The nation of Malta – long a pioneer in internet gambling – is quickly moving ahead with plans to allow for the legal use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at online casinos.
In a new interview, Joseph Cuschieri, executive chairman of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), which oversees the country's land-based and online casinos, said that the regulatory body has commissioned a detailed technical study to explore the best path forward for legal and regulated cryptocurrency use in gambling.
"We believe that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies are emerging innovations which need analysis and an assessment of the risks and opportunities for potential adoption in the gaming sector," he said.
Cuschieri told CoinDesk:"The shape and form of the framework governing cryptocurrencies will be announced in due course and once the risk assessment is carried out. Once the results of the study are evaluated, the MGA will make its position official on how cryptocurrencies will be adopted."
The agency expects to detail the findings from its study in the fourth quarter of 2017.A piece of the puzzle
Cuschieri's comments come on the heels of a recently released white paper by the MGA exploring how its legal and regulatory approach to online gambling must evolve to keep pace with technology.
One of the report's conclusions is that cryptocurrencies should be embraced for purposes of competitive advantage, and because more widespread use and application of these technologies is certain.
It stated:"The Authority is cognizant that the rise of crypto-currencies is inevitable. Conscious of the need to remain at the forefront of innovation and to keep up with new developments in technology and the industry ... the Authority is committed to allow the use of cryptocurrencies by its licensees in the immediate future."
The push for legal and regulated cryptocurrency gambling is a component of a broader, aggr...