The hype surrounding the little island of Malta where the crypto space is concerned continues to take new turns with the announcement of a token-based bank now on the horizon.
One of the main stumbling blocks for the so-called ‘Blockchain Island has been the difficulties encountered by blockchain and crypto companies to gain access to bank accounts. That, however, is about to change, it seems.
The aptly titled, Founders Bank will now be providing what it terms as ‘progressive fintech solutions to the world of innovation and blockchain’. The project is a collaboration between the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by turnover, Binance and the blockchain-based equity fundraising platform Neufund.
Founders Bank claims that it will become the first stable and high tech banking solution not only focused on the founders, but also owned by them, bridging the gap between the traditional financial world and innovative crypto companies.
In exclusive comments to CCN, Junior Minister for Digital Innovation and Financial Services Silvio Schembri said that this was indeed a hugely development for Malta.
"This is another block to our ever growing blockchain island ecosystem. Next week we will announce other complimentary projects that will continue to close the circuit for the system to function. The culmination of which will be exhibited during the Government backed DELTA Summit to be held between the 3 - 5 October in Malta".
I am delighted to see #BlockchainIsland companies collaborate. @binance just announced its support for community-owned @foundersbankorg which will provides progressive fintech solutions and soon its #STO on @neufundorg https://t.co/5LIiOuU3PP
— Silvio Schembri (@SilvioSchembri) July 12, 2018
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat also retweeted the Founders Bank announcement.
The equity token offering to be conducted on Neufund under German regulation in collaboration with one of Europe’s major stock exchanges later this year will allow all market participants to become co-owners of Founders Bank. This is pioneering as it will allow clients to decide on the development of the solutions they are using with blockchain-style governance model based on smart contracts.
In comments to the media, Changpeng Zhao, Founder and CEO of Binance explained that Founders Bank would be the first decentralized and community-owned bank in the world.
“We are not only excited to be one of the first investors of this inclusive community for this pioneering initiative, but also look forward to exploring the full range of its banking services. We continue to be delighted by the vibrant blockchain opportunities in Malta and look forward to launching more partnerships in the region.”, he said.
The bank will focus on providing a service to tech and business companies and will supposedly be offering ‘top-notch’ banking solutions – whatever that means. Users will be able to access their bank accounts from mobile and desktop applications and use them with credit cards issued by Founders Bank. The system is similar to Revolut – another online bank offering crypto services. The company is currently awaiting its banking license from the Maltese financial authorities and should launch in early 2019 through an Equity Token Offering that will be made through Neufund’s platform later in 2018.
The Chairman and Co-founder of the bank is Dr. Michael Bianchi, a well-known businessman, and investor who is also the director on several company boards including that of the Malta International Airport.
“Founders Bank is the missing piece of #BlockchainIsland on Malta. We’re proud to announce our progressive banking solutions tailored for the needs of decentralised companies, with already existing support from the leaders of the blockchain industry, including Binance and Neufund. I am excited about the upcoming equity token offering when everyone will be able to become the co-owner of the company and shape the future of banking with us!”, Bianchi said in comments to the media.
The supervisory board and management of the company includes experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts with Mr. Michael Bianchi serving as Chairman of the Board and including Dr Abdalla Kablan (a prominent blockchain and crypto advisor for Malta who is on the board of the Malta Stock Exchange, Martin Bruncko, André Eggert, Pavel Bodark, Sonal Kadchha, Paula Pandolfino and Jonathon Gowen with previous experience working in blue chip companies and institutions such as a Barclays, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, the European Commission, the World Bank, Deloitte, OECD and Deloitte.
This announcement comes barely a week after the Maltese Parliament approved three blockchain and crypto bills unanimously setting the stage for a fertile environment in the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem. A few days ago, Palladium, a blockchain company based in Malta also launched the world’s first ICCO. Founders Bank certainly appears to be a landmark development in the short but meteoric history of the Blockchain Island of Malta.