Malta Blockchain Strategy Revealed

Malta's Blockchain Strategy will attract Fintech companies to the island.

Dr. Maria Chetcuti Cauchi | 26 May 2017

Fintech

Draft Malta Blockchain Strategy

In April 2017, Malta’s Prime Minister revealed that cabinet has approved the first draft of a national strategy to promote blockchain, the Malta Blockchain Strategy. Blockchain is the technology underlying the Bitcoin crypto currency and other fintech solutions. This Malta blockchain plan has the single purpose of making Malta one of the first countries in the world to embrace blockchain. The draft strategy will soon be forwarded for public consultation.

Muscat claimed that “This is not just about Bitcoin, and I also look forward to seeing blockchain technology implemented in the Lands Registry and the national health registries … Malta can be a global trail-blazer in this regard.” The plan is for Malta to pioneer a change at EU level, with the goal of seeking to dub the EU as “Bitcoin continent”.

Malta has sought to create favourable environments for all sorts of innovation and avant-garde technology. Same goes with blockchain, “We should aim to have the world’s best environment for the development and commercialisation of Fintech models and disruptive innovation … The government should ensure that Malta has the appropriate regulatory framework, the right tax system and the best infrastructure to support this ambition.

Malta intends to ride on its strategic geographical position, weather conditions, strong skills base and entrepreneurial spirit to serve as a test-bed for new sectors and foreign firms to test their new technology and products locally.

Malta Blockchain Initiatives 

Blockchain in Malta is already breaking new grounds.

The Ministry for Education and Employment (MEDE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Learning Machine Group (LMG), a technology firm focused on delivering digital social infrastructure at a sovereign state scale. The MOU coincided with the conclusion of "The State of Digital Education: Engaging with Connected, Blended and Open Learning"—a conference held between 19 and 20 January as part of Malta's Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Malta Gaming Authority executive chairman Joseph Cuschieri said that he will later this year announce plans related to crypto currencies in the gaming context.  He confirmed that plans are also being developed to set up a national betting exchange where bets can be hedged. The inception of a European Gaming Institute that will provide targeted and sector-specific training is also being discussed.

The Malta Stock Exchange has also created a Blockchain Committee which will consist of members of the Exchange’s Board, its Chairman and Chief Executive and outside experts who will assist in the formulation of a strategy geared towards addressing this emerging technology. The Exchange will also soon unveil the Malta Stock Exchange Blockchain Consortium, a think tank which will bring together experts from the Exchange’s stakeholders as well as from other organizations throughout Malta to share knowledge and perhaps joint venture on the design and implementation of blockchain applications.  

It is envisaged that in terms of popularity the use of blockchain technology will soon explode, equivalent to what the internet did in the 1990s when web browsers were introduced.

Blockchain Defined 

Blockchain presents a method of recording and confirming transactions through a system based on a secure ledger that operates on an accepted protocol. Participants make use of technology based on peer to peer verification and hold complete records of all transactions. This creates a de-centralised clearing house, with the disintermediation of banks, financial institutions, verification authorities and so on.

Blockchain’s potential centres around areas such as record keeping, trade verification, clearing and settlement. 



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