he had high hopes for his country's role within the blockchain industry:

"We aim to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world class fintech companies," Muscat wrote.

The project for the decentralized, community-owned bank has already received backing from both Binance and the Malta government itself, which has invested a 5% stake, Bloomberg reports.

The bank, called Founders Bank, will be unique in that it won't belong to a single corporation, individual, or entity. Instead, it will be owned in part by anyone who purchases a portion of its token-based equity. 

Fundraising for the project will take place on the blockchain equity platform, Neufund.

There's still some regulatory issues which Malta, a country belonging to the European Union, will need to face, but prime minister Muscat seems largely optimistic about the project's viability. 

In a recent speech, Muscat said, "The concept sounds confusing right now, but I have no doubt that it will form the base of a new economy in the future. Just as we attribute value to pieces of paper, so too will future generations attribute value to electronic storage systems."


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