MARRYING FIAT & CRYPTOS 28
THE LIABILITY MAZE 20
BLOCKCHAIN INVESTORS MEET MEDICAL CANNABIS 36
HARNESSING A.I. POWER 83
EDITOR Katy Micallef
DESIGN & LAYOUT Jessica Camilleri
PHOTOGRAPHY Aleksey Leonov
CONTRIBUTORS Christopher Attard Jools Moore Tabata Mussone
SALES Denis Dzyubenko Sandeep Haer Sinead Byrne Sintija Rimsa Sophie Crouzet Tabata Mussone
EDITOR’S NOTE The curse of the second novel is something that all authors must
momentum. While Malta will always be home, SiGMA is expanding
survive if they are to make it in the literary world. If creating a
its vision with a string of events far outside Europe. In Q2 of 2019,
magazine is hard, creating a successful one is harder still. The
the company will open offices in Dubai, laying the foundations for
noise surrounding a triumphant first issue can be deafening and
the Emirates AIBC Summit, and launch SiGMA Manila in 2020. Read
the pressure to replicate that success can be a tall order indeed.
more about this on pages 10 and 11.
But as the previous editor, Ivan Borg, used to say: get it together Katy. And I hope I have. Our aim was to bring the very best of the industry to this magazine and so we’re excited to feature a piece with Scott Stornetta, widely considered to be the founding father of blockchain and a respected leader in the tech industry. Following the 2018 legislation of the DLT landscape, the
Finally the most important part of any editorial, the thank-yous. The success of this company owes a great deal to CEO, Eman Pulis - his unique brand of enthusiasm has spurred us all onwards and upwards. Thanks also to Aleksey Leonov, for his stunning photography – always a treat, and to Jessica Camilleri, not just for elevating the design of this magazine to something truly special but for her patience with troublesome editors.
emergence of a fourth bill puts forward a proposal to grant legal personality to technological arrangements – Dr. Max Ganado
I also can’t help but mention the people sitting alongside me in the
guides us through the liability maze in an in-depth interview. In
content room – this magazine is a sum of its parts and the result
addition to other prominent speakers such as Tone Vays and Roger
is nothing short of transformative. I am grateful to Christopher
Ver, Dr. Ganado can also be found on the conference stage at the
Attard, for countering my doubt with his good advice, Julian Moore
second edition of the AIBC Summit, which runs from the 23rd to
for his canny instincts, and Sandeep Haer, for filling these pages
the 24th of May.
with the very best companies and brands.
Almost a year on the hype is still palpable and alongside an innovation-ready government we hope to maintain that
Enjoy the issue!
Katy Jess Aleksey
A FERTILE LAND FOR OPPORTUNITY
Read more about how the medical cannabis industry is taking advantage of seed-to-sale tracking to improve the quality of their product.
A.I. START-UP PITCH AND STO BATTLE
| Blockchain Island
Katy Micallef writes about machine learning and the advance of technological singularity.
Oliver Marco La Rosa gives an exclusive interview about the value of creating synergy between fiat and crypto.
A NO BRAINER
Dr. Max Ganado offers his take on the recent government proposal to grant legal personality to technology arrangements.
MARRYING FIAT AND CRYPTO
Béatrice Collet sheds some light on the concept behind the chiliz Blockchain Campus and how it’s bringing the blockchain community closer.
THE LIABILITY MAZE
The most promising projects battle it out in one of the most keenly anticipated moments of the Malta A.I. and Blockchain Summit.
BLOCKCHAIN INVESTORS MEET MEDICAL CANNABIS
The Prime Minister of Malta addresses the Malta A.I. and Blockchain Summit 2018.
WHAT TO EXPECT
LEADING THE WAY Jovan Gavrilovic sheds some light on Malta’s evolution into a blockchain jurisdiction of choice.
TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN
RELIVE THE MOMENTS
Juliet Adelstein speaks to Block magazine about the convergence of block tech with online gaming and the transformative space it creates.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
A highlight reel of some of the best moments from blockchain events held throughout the year.
HARNESSING A.I. POWER
Tabata Mussone writes about the role blockchain technology has to play in a circular economy.
Alexiei Dingli, Head of the Department of Artificial Intelligence at the UoM, offers his insight on the power of A.I. to transform businesses.
EXPERTISE AND THE POWER OF TOKENISATION E&S Group share their thoughts on a shifting digital landscape as they delve into what that means for their company.
IN MALTA’S A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN ECOSYSTEM Get to know some of the key figures on the blockchain scene, all well worth meeting.
The BLOCK - Blockchain Island is published by Viking PC Health Ltd., Gaming Hub, Judge Paolo Debono Str., Msida Skate Park, Msida. MSD2032, Malta. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without prior consent
Would you like to be in the next issue of the BLOCK?
in writing. Opinions expressed in the BLOCK are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.
For more information regarding advertising opportunities kindly call
All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot
Sandeep Haer on (+356) 79773094 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations.
Blockchain Island | 7
A FERTILE LAND FOR OPPORTUNITY
s we witness these changes happening around us, as the government, we could have taken two roads: either to sit back and let the big waves of change
settle down with the hope that it does as little damage as possible to us – or else prepare for it by building necessary breakwaters, canals and making good use of the force of nature that this new technology is proving to be. I believe that nothing happens by coincidence, certain factors fall into place at the right time, true. Yet when opportunities come by you need the right people and the surgical coolness to take quick, sometimes risky, decisions not to let ships sail. That is what happened with blockchain in Malta – the seed landed on very fertile soil and as a government we saw the opportunity to start watering the seed carefully, to make sure it grows in an organic way, yet still building the blocks around it to make sure that when the time is right we start bearing fruit. The sky is the limit as long as the rules of the game are observed, that is why we have gained our reputation as the Blockchain Island. Our vision is to see this sector grow, both in volume but more so in finding new ways on how technology can improve the lives of people. Are we done yet? Of course not – and what’s next? That is the question we ask ourselves each and every day in our offices. Like every company we can only find opportunities if we are out there on the lookout. We are a fertile land for opportunities and discussion. This country has solid foundations and is ready to make the conditions right for the next leap in robotics, A.I., IoT – to go wherever our imagination can take us. I have only one word of caution, we like to do things the right way, within clear and sensible parameters – not rushing our way through but doing them at the right pace. Our philosophy is to be honest brokers where we all know where we stand with each other. Let us think big and together we can make the next leap.
The Hon. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, speaking at the Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit 2018
Blockchain Island | 9
Eman Pulis Founder & CEO Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit, SiGMA & Cannabiz Summit.World
| Blockchain Island
MOVING BEYOND THE HYPE
fter the triumphs of the last 6 years it might be
In 2018 the company expanded operations and launched a
tempting to sit back and rest on our laurels. The
well-received show dedicated to the emerging blockchain
thrill of starting something new never quite leaves
sphere. The show was also the launchpad for three key
you though, which is why, as we move further into the second
pieces of government regulation on blockchain and DLT, and
quarter of 2019, I’ll be exploring the immense promise Dubai
the initiation of a government A.I. task force.
has to offer as we embark on the next leg of our journey.
In 2019, a fast-growing technology scene will see the Malta
As part of our ambitious expansion plan, we’re looking to new
A.I. & Blockchain Summit up its game, hosting two major
shores. The move will take advantage of the insatiable thirst
shows in the same year and adding new verticals into its
in the Middle East for emerging technology and its potential
remit. The show aims to attract a truly global crowd of
to invigorate the economy and shake up governance. While
exhibitors by boosting its offering to include A.I., Quantum
Malta continues its focus on regulation, the Emirates and
Tech, IoT and Big Data.
its neighbouring states are looking at blockchain with fresh eyes, giving the company the space it needs to flourish.
With over 1000 investors signed up for the Malta A.I. and Blockchain show, we’ve decided to hold our inaugural
As part of the company’s strategic growth, the plan for
Cannabiz Summit World show back-to-back with our
2020 will focus on strengthening core events in Malta and
November blockchain event, offering a window into the
on the smooth running of the inaugural opening of the
value-laden investment opportunities that medicinal
Emirates A.I. & Blockchain Summit. 2020 will also set the
cannabis can provide.
stage for the launch of SiGMA in the Philippines, with the event making its Asian debut in Manila.
The summit’s proximity to the AIBC Summit also highlights a growing trend of how blockchain and A.I. are increasingly
The choice of direction also sidesteps a collision of paths
being used by the medical cannabis industry. One of the
with other major event companies looking to get a finger in
myriad of benefits includes the ability to create a secure
the blockchain pie. Industry players are instead eyeing the
system for seed-to-sale tracking, monitoring the growth
United States as their base for business.
and shipping of the cannabis, and ensuring the quality has
SiGMA has undergone something of a transformation in
been verified by a trusted lab.
recent years – the inaugural show in 2014 saw the company
The summit is a reflection not only of Malta’s efforts
corner an untapped niche of opportunity within the local
through Malta Enterprise and the Malta Medicines Authority
iGaming market. Buoyed by early success, SiGMA expanded
in attracting the most reputable firms to the island, but is
their operations to become a world-class event, with an
also a reflection of the direction many states worldwide
elite selection of delegates, policy makers and thought
are taking in creating the right legislative framework for
leaders pouring in from across the globe.
medical cannabis research, production and consumption.
