Malta Is Leagues Ahead in Encouraging Blockchain Innovation
With so many milestones this year, perhaps one we’re most excited about is our upcoming attendance at the Malta Blockchain Summit. Widely known as the blockchain island, Malta is leading the way in its understanding of blockchain technology and potential for the future.
This July, Malta became the world’s first country to establish new legislation for blockchain technology, demonstrating the innovative regulation needed to allow blockchain companies to flourish within a legal framework. Unlike other jurisdictions, Malta’s strategy is focused on blockchain technology for the long-term—not just regulating ICOs.
One of the greatest debates of recent times in the crypto community has been how to protect investors and provide guidance for blockchain companies without stifling innovation. How to create rules for category-breaking technology whose trajectory isn’t yet completely clear. And it’s a hotly contested discussion.
Some governments around the world have responded with heavy-handed knee-jerk reactions, banning cryptocurrency entirely or limiting its reach. Banks and other financial institutions have been slow to recognize cryptocurrency’s potential—or quick to dismiss it as a bubble. And the US Federal Reserve believes the $295 billion industry “not to be a threat.”
Meanwhile, many industry insiders believe that regulation will prevent future innovation from blooming. Their concern is that the wrong regulation or mislabelling of tokens and projects could lead to effectively putting the genie back in the bottle.
However, among the uncertainty, one thing is clear: a turbulent and speculative climate like that in the US, is the worst environment possible for businesses to operate in. We all saw Bitcoin and Ethereum prices tumble as the SEC delayed yet another Bitcoin ETF decision last week. Institutional investors will remain at the gates until some clarity and action is taken.
Malta Is Leagues Ahead When it Comes to Blockchain Tech
The Maltese government has shown a deep understanding of blockchain technology, as well as the fact that they’re in it for the long game. In an interview with Steve Tendon the first Chairman of the Blockchain Malta Association and a key member of Malta’s National Blockchain Task Force, he discussed Malta’s National Blockchain Strategy in more detail. Far from being about three new laws regulating ICOs, DLT, and exchanges; it’s a six-pillar strategy for the future, including widespread education, and the formation of a digital innovation authority.
Tendon, who will be speaking at the event alongside the likes of Maltese Prime Minister Hon. Joseph Muscat and Parliamentary Secretary – Financial Services Hon. Silvio Schembri, explains that the establishment of an innovation authority was essential to ensure the right regulation:
“What this regulator will do,” he says “is to ensure that when there are developments, technology innovations that can affect multiple regulatory spheres of action, there will be some sort of governance of management of those areas. So it becomes very clear to see who is responsible for what. So we don’t have different opinions—or even worse—different and conflicting regulations. And we don’t have entities regulating things that are outside of their original mandate, simply because they don’t understand the technology.”
Malta’s approach to blockchain and other innovative technologies shows deep foresight and a willingness to foster and attract innovation to their shores. Already home to the $1.3 billion igaming industry, Malta has attracted some major blockchain companies and cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance and BitBay, to the island.
The Malta Blockchain Summit
The Malta Blockchain Summit, with some 5,000 delegates expected and hundreds of speakers from blockchain’s most prominent decision-makers, industry leaders, and lawmakers, looks set to be Europe’s most important blockchain event this year. The summit promises to bring together some of the most forward-thinking minds in the industry and within the regulatory landscape, as well.
Digitex Futures CEO Adam Todd will be among the conference keynote speakers, delivering an unmissable talk about commission-free trading and revealing a demo of the Digitex Futures platform for the first time. We’ll also be available for questions and displaying the demo at the Digitex stand (number 38) throughout the event.
But Will Regulation Stifle Innovation?
Like everything in this industry, there continues to be those for and against. Yet, the Maltese government has foreseen the dangers of placing the wrong technology in the wrong box, and of being too quick to label. Rather than calling every token a security, their legislation recognizes that not all cryptocurrencies are created equal.
Malta notes the difference between a utility token and a security token, but also that they can be a hybrid in between. “We are clearing out a lot of gray space between the security and the utility token,” Tendon says.
The laws that Malta passed this July are only the start of the blockchain revolution. The overwhelming message from the blockchain island is that legitimate, credible blockchain companies should not be afraid of regulation. In fact, they should welcome regulation for reassuring investors and providing them a certain and secure environment to operate in.
Demo of the Digitex Futures Exchange
Digitex Futures is proud to be included among the lineup of credible and innovative blockchain exhibitors and companies at the event. Adam will be revealing a working demo of our futures trading platform for the first time in front of conference attendees, investors, policy-makers, and innovators.
We hope to see you there! But if you can’t make it to the event, we’ll be live-streaming the talk, so you can tune in and watch the reactions from the crowd and see the demo live! With every day that takes us closer to our launch, the excitement at Digitex is building—and we thank you all for your continued support.