Borza

The Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) created the MSX Fintech Accelerator Programme in 2018 with support from Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The programme’s objective was to help fintech start-ups and entrepreneurs. It is unclear whether this programme has been successful, so this newsroom sought to find out whether there has been any progress on that front.

Cliff Pace, director of studies at the MSE, informed BusinessNow.mt that “the Fintech Accelerator Programme operated successfully for a couple of years but then demand for inclusion in this programme by fintech companies waned.”

The programme sought to establish an ecosystem to nurture and support companies and included mentoring schemes that would match international tech and media leaders with fintech and crypto start-ups. Thomson Reuters was even signed up as one of the mentors.

It also provided start-ups with access to professional business services and facilities including in-house accounting services and payroll, as well as office space, conference rooms and a training centre.

Cliff Pace was unable to give details on which companies used the accelerator and their outcomes, however, he did say that, while the accelerator operated, “we had several fintech companies operating from the Malta Stock Exchange, making best use of networking opportunities as well as being located at a prime site in Valletta.”

The programme was supported by Binance, a crypto exchange which has come under heavy scrutiny from both local and international authorities over its years in operation. The exchange relocated to Malta in 2018 after the country passed its blockchain law allowing crypto companies to get licensed to operate. However, a year later in 2019, Binance abandoned its plans to get licensed with the MFSA and subsequently relocated again.

Currently two of Binance’s companies are still active in Malta: Binance Europe Services Limited, and Binance Marketing Services Limited, however little is known about their activities.

Whether the accelerator becomes operational again will likely depend on whether there is demand, and, according to Mr Pace, “there does not appear to be any demand for it at this time.”

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