It is this kind of international support and interest that
Last but not least – our thanks. Our phenomenal success is
has helped propel SiGMA into truly becoming the world’s
in no small part due to support from right across the board
iGaming village. Through a commitment to quality and
- it is your faith in us that has inspired us to think outside
years of successful operations, SiGMA has nurtured the
the box and spurred us on to achieve more than we ever
development of a strong brand, allowing for its evolution
into a global influencer on the iGaming world stage.
Blockchain Island | 11
WHAT TO EXPECT
A.I. START-UP PITCH 3 min LIVE PITCH for 10 finalists followed by live Q&A from investors, jury and audience.
WHAT YOU GET
WHAT YOU GET
Meet the investors
1m booth at Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit 19, including cost of printing and furniture
website, email newsletters, interviews •
Invitation to premium networking events during the summit and throughout the year
Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit PR – magazines, Free consultancy and potential leads from leading industry veterans
Office space at Microsoft Innovation Centre Malta
WHERE A.I. START-UPS AND INVESTORS MEET Following a very successful run at the inaugural edition of Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit, the Pitch is back in full force for 2019. Over 80 start-ups will be selected to showcase their products and initiatives throughout the event. Each start-up will have a small booth and an all-important opportunity to mingle with some of the leading investors and mentors in the industry. Competition will be fierce as the judges’ top ten battle it out for a place at the Pitch during the final leg of the Summit.
Blockchain Island | 13
BEYOND LOCATION. BEYOND DESIGN. BEYOND FACILITIES.
A business address like no other
The Quad Business Towers development, is a Special Designated Area (SDA), which offers an unparalleled confluence of design and sustainability, located in the centre of Malta. The development will house over 44,000m² of mixed Grade A office and commercial floorspace, surrounded by 6,000m² of open landscaped areas with ample parking facilities available. The Quad offers an outstanding real estate investment opportunity or business re-location possibility in an exceptional smart environment. Visit www.thequad.com.mt to find out more
A. The Quad Ltd. ‘Gasan Centre’ Central Business District, Mriehel. T. 2778 8124 E. email@example.com A Tumas Group & Gasan Group development
WHAT TO EXPECT
STO BATTLE WHAT YOU GET
WHAT YOU GET
A few minutes pitch on stage in front of the
across our media channels, including magazines,
A VIP invitation to premium networking events
website, email newsletters, and video •
in Malta •
Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit PR – coverage
5 complimentary VIP tickets to the conference
Investors Award – the investment prize is €25,000 worth of the winner’s tokens
WHERE STOS AND INVESTORS MEET The inaugural edition of our STO Battle throws the most promising crypto and blockchain projects into the ring to fight it out for an invaluable opportunity to pitch live on stage before facing a Q&A session from the official jury members, savvy investors and the audience. Judging results will be based on the credibility of the company’s White Paper and invest-ability, with an emphasis placed on the business model and scalability.
Blockchain Island | 15
23rd May - Hilton, Malta
Conference 1 A.I. & Blockchain Regulation
Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta
Lord Marland, Chairman - Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council
This fast-changing era of innovation
left to ethics and which need the firm
and development has given birth to a
hand of regulation. There is widespread
golden age of technology. After several
agreement however that A.I. growth is
years of hard work and persistence,
accelerating, which means fears that
the Blockchain Island has earned itself
we may reach technological singularity
a reputation as a haven for emerging
are inevitably a part of the wider
technologies, a coveted position several
conversation on regulation.
countries have long been vying for.
firmly rooted in the practical: the
publication of a National Blockchain
issues of accountability, consumer
Strategy, the country ushered in three
protection, transparency, and liability
prominent pieces of legislation in
for example, were all noted by Mady
2018, securing a legal framework for
Delvaux in her 2017 report for the
companies looking to operate within an
European Parliamentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Commission
infrastructure that could offer support
on Civil Law Rules on Robotics. Like all
and stability â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and setting the standard
other technologies before it, A.I. will
for other countries looking to emulate
eventually reach a point where it gets
too big for its boots. And like all other
The health of Maltaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current economic success can, in part, thank the solid foundations laid down by Brock Pierce, Entrepreneur - Director of the Bitcoin Foundation
the government to develop sectors such as finance and iGaming. This regulatory foresight has spurred the Maltese government to take the lead when it comes to establishing a strong blockchain jurisdiction. While regulation is normally known to sound the death knell for innovation, it has done the opposite for blockchain. As research
Dinis Guarda, CEO - Humaniq
can attest, block tech is at its healthiest when legislators are in the loop. If 2018 was all about blockchain, then 2019 is going to be the year A.I. disrupts the world forever. In light of this, calls for the introduction of a regulatory
Joseph F Borg, Advocate & Partner - WH Partners
| Blockchain Island
For now, considerations are more
It is well deserved; alongside the
framework have been gaining traction.
technology, it too will need to be reined in through regulation. The eventual inevitability of humans outsourcing decision-making to technology also raises several questions about the need to create safeguards to ensure transparency. Should an A.I. that makes decisions that affect individuals, whilst engaging them in discourse, be required by law to disclose that it is a machine? And what kind of methods should be used to decide the legitimacy and proportionality of these laws? Now that regulation is on the table, the country should start to see block tech permeate Maltese culture as the islands embrace the coming era of digital revolution. It is essential then, that the country seeks to provide
At the core of this lies the challenge
a smooth ride for the sustainable
of how best to regulate this medium,
implementation and development of
to determine which aspects can be
this technological ecosystem.
WHAT TO EXPECT
in association with
As the winds of political, social and
other emerging technologies, such as A.I.
economic change move to mould
and IoT are ideally positioned to become
industries, new technology has emerged
a strong ally for blockchain, particularly
to shape this rapidly shifting landscape.
in areas such as privacy, security, and
The disruptive tech can already count
prominent movers and shakers of the tech and political sphere amongst its followers, with big names like John McAfee, His Highness, Sheik Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Winklevoss twins, and Scott
There is a concern however over the concentrated monopoly of control,
Roger Ver, Angel Investor
especially the lack of public scrutiny surrounding private investment in A.I. The
Stornetta putting in appearances at the
effect of Facebook algorithms on political
Malta A.I. and Blockchain Summit last year.
debate and Google’s monopoly on search
The pace of technological change in the
comes to mind. Investment in artificial
last few years has been rapid. Purpose-
intelligence-powered facial recognition
built to engender revolution, the tech
systems and enhanced technology for
is changing - perhaps irreversibly - the
recognising context and images in online
way we think, live and do business. The
communications has also drawn criticism,
question of just how far around the corner
with Orwellian fears of censorship and
true artificial super intelligence is has
control a grey cloud over the positive
triggered serious debate, but one thing is
impact A.I. could potentially wield over
certain, we’re closer than ever before.
the use and collection of personal data.
Its influence was made clear last year
Take the environmental implications
when the Maltese government launched
of mining. The energy consumption
a task force in collaboration with
required for its smooth running can be
SingularityNet during the Malta A.I. and
an incredible burden, both financially and
Blockchain Summit. The task force intends
environmentally. A.I. has already shown
to implement a national strategy on A.I. –
itself capable of optimising energy usage
a process which will be reviewed during
– the result is lower energy consumption
the Malta A.I. and Blockchain Summit
and faster, more efficient transactions.
2019. The way forward, for Malta at least,
The tech can also introduce decentralised
is clear. A.I. has a firm foothold in the
learning systems, improving on Satoshi’s
way the country intends to do business,
idea of blockchain pruning by bringing
with positive outcomes expected for the
in scalability through systems such as
Blockchain Island’s burgeoning economy:
federated learning - a potential solution
a rising tide that lifts all boats.
to deal with and make sense of a steadily
The convergence of Artificial Intelligence
Conference 2 World changing applications of Blockchain and A.I.
Nouriel Roubini, Economist and Professor - NYU
Tone Vays, Bitcoin and Blockchain Researcher, Consultant Content Creator & Derivatives Trader
Tim Draper, Founder at Draper AssociatesDFJ-Draper University
increasing accumulation of data.
and blockchain certainly has the power to
On the 23rd May, the second Malta A.I. and
bring a paradigm shift to an increasingly
Blockchain Summit conference will examine
outdated technology model. While
the evolution and far-reaching applications
powerful in its own right, block tech isn’t
of blockchain and A.I. technology as it
without its limitations. In this respect,
shapes the world around us.
Chris Skinner, Independent Commentator Financial Markets & Fintech
Blockchain Island | 17
24th May - Hilton, Malta
Conference 3 A.I., IoT and Big Data
Larry Sanger Co-founder - Wikipedia
It is estimated that nearly 2.9 billion
advertisements that would attract and
people will own a smart phone by 2020.
excite customers to buy their products.
Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are
But today, marketers are streamlining
generated each day, with ninety percent
their efforts to provide personalised
of world data being generated in the last
services to customers based on their
two years. The scale and magnitude of A.I.,
individual demands, with the help of
IoT and Big Data is both unprecedented
ground-breaking technologies that focus
and a testament to the human desire to
on data-driven A.I. predictive algorithms.
overcome the impossible. On the A.I. front, Malta has grabbed the bull by the horns the same way it did for cryptocurrency and blockchain ventures. In fact, the Maltese Government introduced a task force to steer its strategy on A.I., called Malta.ai. The
Dr. Alexandra Mikityuk Co-founder & Head of Blockchain Technology The Blockchain Group
project involves partnering up with SingularityNET in order for Sophia (the Robot) to utilise a blockchain protocol for its humanoid database. The emergence of new technologies has
Sophia A.I. Citizen - SingularityNET
provide actionable meaningful insights for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;highly effectiveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; marketing strategies, in comparison to manually sorting out and interpreting tons of data. In fact, data analytics is in the middle of an evolution, where marketers can derive knowledge from data points, analyse market trends, gauge customer behaviour and understand competitors better. Artificial Intelligence allows for things
created a competitive landscape amidst
like the inception of chatbots which has
an already highly disruptive landscape,
revolutionised nearly every business in
forcing companies to analyse new market
the last couple of years. Without human
trends, improve operational efficiency,
intervention, chatbots can engage
and find appropriate keys to innovation.
customers, promote brand recognition
The accelerated utilisation of advanced
while allowing marketers to capitalise on
technologies has made customers
fruitful engagements and also enhance
highly impatient too. Customers expect
everything to be available at the tip of their fingers for less money, and without any effort. As such, almost every organisation Angelo Dalli CEO - Umnai
Data that has a snowballing effect can
has entered the era of digitalisation in order to achieve enhanced productivity, development and automation. The Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit
Last but certainly not least, IoT has created a wave of interoperability and connectivity to the millions of smart devices now present in the world. The interplay with aggregating data and A.I.driven data assortment completes the trifecta of relentless digital change.
recognised this looming trend and the
Vinay Gupta CEO - Mattereum
| Blockchain Island
enormous potential it has in a multiplicity
Having envisioned a future wherein all
of industries, be it in iGaming, banking,
these projects come together, Malta
payments, transport and logistics,
has seized the opportunity on multiple
marketing and more. For example, under
fronts to ensure that it remains a hub for
normal circumstances, marketers invest
innovation and entrepreneurship in the
time and resources to create catchy
WHAT TO EXPECT
in association with
Barely a year ago the Internet was
how their food travels from farm to table.
saturated with talk of Bitcoin and a
This means that tracking food origins,
multiplicity of imminent moon landings.
processing and supplier data is redefining
The exuberance that accompanied the
quality assurance standards, creating
Ethereum token and cryptocurrency
increased value for companies that adopt
boom sent Bitcoin-tradeable digital
this approach relative to the competition.
Conference 4 Blockchain Investment & The Future of Digital Money
asset pairs skyrocketing, only to plummet thereafter.
Meanwhile, the very foundation of the Internet is also undergoing a radical
However, with the wounds of recent
change, with Brave Browser and Waves
history healing, corporations and venture
platform leading the way. Indeed,
capitalists are now moving beyond the
Brave Browser is redefining the online
hype and into the more reasonable world
advertising game by paying its users
of value-based investments. In fact,
in BAT (Basic Attention Token) to view
according to an analysis by McKinsey
adverts, Waves platform released its
& Company, blockchain is estimated to
vision of Web 3.0 thought its own API
be about three to five years away from
(Application Programming Interface) –
mainstream adoption – which means we
melding the benefits of decentralised
are arguably in the midst of a large-scale
technology and the convenience of
accumulation period before another move onwards and upwards. Having witnessed the power of mobile applications in providing fiat payment solutions, it isn’t any wonder that borderless digital assets and new forms of value are also being explored by traditional financial gate keepers and entrepreneurs alike.
Alexander Borodich Founder & CEO - Universa
centralised systems. Waves is focusing on three projects with mass adoption in mind; a decentralised voting platform, a social network and a Vostok enterprise network to rival Hyperledger. The progression of technology often echoes previous trends. Indeed, the
Brad Furber Seed Investor - Advisor - US Securities Lawyer
projects are a mere drop in an ocean teeming with possibilities - as was
On the investment front, a survey
the start-up scene of 2006. Back in
conducted by Deliotte with companies
the day, software firms struggled with
in the U.S., China, France, and Germany
infrastructure and manpower costs.
with at least $500 million annual sales
Today, companies are deliberating the
revealed that over 75% of respondents
right blockchain and smart contract
are building blockchain-based systems
solution for their product.
for their businesses.
Patrick Chang Director, Ventures - Samsung NEXT
David Orban Seed stage Startup and A.I. Investor
Those that manage to create viable,
For instance, Walmart is exploring the
scalable solutions are set to open
possibility of blockchain in overhauling
the floodgates for millions of small to
its current supply chain in order to
medium sized enterprises to capitalise
inspire greater consumer confidence.
on blockchain in the long run, and the
The company believes that consumers
Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit stands
are looking for transparency in the supply
resolute in its anticipation of this bright
chain, such as gaining knowledge of
future. Will you?
Dr. Guenther Dobrauz Saldapenna Partner - PwC
Blockchain Island | 19
THE LIABILITY MAZE
| Blockchain Island
KATY MICALLEF SITS DOWN WITH DR. MAX GANADO FOR AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE RECENT GOVERNMENT PROPOSAL TO GRANT LEGAL PERSONALITY TO TECHNOLOGY ARRANGEMENTS SUCH AS DLT AND SMART CONTRACTS.
s I make my way through GANADO Advocates’ offices, I can’t help but be struck by how neatly old complements new. The recently renovated buildings are a convergence of pristine
glass and 300-year-old stone, a seamless transition between tradition and modern architecture. This juxtaposition is mirrored in Dr. Max Ganado, a man with a seemingly bottomless pit of knowledge, who has applied his vast experience in the application of law to the emerging technology of the blockchain and A.I. sphere. Following the success of the three pieces of blockchain legislation launched last November, the Government of Malta has been mindful of the need to pick up the pace, now that the eyes of the rest of the world are on the Blockchain Island. As with any new industry that is fast-developing, there is an element of uncertainty, which is why early last year a white paper was released with a proposal to tackle private law issues. As Dr. Ganado elaborates, ‘the first challenge was trying to find out which of our regulatory laws apply when.’ One aspect of legal uncertainty was which part of the industry, which type of tokens or digital aspects would be caught by existing law and which wouldn’t be. “It created a massive risk for everyone involved. What we did is we came out with a set of regulatory laws (the most focused of which is Virtual Financial Assets Act) and as a result the Financial Instrument Test was proposed.” Pinning down the essence of these definitions has helped determine a number of specific parameters, such as whether the MFSA has authority or which tax rule is applied and whether it might affect the public and thus needs greater attention to protect the public interest agenda. Once defined, it is a lot easier to know which laws apply and whether new laws are needed to catch the middle ground, thus avoiding the unregulated limbo of an ambiguous arena and mitigating reputational risk. The public is also protected. “This is now a new classification for regulatory law and we know exactly where it falls - and that is the VFA Act.”
Blockchain Island | 21
Now that the boundaries are set, Dr. Ganado moves
The only solution is to solve the issue of uncertainty
on to the possible automation of new technology
through the design of a legal entity that will start
arrangements, such as DLT and smart contracts. A
from the premise that it doesn’t have owners or
number of pertinent questions arise, such as whether
administrators, or if it does, then the liability is pre-
smart contracts are enforceable and which laws apply to
determined. Then it is predictable and can be covered by
them, and more seriously – whether the designer of open
other forms of recourse, like insurance, as no one should
source software or smart contracts can be considered
assume that liability ought to be eliminated or that loss
liable, especially when limitations of space and time and
should not be catered for. And when there is identifiable
the transient nature of human life is applied.
fraud, willful misconduct or negligence by a known
Dr. Ganado goes on to say, “The other issue is that current laws always think of finding a person, they don’t
There are two main aspects that need legal certainty:
stop at a situation. Law doesn’t apply liability to things.
capacity, which is critical to the stability of legal
When there are things that cause harm, there is always
relationships, and predictable liability rules. As Dr.
someone who owns or controls them. Technology can
Ganado says, it is essential to create a centralised
“ The only solution is to solve the issue of uncertainty through the design of a legal entity that will start from the premise that it doesn’t have owners or administrators ”
create distance. For liability to
point of reference, an entity which has functionality.
arise there has to be proximity,
He assures me that this will not detract from the
there has to be cause and effect
decentralised nature of the DLT itself, as ownership is a
or bad faith or negligence.”
passive function and does not interfere in the way the
Part of the difficulty arises when
Dr. Ganado goes on to give three examples of how
various features in the structure will minimise risk.
public and ownerless. The Bitcoin
The first is if a developer has developed tech based
or Ethereum platform comes to
on fraudulent intent, he will remain liable for the
mind for example.
consequences of his act. Secondly, if you create an
As Dr. Ganado explains, “When you have hundreds of people contributing, it’s very hard to determine who is responsible for a specific loss which may affect a user or a third party many years
is a massive risk for everyone involved. Of course when someone specific is willing to post a guarantee against loss or to be the identified person who will be liable there is no problem at all, and the law already caters for that.” It is very often the developers, users, and creative thinkers that become tangled in ambiguity - left vulnerable to potential liability of an outcome they have no control over and may not even have known was happening. This will kill innovation if not addressed.
| Blockchain Island
DLT technology platform operates.
you have the type of DLT that is
and versions later. The consequence of this situation
person, then of course he should be liable personally.”
entity, you’re going to be able to vest it with an insurance policy that is able to cover breaches of fiduciary obligations (if there are any), negligence, defects and possibly some kind of no-fault-based loss. The third thing is if you recognise the tech as public benefit tech, then you can give it a special status at law, which you can call “public domain” or “commons”. That means it is not owned by anyone but it is there for the benefit of everyone, meaning you can then clearly state that the individual users and, members of the public using such a “utility” will never be liable for losses of others. “What you can do in a legal entity is you can create a segregated cell which will own and have vested in it all the software in such a way that bankruptcy, regulatory interface and possibly enforcement actions against the legal entity will not affect the continuity of that software - because hundreds of thousands of people will be
“We have a situation where a traditional legal entity
dependent on that software for the services it facilitates
doesn’t work because it’s not designed for this context.
and for the proof of and access to their assets.”
