Government officials in Cyprus have presented a draft for a cryptocurrency bill in the capital, Nicosia. Meanwhile, the EU is working to outline a mutual legal framework for all member nations. Interestingly enough, Cyprus scores highly in the European Innovation Scoreboard, coming second only to Stockholm, Sweden.
A Welcoming Approach Championed by Local Government
“Cyprus welcomes the use of digital and crypto assets, but we still need to be very careful and respect not only the regulations currently in place but also the absence of regulations”, says Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy Kyriacos Kokkinos. The Minister asserts that it is not easy to navigate the space between crypto regulation and countries that have no regulation at all.
Cyprus has already experienced such an example of this with neighboring Malta. The small country has invited a lot of cryptocurrency and blockchain companies to lay their foundations, but the freedom offered has brought increased scrutiny, as well as a rise in criminal cases. Adding to the complexity of the issue, Cypriot officials are contemplating whether their national crypto bill should be passed before the EU finishes outlining its legal framework, which is known to be in the works, or whether they should wait.
Kyriacos Kokkinos explains the situation: “We have to be careful of the frameworks of the European Union since we are a member state.” Despite this, it appears as though the small country is determined to be at the forefront of innovative technology, so it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see Cyprus pass its crypto bill before the EU’s crypto regulations kick in.