Cyprus's government has introduced a draft cryptocurrency bill in the capital, Nicosia. Meanwhile, the EU is developing a mutual legal framework for all member countries. Surprisingly, Cyprus ranks strongly in the European Innovation Scoreboard, trailing only Stockholm, Sweden.
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"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 Kyriacos Kokkinos, Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy. According to the Minister, navigating the space between crypto regulation and countries with no regulation at all is difficult.
Cyprus has already seen such an example with neighboring Malta. The small country has welcomed many bitcoin and blockchain startups to establish their roots, yet the freedom provided has resulted in heightened scrutiny and a spike in criminal prosecutions. To complicate matters further, Cypriot officials are debating whether their national crypto bill should be passed before the EU completes its legislative framework, which is understood to be in the works, or whether they should wait.
"We have to be careful of the frameworks of the European Union since we are a member state," Kyriacos Kokkinos added. Despite this, the little country appears to be determined to be at the forefront of revolutionary technology, thus it wouldn't be surprising to see Cyprus adopt its crypto bill before the EU's crypto regulations take effect.