As he explains, if you hold the platform which holds user assets you cannot hold the platform which validates the user assets ransom to creditor claims. “So you have to create what you call a non-recourse status of that software. If there’s a problem with the legal entity you have to migrate that software, lock, stock and barrel, with all the data in it, to another foundation sans the problems that arose. So any criminality, illegal activity, or defects have to be kept back, investigated and penalised without affecting the rest of the activity. Security interests of lenders, investors and other proprietary interests can move together with the segregated cell.” Do these elements stop it from being decentralised? Dr. Ganado doesn’t think so. The ability of the centralised features to undermine the decentralisation of the platform design is going to be extremely limited. Today smart contracts are solving many problems of governance but so far they cannot solve all of them, such as AML and GDPR compliance, so you still need human input to ensure compliance with the law, someone with power to intervene if the tech fails to operate as intended. This assumes that the tech wasn’t designed to breach the law in the first place, which is yet another scenario to be considered. “If you do something considered to be beneficial, whether you do it through a legal entity and a board of that legal entity, or you do it through a third party functionary called the technical administrator (who comes as a requirement of the new Maltese law), this doesn’t make the slightest difference, because the restricted functionalities that you’ve retained from the traditionally centralised structures will not impact on the decentralised nature of the platform.” This is a time for creative thinking in the development of the law. The law is there to facilitate human interaction and always keeps up with developments as the contexts change - it’s great to be part of the conversation on the way forward.
Blockchain Island | 23
A VOTE FOR BLOCKCHAIN IS IT TIME FOR GOVERNMENTS TO EMBRACE BLOCKCHAIN? THIS ARTICLE LOOKS AT HOW BLOCKCHAIN AND DLT CAN BE TRANSFORMATIVE TO GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS BY IMPROVING EFFICIENCY AND TRANSPARENCY AND BUILDING TRUST BETWEEN A GOVERNMENT AND ITS PEOPLE.
| Blockchain Island
t is inevitable that blockchain
This shared environment allows citizens to
from hackers and allows for an integral
technology will come to have a vital
see precisely where and how their taxes are
accountability in the system itself.
role to play in future governments.
How involved this relationship will be
Another example worth citing is the use of
Chiasso and Zug, towns which lie on
blockchain for benefit distribution. In 2017
the Swiss-Italian border, have already
the United Nations World Food Programme
implemented the beginnings of a crypto-
harnessed this to make cash transfers to
Holding governments accountable for
friendly fiscal policy, allowing citizens of this
over ten thousand Syrian refugees in the
their foibles has been a challenge that has
self-styled Crypto-polis to make small tax
burdened civilians throughout the ages. It
payments using a cryptocurrency. On the
goes without saying that any system that
other hand, states such as Dubai are preparing
is collectively established and coordinated
to run their entire governmental infrastructure
by people with competing agendas and
and economy on a blockchain. The system
personal biases will always be subject to
may currently be in its infancy, but it gives
trust issues. We are only human after all.
an intriguing glimpse into what the future of
however, is a question many are still
A blockchain-powered future has been discussed as an elegant and dynamic solution to managing systems that are traditionally maintained by a centralised body. The basic idea behind blockchain is that one can trust the system as a whole without having faith in its players. Applying blockchain to governance can make management and regulation immutable and instantaneous. It can also facilitate global cooperation and interoperation between countries and economies - a collaborative ecosystem that will allow access to
blockchain governance may be like.
â&#x20AC;&#x153; Applying blockchain to governance can make management and regulation immutable and instantaneous â&#x20AC;?
improved operations in its supply chains.
to corruption - by operating through a blockchain system, the food programme was able to save money by avoiding bank fees, as well as enabling refugees to purchase food through a biometric eye scan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; eliminating the need for cash, vouchers or electronic cards. The pilot project, which is called Building Blocks, is the first step towards a platform that can be applied to the humanitarian community as a whole. If successful it could expand to areas such as supply chain operations and digital identity management. Block tech can also offer governments the tools to revolutionise voting systems. Almost three quarters of the world rely on democratic voter consensus to elect officials and come to terms on referendums. Current systems are at best inefficient and at worst,
unexplored markets and drive growth to new heights through increased mobility and
Welfare distribution can be slow and prone
Digital identity and data management is
prone to manipulation and corruption.
also something that will flourish under a
Through a decentralised ledger, voting
Smart contracts are one of the many
decentralised system. A future blockchain
ballots can be encrypted and validified.
use cases of blockchain governance that
government ledger, powered by an encrypted,
Because voting data is not sorted by a
show tremendous potential. They can
decentralised method of information storing,
central or corruptible entity, the risk of
be invaluable to governments for the
will bring in the idea of more responsible
results being tampered with is eliminated.
efficiency they bring to the regulating
open data. Governments will be able to
The application of this technology can also
table. Embedding auditable functions on
simultaneously process a multiplicity of
help mitigate the civil unrest and violence
the blockchain can negate the need for
transactions whilst guaranteeing that the
that often erupts after elections in countries
government and regulators to use third
interaction is certified and secure.
where trust can be a fragile thing.
Over the last decade many governments
Only time will tell whether these changes
have made the move from paper identity
take hold and to what extent their influence
Smart contracts can also be applied to
to digital, but centralised government
can be said to be world-changing. We
tax collection. Through an escrow system,
records are still vulnerable to compromise.
can be certain though that as emerging
payments can be diverted, in real time and
Designed around a system that puts
technologies become more widespread
without the usual costs to the appropriate
security at the core, the shift from electronic
across myriad industries, the global question
places. Most importantly, block tech can
to government-based digital identities
of blockchain governance is one that will
provide transparency to tax management.
offers citizens much better protection
demand increasingly more attention.
party auditors, which can be both expensive and time consuming.
Blockchain Island | 25
CORPORATE & LEGAL SERVICES
ICOs, STOs & CRYPTO LICENCE ADVISORY
KSi Malta is a corporate and private client advisory, accounting, audit and tax firm, with a keen interest and specialisation in cryptocurrencies and tokenisation legal advisory. KSi Malta is endowed with lawyers, advisors, accountants and auditors hence rendering the firm’s knowledge multidimensional yet highly specialised. The firm has been at the forefront in advising crypto issuers and ancillary service providers some of whom have already relocated to Malta and enjoy the country’s positive blockchain vibe.
TAX & MOBILITY SERVICES
firms present in over 84 countries. Besides giving the firm an international exposure, such association enables KSi Malta to also attend to its clients’ international exigencies, whether they are tax, legal or accounting. Although saying that being a one-stop shop has now become a common marketing catchphrase, this is really and truly a living practice at KSi Malta, hence enabling the firm to be unique and standing out from the crowd.
KSi Malta is a member firm of Morison KSi a world leading quality-focused association of independently owned service
6, Villa Gauci, Mdina Road, Balzan BZN 9031, Malta | T: +356 2122 6176 | F: +356 2122 6019 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adopting Blockchain BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE GAMING LANDSCAPE AND THE WAY USERS INTERACT WITH IT. THE APPLICATIONS OF THIS TECH ARE FAR-REACHING AND OFFER BENEFITS NOT ONLY TO PLAYERS, BUT TO OPERATORS AND REGULATORS TOO.
Gaming is expected to generate over $180 billion
and secure storage of players’ funds and data is ensured.
in revenue over the next few years, it is therefore
Once in place, contracts and agreements are pretty
unsurprising to find that over 2 billion of the world’s
much set in digital stone.
population are gamers. The use of more mainstream applications of block tech, such as smart contracts, fraud prevention, and the ability to remove middle men from the equation is central to propelling iGaming
New technology is also turning traditional gaming platforms on their head, shaking up how they store sensitive data, such as player information and game-
into the arena, allowing the sector to move ever closer
play history. Known to be prime targets for cyber attacks
towards eventual blockchain adoption.
and data breaches, traditional gaming platforms are turning to cryptographic protection from decentralised
“ Tailored products powered by fast, automated delivery are at the forefront of customer retention ”
The opportunity to achieve
blockchain structures which can offer far more security
transparency by operating on a
than centralised systems. Without a central point to
blockchain has been invaluable to
exploit, hackers quickly find themselves struggling
the iGaming industry. Players are
flocking towards platforms that can offer them fairness - such
As demographics continue to shift, and the confines of
as full disclosure of gambling
its world open up, the iGaming industry has sought to
odds and betting results, and
embrace tech innovation. The emergence of the Millennial
reassurance that the Random
market has been a game changer, with a younger, tech-
Number Generator is operating
savvy crowd driving the trend in easy to use, experience-
within fair parameters and is not
based and personalised player-brand relationships.
subject to manipulation. FunFair comes to mind as a
It is this change in tune that has cleared a path for A.I. and blockchain controlled marketing platforms to take
prime example of a company leveraging block tech to
hold - without them, operators would struggle to retain
ensure gaming that is low-cost, secure, and transparent.
customer interaction whilst still achieving the kind of
The platform runs on Ethereum and is supported by
personalisation that is key to cracking the new kids on
innovative Fate Channel technology.
the block. Tailored products powered by fast, automated
Smart contracts have been crucial in building trust between player and operator, providing a secure transaction and reducing the need for intervention from top-level administration. Integrating fully-automated
delivery are at the forefront of customer retention. In such a competitive world, digital industries such as iGaming are expected to know what their players want, almost before they do.
digital agreements into the equation has helped base
True innovation is about reimagining the digital
the process on the valuable tenets of clarity and
environment by changing the fundamental process of
immutability. MeVu, for example, is allowing players to
how consumers interact with the product and brand
set their own odds and bet on anything. By leveraging
whilst improving their overall experience: it is this that will
smart contracts on an Ethereum blockchain immutable
help it gain greater traction amongst online players. Issue 2
Blockchain Island | 27
MARRYING FIAT & CRYPTOS 28
| Blockchain Island
THE GLOBIANCE PLATFORM COVERS EXCHANGES AND TRADING OF CRYPTO AND FIAT CURRENCIES, PAYMENT SOLUTIONS AND WORLDWIDE MONEY TRANSFERS. THE BLOCK MET UP WITH CEO, OLIVER MARCO LA ROSA AND COFOUNDER, IRINA MUDREAC, FOR AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ABOUT CREATING SYNERGY BETWEEN FIAT AND CRYPTO.
