Malta's prime minister, Joseph Muscat, addresses the UN in New York

Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta, used his address at the United Nations in New York last week to talk up the Mediterranean island nation’s blockchain credentials.

In a wide ranging speech, Muscat lauded late UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, and spoke of local solutions to global problems, such as plastic pollution of the oceans, terrorism and the refugee crisis that affects Malta and other Mediterranean islands.

He closed the 16-minute address with a two-minute sales pitch for Malta as the first jurisdiction to fully embrace blockchain. “I passionately believe that technology revolutionises and improves systems. This is why in Malta we have launched ourselves as ‘the blockchain island’, by being the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate this new technology that previously existed in a legal vacuum.

“Blockchain makes cryptocurrencies, the inevitable future of money, more transparent since it helps filter good business from bad business but these distributed ledger technologies can provide much more.”

He went on the explain to the UN some of the wider applications of blockchain technology, such as in healthcare and humanitarian efforts. “Corporations will be more accountable to their shareholders,” he said. “Citizens will trust the handling of their own data.”

“These are just a few ways how we can counter regressive and reactionary politics,” he said. “In unity, we do and we can have hope,” he closed.

Grandstanding aside, it is interesting that Muscat chose this platform to laud Malta’s crypto credentials, jostling for airtime alongside some hefty political issues.

Malta’s regulatory framework for blockchain was enacted in July of this year. The passing of the three bills by the country’s parliament made Malta the first nation in the world to establish an official set of regulations for blockchain companies.

Muscat has previously expressed his support for the island’s burgeoning blockchain sector on a number of occasions, including his backing of Ganapati‘s GanaEight Coin offering.

Watch the full speech below. Muscat presents his blockchain comments at 14m 25s.