Blockchain Island | 29
â&#x20AC;&#x153; Being one of the first exchanges in Malta to operate under the transitory period has allowed us to be able to trade both fiat and cryptocurrencies â&#x20AC;?
| Blockchain Island
IN SUCH A CROWDED MARKET, HOW IS GLOBIANCE
WHAT MAKES MALTA SO ATTRACTIVE TO THE WORLD
STANDING OUT IN THE CRYPTO ECOSYSTEM? IS THERE
ROOM FOR ANOTHER CRYPTO EXCHANGE?
The digital revolution is currently under way with the global
Globiance will provide cryptocurrency exchange and
adoption of DLT; Malta has edged its way to the forefront of
financial services through one comprehensive platform.
the digital revolution, by being one of the first to regulate
Being one of the first exchanges in Malta to operate under
the transitory period has allowed us to be able to trade both fiat and cryptocurrencies. In cooperation with a banking
As opposed to most countries that have either severely
partner we enhance our offer by providing individual IBAN
restricted the use of crypto currencies or qualified them as
accounts - combined with virtual as well as physical cards
illegal, Malta has created a full legal framework regulating
that can be used worldwide.
the whole DLT economy. This will give legal certainty for businesses and individuals to operate, leaving no grey areas.
It is my opinion that there is still no perfect platform to suit everyone and I believe we are still quite far away from
WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR THE CRYPTOCURRENCY SECTOR
reaching mass adoption. In that respect, until mass adoption
TO BECOME ACCEPTED INTO THE MAINSTREAM BY
is reached and we have created enough capacity for
everyone to trade, there is still ample space for a great many more providers to enter the sphere.
As with everything new, it’s a slow process, less than 0.5% of the world’s population has bought or sold cryptocurrencies,
YOUR PLATFORM LAUNCHES IN APRIL, CAN YOU TELL US
however we can expect things to take off as regulation eases
MORE ABOUT THIS.
concern about the risks and eradicates doubts of instability.
Our team is working extremely hard to integrate all
To help mass adoption, Globiance will also sponsor recurring
additional services in time for the updated platform launch
crypto events at The Network, Paceville. It’s the first crypto-
in April. We will present the new platform with integrated
friendly bar in Malta; it accepts crypto payments and also
banking services at the upcoming summit, so until then, it’s
has a really good kitchen.
full steam ahead.
This is what gives companies like Globiance such potential
In terms of our server infrastructure we fully trust our
for scalability and sustainability – the sky’s the limit when it
global hybrid hosting provider Leaseweb, which has one
comes to future opportunities.
of the largest state-of-the-art networks in the world. It incorporates 43 points of presence and 29 Internet
WHICH MARKETS ARE YOU LOOKING TO MAKE HEADWAY
Exchanges across the globe, making sure that our users will
IN RIGHT NOW?
have worldwide fast and secure access to our platform. WHAT MAKES GLOBIANCE A CUT ABOVE THE REST?
Starting from Europe, our goal is to connect to new clients in Africa, Asia and South America. One of our partner projects, Bitfxt, a Nigerian exchange, works closely with us to improve
Firstly, we work on the highest KYC level, offering the kind of
financial inclusion for the African Continent.
quality that customers have become used to when opening bank accounts remotely. Apart from banking services, we provide payment services for sectors that are considered high risk by traditional banks, such as the gambling and tourism industries, offering
The cost of sending and receiving money in the region is extremely high. According to the World Bank, sub-Saharan Africa averages 9.4 percent money transfer costs, the highest in the world.
lower fees and higher security. We connect to our partner’s
Cryptocurrencies are therefore imperative to enable the
exchanges in order to have enough liquidity from the start.
continent to create a fully-fledged financial ecosystem from
We also offer a platform that rewards investors and traders
scratch - one that is devoid of the financial troubles of the
via cashback, rebates and discounts.
developed world and that is native to the African continent.
Blockchain Island | 31
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO IMPLEMENT YOUR BANKING SERVICES?
WHERE WILL CRYPTOCURRENCIES BE IN 10 YEARS TIME? In 10 years time nobody will be speaking about
We are stronger united - we have decided to partner up with
cryptocurrencies anymore. As early adopters fade into the
ConnectPay from Lithuania as our exclusive banking partner.
background and the novelty wears off, digital currencies
Effective immediately, we will offer individual and corporate bank
will slip into the mundane and become an everyday part of
accounts together via both Globiance and ConnectPay platforms.
our conversations. Paying with a mobile app or through a
In a time where the Crypto and Gaming industry needs strong and reliable banking, and through our partnership with ConnectPay, we are here to bank everyone. We are representing ConnectPay and will help every Crypto or Gaming company, as well as other exchanges to get banked too.
wearable device, will be just “paying” and not “paying with cryptocurrency”. Nobody today talks about paying with paper money any more. One day our vocabulary will reflect this for digital currencies too ... and THIS is when we can truly say that we have reached mass adoption. WHAT ARE THE FIRST PROJECTS YOU PLAN TO LIST ON YOUR PLATFORM? We have 5 exciting new projects, which we plan to list soon
“ Malta has edged its way to the forefront of the digital revolution, by being one of the first to regulate the industry ”
after our platform launch: 1. AQER – A.I. Quotation for Entertainment Rights is the first habitat of a larger ecosystem involving all the influencers and content creators around the world. It is a market place for vloggers and brands, as well as a set of blockchain and A.I. tools enabling content creators and content seekers to find each other and to work in a trustless and transparent way. 2. AHA Health - AHA Health is building a Universal health data exchange where an aggregated AHA Health Record (AHR) can be owned and shared by every patient in this world. AHR can
WHERE DOES THE FUTURE FOR ICOS LIE?
be accessed by Doctors anywhere and anytime to provide the right care at the right time.
There will still be ICOs in the future, but there will be less of them and they will focus on better quality projects.
3. Evedo - Evedo is a blockchain-based platform, consisting
Unfortunately there was a recent mass of ICO projects where
of B2B & B2C marketplaces. It unifies all businesses and
investors got carried away with the thrill of fundraising without
participants involved in organising events.
having anyone to steer the blockchain ship. I don’t think it is wrong to want to clean up the market, especially where pure scam projects are concerned.
4. BITFXT Nigeria’s No.1 Exchange - Blockchain to the People! Bitfxt exchange is one of the fastest growing exchanges in
We are clearly seeing a big interest in STOs right now,
Africa that supports spot trading with very low fees. Bitfxt
especially because investors want to invest in something with
offers a smart, easy-to-use, reliable and secure trading
a tangible value after having seen many hyped-up ICO bubbles
experience to users worldwide.
burst. Companies see STOs as the new method to attract
investments to the company. IPOs and traditional markets
5. TREON is transforming the $5 trillion utilities market with
still scare many investors - by wrapping up the investment
blockchain. Their blockchain service is designed to bring
opportunities in an STO, companies hope to become more
savings, transparency and ease of payment to over 1.6 billion
accessible and to make it easier to trade.
| Blockchain Island
Blockchain Island | 33
A B O U T O U R L A ST S H O W
HON. JOSEPH MUSCAT PRIME MINISTER OF MALTA
“The seed of blockchain has landed on very fertile soil. We are doing everything necessary for the seed to grow.”
HON. SILVIO SCHEMBRI
PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES, DIGITAL ECONOMY AND INNOVATION “Now we are at the epicentre of the blockchain revolution, making Malta the Blockchain Island.”
FOUNDER AT HOSHO GROUP
AI ROBOT - SINGULARITYNET
“The summit has been remarkable. This has been a true blend with the whole world meeting right in the middle, in Malta.”
“What excites me most is the ability to connect a lot of decentralised projects into a decentralised network – an ecosystem of ecosystems.”
FOUNDER OF MCAFEE “I think it was a very successful summit. The quality of the attendees and the people presenting was excellent and well organised.”
CEO & FOUNDER AT MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT, SIGMA & CANNABIZSUMMIT.WORLD “8,500 quality delegates trusted our inaugural summit last year. Join us this November and find out what Malta is doing to incentivise companies in Big Data, A.I., Blockchain, Quantum and IoT.”
M A LTA B LO C KC H A I N S U M M I T . C O M
BLOCKCHAIN INVESTORS MEET MEDICAL CANNABIS AS MACHINE LEARNING ADVANCES AND BLOCK TECH MOVES INTO THE MAINSTREAM, INDUSTRIES SUCH AS MEDICAL CANNABIS ARE TUNING IN TO THE REVOLUTIONARY APPLICATIONS OF THESE EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES. THEIR POTENTIAL TO OPEN DOORS TO IMPROVED BUSINESS PRACTICES AND HIGHER QUALITY PRODUCTS IS VAST.
| Blockchain Island
n increasing number of companies
quality expected from a pharmaceutical
A.I. can also be used to more accurately
are turning to blockchain and
product. It can also guarantee peace of mind
match users of medical cannabis to the
A.I. technology to establish and
that the cannabis has been verified by the
best strain for their needs, and this more
advance their business. Despite more and
lab producing it, that the production is in-line
personalised approach to treating ailments is
more countries catching on to the benefits
with regulation, and that the strain being
likely to revolutionise the medical marijuana
of cannabis for medicinal use, traditional
sold is what it says on the label. This kind of
industry, especially when paired with A.I.-
players in the field, such as banks, are often
security is essential for a product still facing a
based DNA sequencing.
quick to snub businesses operating in this
somewhat uphill battle in the PR department.
sphere, and companies are finding them increasingly unwilling to carry the regulatory burdens. Industries such as the medical cannabis sector, which is prone to facing greater legislative scrutiny than average, has found the applications of emerging technologies to be the perfect balm to soothe fractious minds.
It is especially valuable for those who would
has already given the industry his seal
like to stamp out illegal, black-market trade.
of approval. Following the launch of The
Roping in block tech makes sure that every
Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and
link in the supply chain is above board
Research Purposes Act in 2018, and a
and that it is easy to share information
government decision to allow the large-scale
– its immutable, transparent and auditable nature
through alternative payment platforms.
ensures a product built
German start-up, MedPayRx, is one
applications of blockchain to healthcare. The company is offering a digital prescription service that bills products, such as medical cannabis, in the form of cryptocurrency. It also runs an open source platform to facilitate fast and cheap transactions, whilst maintaining a centralised, secure record of prescriptions and patient records.
cultivation of cannabis
One solution hoping to remedy this comes
such company to take advantage of the
Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat,
The technology will also come into play for researchers and clinicians. The global market for clinical trials and for medical
“ Seed-tosale tracking is ensuring that nothing less than top quality reaches the consumer ”
cannabis has seen a massive boost as countries such as Malta move to regulate the space. With a steady
plants, the island has fielded significant interest from policy makers and investors looking to set up shop on the island. In March of last year, Malta Enterprise approved five projects with a total investment value of €30 million, which will create nearly 200 new jobs. They have also issued letters
of intent to ten companies seeking approval from the Malta Medicines Authority to begin production of medical cannabis in Malta.
Aside from providing digital banking
flow of new products hitting the shelves, the
services, blockchain can transform the
process of ensuring that new combinations
This meshing of industry is a driving force
medical cannabis industry in other ways
of cannabinoids are safe and effective
behind the decision to hold the Malta
too. Companies like Paragon are using the
becomes of paramount importance. Issues
Cannabiz Summit World back-to-back
technology to revolutionise the way the
with securing the integrity of data, as well as
with the Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit in
entire system of manufacturing works,
increasing patient enrolment can be tackled
November. The week is dedicated to bringing
by providing greater provenance and
easily through blockchain ledgers.
even more value to investors by providing
assurances for customers. From monitoring the growth of the plant to shipping the final product, seed-to-sale tracking is ensuring that nothing less than top quality reaches the consumer.
There are also interesting examples of machine learning being used to predict product cost, refine the growing process and measure crop yield. Motorleaf have done
them with a chance to explore the huge potential these sectors have to offer as they flourish beneath a forward-looking legislative framework.
interesting work using algorithms to track
The Malta Cannabiz Summit World will take
Reviewing each phase of the supply chain
the growth rate of plants more accurately,
place on the 4th and 5th of November, just
through a blockchain enables the end user
taking thousands of measurements each
one day apart from the winter edition of the
or buyer to verify the plant has been grown
day. This is critical for maintaining a
Malta A.I. and Blockchain Summit which will
or shipped in conditions conducive to the
be held on the 7th and 8th.
Blockchain Island | 37
BUILDING BRIDGES BÉATRICE COLLET, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT THE CHILIZ BLOCKCHAIN CAMPUS SPEAKS TO BLOCK MAGAZINE ABOUT HOW FORGING SOLID RELATIONSHIPS CAN ENGENDER INNOVATION.
éatrice Collet knows that when it comes to
cryptocurrency strategies. Many more partnerships will
innovation and success, collaboration is the way
be announced before the launch of the platform.
forward. She is currently spearheading the chiliz
Blockchain Campus, an initiative that she describes as a bridge in the blockchain ecosystem. The chiliz-owned project is leading the way in blockchain entrepreneurship, creating a one-stop-shop for some of the sphere’s biggest stakeholders to converge in this industry hive.
community. And as she says, “it’s a shame for everyone to be working in their own little corner of Malta.” The chiliz launch pad is a high-rise, with the Campus itself spanning four floors of the building. The auditorium, which has full live-stream facilities, provides ample space for companies
“The idea was about creating an epicentre, where all
to develop networking opportunities and organise
the blockchain community in Malta could be in the
blockchain events, such as business breakfasts, and for
same place, to help each other out. Nevertheless,
ICOs to pitch to investors or crypto exchanges.
we are really promoting diversity, with a vision that includes mining companies, protocols, exchanges, ICOs, investors and media partners.” Owner Alexandre Dreyfus has been a major force in building this hub, leveraging his close relationship with major players in the industry, such as Binance and OKEx, to direct talent to the Blockchain Island.
“It’s quite diverse in what it can offer, and a great opportunity to pitch Malta as a place to do business.” There are also small home comforts, such as dining and networking areas and kitchenettes on each floor. The common areas create an environment that is conducive to developing new relationships, “If you are an ICO and your neighbour at the next table is an investor, you can
To date, chiliz is the biggest ICO that Malta has seen,
have lunch together and discuss potential investment
raising $66m through private placement in 2018.
into the ICO.”
Towards the end of the second quarter, they will launch a tokenised voting platform for sports teams - Socios.com – that is powered by their own digital currency, $CHZ.
As Béatrice explains, it’s nice to have a feeling of
The Mentorship program is also underway, and while the project hasn’t started yet Béatrice tells me they have already handpicked a few mentors. For now though,
Socios.com have some rather big names under their
the project remains on standby, due to difficulties in
belt, having partnered with football clubs, Paris
sourcing funding for ICOs. “It’s getting tougher and
Saint-Germain and Juventus in 2018, some of the first
tougher for ICOs to get funding, and we don’t have the
football clubs in the world to announce long-term
capacity to fund every single project.”
| Blockchain Island
Describing themselves as the gateway between Asia and Europe, I ask if they’re looking to explore any new markets, especially considering the favourable tax incentives for blockchain countries such as France have been pushing. “It’s true we have a big Asian flavour these days, with companies like Binance and Tron, nevertheless we are open to the idea of diversifying. We have signed some partnership agreements with similar incubators from around the world, such as Chain Accelerator in Paris, Bit Temple in Singapore or Full Node in Germany, where you have very good start-up ambassadors and entrepreneurs. We are also looking at Latin America and Africa and possibly Silicon Valley. These kinds of collaboration agreements mean that tenants that we have here can go and work with other incubators when they travel. And vice versa of course, it’s a two way street. There are a lot of existing projects and a growing number of places where you can purchase Bitcoin. I would
“ It’s quite diverse in what it can offer, and a great opportunity to pitch Malta as a place to do business ”
say mass commercialisation is spreading. Malta may be a small island but at the end of the day we are building global apps, so it makes no difference where you are based in the world.” And how is Malta doing since the legislation on blockchain and DLT came out in early November? “To my knowledge there is no VFA agent that has been appointed yet, and they are crucial in getting the
licences for Crypto Exchanges, for banks based on the blockchain or whichever projects are currently waiting to be licensed. So hopefully if the MFSA is responsive enough and everything goes smoothly - Malta will be guaranteed a reputation for efficient legislation on blockchain.” That reputation is one Béatrice believes the chiliz Blockchain Campus will also come to hold. She hopes it will be seen as a destination, a place where all actors of the blockchain can gather and share ideas. This is a place that has the potential to forge lasting connections around the world.
Blockchain Island | 39
A NO BRAINER BY KATY MICALLEF, HEAD OF CONTENT AT THE MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT
| Blockchain Island
AS A.I. CONTINUES ITS DIZZYING ADVANCES THE PROBABILITY OF TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY EDGES EVER CLOSE TO THE HORIZON. WILL THIS BE OUR WATERLOO?
e stand on the precipice of a technological revolution
opportunities of advanced machine intelligence, including A.I.-driven
that is set to alter the very fabric of our digital world.
automation - opportunities that are tinged with both peril and value.
Change has been tugging on the threads of society for
some time now and it is impossible not to feel the deep impact of this intelligence rebirth as it beats the rhythm of a not too distant industrial revolution – sounding reverberations that are both triumphant and cautionary. We must steady ourselves for its impact, for these are also the drums of war. Mankind finds itself facing a fast-paced renaissance of technological creativity and discovery without precedent; this is a chapter in history for which we must find a natural balance between prudence and freedom. Embracing innovation without the burden of fear has always been a cautionary tale.
the hope is for intelligent machines to refine that metamorphosis, building on the best of humanity and elevating it beyond its limitations. From governance to security and from education to research, the vast scale of this evolution is far-reaching and radical in the transformation of its applications. Its ability to connect nations with information has given rise to a truly powerful age of information. This digital age has bequeathed us an abundance of data. A population bursting at its seams and the rise of globalisation has enabled us to generate vast quantities of
come. For some the temptation of power has already been too easy to resist, leaving them knee-deep in trouble as they attempt to wade the murky waters of technology as a tool to curb liberty and engender social compliance. We can at least acknowledge that even if we do pick the less perfect path, that these decisions have been difficult, that we have battled with our conscience and felt some pangs over our choices, as a quest for evolutionary survival propels us towards our desires. Our decisions have been our own. The question is - will they continue to be so? Should machines gain super intelligence, any deviation in roads
Human intervention in our natural ecosystem has thus far ensured our survival, as messy as that may be. Optimistically
The way we navigate this boon will define humanity for years to
travelled could well be our undoing.
“ Our decisions have been our own. The question is - will they continue to be so? ”
data - a tantalising food source for an intelligence system that feeds off knowledge. How we evaluate and generate this digital information will be transformational to the way technology evolves. The advances in software development show rapidly improving machine learning algorithms; the promise of software that can learn by example is immense. It took AlphaGo Zero just three days to train itself through self-play, beating the world’s top player at the strategy game Go and releasing itself from the limitations of human knowledge. It is
There is no such indication that A.I.motivated values would align with our own: when it comes down to it, will A.I.driven singularity chose their own survival or ours? There is nothing to suggest that they would prioritise our interests above their own, and if our own human example is anything to go by, we should indeed consider this an existential threat to our species. According to blogger and author Sam Harris, we could become little more
than ants underfoot – inconsequential but ultimately disposable if we get in their way. It is chilling to think that one day machines could treat us with similar disregard. In truth though, there are shafts of light amongst the shadows. A.I. projects should inspire hope too. Take Google’s DeepMind, a machine learning research project which has, amongst other things, opened up new avenues in the way we address climate change and energy use.
undeniable, however, that they still require millions of examples for any
Technology-triggered evolution in machines has forced us to
real learning to occur; humans are still much faster and more efficient
consider a future that just a few generations ago seemed so out
at picking up new tasks. It is important to remember that computing
of reach. Whether the hype surrounding it is merited or not is
power alone is not intelligence. Without organisation and interaction,
irrespective – it would be naive to ignore the concerns it raises.
no process can hope to replicate human brain circuitry.
And while it is unclear how far along the road to singularity we are,
Such fast evolving intelligence may eventually outpace even the best
the question of who we want to be as a species has never been more
human brain, something many consider a milestone along a trajectory
pertinent. The only thing we can be certain of is that ready or not,
that will almost inevitably lead to singularity. It brings with it all the
change is upon us.
Blockchain Island | 41
HATS OFF MARCO MOTTANA AND FABRIZIO CRIMI ARE THE CO-FOUNDERS OF CFXF.IO. WITH AN INITIAL STO IN JUNE 2019 AND THE LAUNCH OF THE FIRST SENTIMENT INDICATOR ON BLOCKCHAIN FOR THE INVESTMENT MARKET, CFX SPOKE WITH JULIAN MOORE TO OUTLINE THE COMPANY’S GIANT STRIDES TOWARDS GLOBAL SUCCESS.
HOW IS THE CFX TRADING SYSTEM DIFFERENT TO OTHER
experience and a clear understanding of how existing analysis and
SYSTEMS AVAILABLE IN THE SECTOR?
quant solutions needed updating with the latest technology available.
There are various systems out there, but CFX intends to be the first to
The system is based on technical analysis, quantitative analysis,
provide technical analysis and quantitative finance using A.I. This will
and Artificial Intelligence, allowing for superior returns on money
create a system that combines data from the global community to
management, in terms of risk/reward ratio. It has taken more than
select the most relevant and qualified sentiment and insights, based
two years to develop.
around a core principle of “less risk, more profits”. WHAT KIND OF CUSTOMER / CLIENT ARE YOU CATERING FOR WITH THE CFX TRADING SYSTEM? The trading systems are already available to our partners and we are also leasing them to new customers. Since we’re a software house, a fintech company, we deal with institutional investors who want to use our technology products to manage their own liquidity or to create products for their customers. For example we have recently agreed a deal with Tier1FX in Malta, a broker who will be using our HATS technology for their private customers. Private customers can benefit from our software through those institutions with whom we have agreements in place, unless they qualify as professional investors or family offices. Our B2B customers lease the software on a performance basis, so they only pay for positive results.
“ The system is based on technical analysis, quantitative analysis, and Artificial Intelligence, allowing for superior returns on money management ”
The key triumph for us was being able to test the system on real markets and create demonstrable results - these can be seen on our website: www.cfxadvanced.com. As a result, institutions are now searching us out to find out more. HOW DOES THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW CFX TOKEN RELATE TO THE TRADING SYSTEM? The CFX Token will allow improvements in the system by adding
HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN IN DEVELOPMENT AND WHAT HAVE BEEN THE KEY TRIUMPHS IN CREATING THE SYSTEM?
software tools, creating a new global platform, investing in the
The CFX team has been in the financial sector for over thirty years, so
global impact and improve the overall system), and creating the
HATS (Highly Advanced Trading System) was born out of long-term
marketing to go global.
| Blockchain Island
development of the Disruptive Sentiment Index (that will have a
The CFX Token is a security token that will offer a percentage of
WHICH TERRITORIES ARE YOU LAUNCHING THE TOKEN IN? AND
dividends from CFX profits. So performance fees received from
WILL THE SENTIMENT INDICATOR BE LAUNCHED WORLDWIDE?
institutions will fund a reward scheme for token holders making them virtual shareholders in the company, although currently without voting rights. But more than anything else we want to create a global network producing new investment concepts that can be tokenised, and we want everyone to have one of our products in their wallet. WHEN IS THE STO, AND WHAT WILL THAT MEAN FOR THE ROLLOUT OF CFX TRADING SYSTEM? The trading systems are already available to our partners in the market and we are also selling them to new customers. The STO will be an accelerator for this growth. We plan to be in STO by June, but this depends on the MFSA issuing new regulations
CFX Token will be launched in Malta, paving the way for uptake throughout Europe. Following European markets we will be making the product available to institutions in the USA and Asia.
“ The CFX Token is a security token that will offer a percentage of dividends from CFX profits ”
specific to STO tokens. Currently we are dealing with institutional investors in a private sale capacity. WHAT IS THE SENTIMENT INDICATOR AND WHY IS IT UNIQUE? The Sentiment Index is the only such system using real sentiment
IN WHAT WAYS DOES THE FUND SET UP BY CFX HELP POOR PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD? The SURF Fund aims to offer peer-to-peer lending across the world so that the poor can raise money to invest and get a continuous stream of profits with the benefit of the HATS system. The capital will not be available to the fund recipients, so the lending companies will be guaranteed by CFX. Even small results can change the life of thousands.
HOW WOULD YOU SAY MALTA IS DOING IN TERMS OF REGULATION FOR THE BLOCKCHAIN AND A.I. INDUSTRIES? WHAT’S YOUR OPINION OF THE BILLS LAUNCHED AT THE MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT IN 2018?
sourced from individuals - it’s not just a number on a screen. Using
Malta has anticipated a global trend that is gaining momentum across
a mobile app combined with A.I. technologies we can measure true
the world, so we think the Blockchain Island will quickly establish
sentiment and public opinion in real time for markets around the world.
itself as the best location to set up a crypto asset company. They are
The data will then will be published on blockchain in real time to avoid
working with professionals like Steve Tendon, one of our technology
manipulation and to build trust through transparency. The Index will
board members, and we have nothing but praise for the government
improve the overall result of our systems and can be sold separately.
and the pioneers of this new direction for Malta.
Blockchain Island | 43
DELIVERABLE BITCOIN EXCHANGE PLATFORM PLATFORM FOR INSTITUTIONAL BUYERS AND SELLERS BITCOIN LIQUIDITY UPTO â&#x201A;¬5M WORTH DAILY PAYMENT GATEWAY TO ACCEPT BITCOIN PAYMENTS
LEADING THE WAY JOVAN GAVRILOVIC IS THE GENERAL MANAGER AT OKCOIN - A DIGITAL ASSETS TRADING PLATFORM. JOVAN OUTLINES HOW MALTA EVOLVED INTO A MATURE AND EFFECTIVE JURISDICTION FOR OTHER EUROPEAN NATIONS TO FOLLOW.
Blockchain Island | 45
In late 2018, Malta made history by becoming the first country to regulate the digital asset and blockchain industry. The new bills, which went
into effect on November 1st, were designed to grow the country’s economy while protecting consumers with appropriate government oversight. I’ve personally had the privilege of getting to know Malta’s blossoming blockchain community. It’s arguably one of the most energising innovation hubs in Europe, mostly thanks to the forward-thinking approach taken by its governing authorities. Historically, some parts of the crypto market have resisted regulation, and governments around the globe are still struggling to understand and keep up with the relatively new, quickly evolving decentralised landscape. By taking the lead, the Maltese government has provided a model that the rest of Europe would do well to follow, even if it’s not a pointby-point adaptation. WELCOME TO BLOCKCHAIN ISLAND Malta’s digital asset and blockchain regulatory laws are comprised of three components: the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA), Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA), and Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services (ITAS) Act. The VFAA outlines conditions that must be met by new cryptocurrencies launching in Malta, ensuring that any companies preparing ICOs must have proper documents that lay out the company’s future roadmap. This act also refers to ICO-issued tokens as virtual assets.
| Blockchain Island
“ Now that Malta has taken initiative and secured its place as a blockchain haven, it’s time for the rest of the continent to follow its lead ”
As summarised by Aberdeen, an intent-based
themselves. “If we think about an issuance of an
marketing and sales solutions company, the
ICO, operators typically present a white paper
Malta Digital Innovation Authority “has been
with the ICO details. While other jurisdictions are
vested with statutory rights and responsibilities
looking at the white paper to see if it’s certified,
of regulating the overall blockchain sector in the
it’s the technology behind that white paper that
country. Its function has the highest authority
implements what is written,” Malta’s Junior Minister
and is the ultimate decision maker, as far the
for Financial Services, Digital Economy, and
country’s cryptocurrency and blockchain activities
Innovation, Silvio Schembri said.
are concerned.” In other words, this is the group responsible for formulating guidelines, which blockchain companies are required by law to follow.
The government’s attitude towards and comments about cryptocurrency make it clear that Malta wants to encourage the industry, not stifle it, as some
Then there’s the ITAS Act, which defines all terms
detractors feared. Its Prime Minister even called it
related to blockchain, digital assets, and distributed
“the inevitable future of money.”
ledger technology. This will help with setting up exchanges in the marketplace and making sure they’re compliant with Malta’s new bills. INNOVATION THROUGH REGULATION
WHY THE REST OF EUROPE SHOULD FOLLOW SUIT Now that Malta has taken the initiative and secured its place as a blockchain haven, it’s time for the rest of the continent to follow its lead. As investors move
Old-school blockchain supporters might balk at the
throughout the EU and companies expand their
idea of the technology being so strictly regulated,
reaches, they should be protected by the same rules
but these laws are actually designed to encourage
innovation in the industry, not stifle it. Through regulations, digital assets have become a legitimate, government-recognised form of currency. As Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told Forbes last year, “I think that blockchain technology, DLT, and cryptocurrency are where innovation is happening right now and we are very glad that Malta can offer the first jurisdiction in the world to regulate this sector.”
It is also in Europe’s economic best interest to embrace the digital asset industry with consistent and robust regulations. Several months after the announcement of the Malta bills, investors flocked to the island in droves for a massive Malta Blockchain Summit, where I had the pleasure of sharing my insights about this rapidly developing ecosystem. From my conversations with industry professionals
Without guidelines in place, people on both sides
and entrepreneurs, it is evident that more companies
of crypto exchanges can be put at unnecessary
are making their homes in Malta, which means more
risk. ICOs, in particular, carry a huge risk factor; as
job opportunities for the local community. Not bad for
pointed out by Hackernoon, as of November 2018,
a country estimated to have fewer than half a million
more than 50% of ICOs stopped operating within
residents! For us at OKCoin, we are witnessing the
four months of launch. Some countries even banned
enthusiasm and commitment to foster a productive
initial coin offerings outright, while security token
and inspiring ecosystem, aimed to bring Malta to the
offerings have emerged as a safer alternative,
forefront of global innovation.
although still largely unregulated.
Malta has shown the world that clearly defined
Instead of simply shutting down ICOs, however,
regulations can help increase awareness and
Malta has found a way to legitimise them while
legitimacy of the crypto industry. If nearby countries
ensuring that they follow common-sense guidelines
decide to take similar measures, it will go a long way
to protect all parties. Its innovative approach looks
towards fulfilling Malta’s prediction about the future
at the technology behind white papers typically
of digital assets. We at OKCoin will be watching
submitted, rather than focusing on the papers
closely with great anticipation.
Blockchain Island | 47
JULIET ADELSTEIN IS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER AT G8C. SHE SPEAKS TO KATY MICALLEF TO SHED SOME LIGHT ON THE FAST-PACED EVOLUTION OF THE BLOCKCHAIN SPACE AS IT COLLIDES WITH THE ONLINE GAMING WORLD.
THIS IS THE FIRST VIRTUAL FINANCIAL ASSET
I personally find invigorating – it’s a very open
PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN MALTA AND JAPAN,
community, no one is trying to keep their
WHAT MADE MALTA SUCH AN ATTRACTIVE
knowledge to themselves. The more we help
CHOICE WHEN IT CAME TO CHOOSING A
each other out, the more the entire industry
COUNTRY TO ESTABLISH YOUR PROJECT?
grows and the more everyone gets out of this
To be completely honest with you it was an
experience. This is something I think we could only have found in Malta.
absolute no brainer for Ganapati, everyone was in agreement from the very first moment – Malta
THE G8C TOKEN BRINGS AN ENTIRELY NEW
is the place for us.
APPROACH TO ONLINE GAMING. HOW WILL THE ONLINE GAMING SPHERE EVOLVE AS
Of course, we were already established in
IT COLLIDES WITH THIS DISRUPTIVE NEW
Malta; we’ve got our gaming licence and offices
here, and have built some very important
connections and relationships. That aside, it was
It’s very important for the gaming industry to
the direction that Malta was going in, rewarding
stay on top of what the players want. We do a
people who are trying to bring something
lot of research into that, especially because
different to the island, and the feeling that
we have operations in both Asia and Europe,
the entire island is moving in this very fast,
and they are two completely different markets.
forward-moving direction towards trying to do
As we make one product for both markets, it’s
something new around the blockchain space.
important for us to find similarities between
We found it a very collaborative experience from
them. One problem that kept coming up across
the very beginning.
the board with casino users was this idea of
Many of the ideas our products are based
no matter how many times everyone in the
around have changed and been adapted
industry told themselves that things were
the more we speak to the whole blockchain
regulated and that there were strict policies, the
community, particularly in Malta. That’s what
players themselves didn’t believe it.
| Blockchain Island
trust – or lack thereof, and it just seemed that
Blockchain Island | 49
The solution was transparency – which led us to blockchain. The opportunities and advantages that blockchain provides, not just to the players, but to the operators, platforms, aggregators and game developers like us, are endless. We’re looking into things like having an offline playing function, zero transaction fees, automatic withdrawals – all of this on top of providing full transparency to our players. These are things that until blockchain existed weren’t really a possibility. With blockchain, not only does a brand-new platform emerge, but so does this new idea of having a token you can use directly on your online casino – linking a virtual financial asset to the blockchain platform through a very seamless system and rhythm. What emerges is a complete package of a token and blockchain platform made specifically for online casinos. And the more we all move in this direction, the more advantages for both the iGaming and blockchain industries. The iGaming industry is incredibly forwardthinking, so there are going to be things that we start realising that other people in the blockchain sphere haven’t yet, and vice versa. I think the two industries are going to begin balancing each other out and pushing each other further and further up.
| Blockchain Island
THE TOKEN DESCRIBES ITSELF AS A NEW FORM OF
Does simply changing the letters of an abbreviation
STABLECOIN, A FIRST FOR THE IGAMING INDUSTRY
around really solve the problem? Personally, I don’t
– IS MORE MAINSTREAM ADOPTION ON THE CARDS
think so. In that sense, there are going to be STOs
DO YOU THINK?
that don’t provide the security that they’re claiming
Without a question of a doubt, I believe that’s the direction things are going in. We’re talking about decentralised systems where what was previously the status quo no longer has to be. Who is to say that in this new direction we’re moving in, a virtual financial asset can only be stabilised to a fiat or other currency? Specifically as Ganapati and G8C, with so many contracts with operators and platforms around the world, we have some understanding of how many players will potentially be using our G8C token, so we are stabilising our token to players and their future bets: one G8C will always equal
“ The more we help each other out, the more the entire industry grows and the more everyone gets out of this experience. This is something I think we could only have found in Malta ”
one minimum bet. I think the idea that you can peg a token’s value to something other than a fiat
to. People are going to run into problems, exactly the same problems that they did with ICOs. The further we go down the track, however, the more we start to see what doesn’t work. What this has meant is that the people out there launching ICOs or STOs are having to prove themselves a lot more now, they are having to show that they’re legitimate and that they have a real product, and to provide constant reassurances to their investors. Mistakes from the past have meant we’re now coming into a really exciting era – what remains are the teams who truly have something special and are bringing something to the table that has the potential to change the world. IS THERE ANYTHING NEW IN THE PIPELINE THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH BLOCK MAGAZINE?
or financial asset will definitely
G8C is currently in the middle of a world tour, taking
start to emerge more in the
our concept to different markets, sharing ideas and
future when considering what
meeting different people in the industry. We’re already
constitutes a stablecoin. There
finding that the focus and direction is quite different
are countless other factors in
everywhere we go. Just the experiences and the
life which are stable and that a
variety of people we are being exposed to by going
token’s value could theoretically
on this extensive tour are really exciting. Whilst our
be stabilised to – this is a really
base plan for what G8C looks like is decided and won’t
intriguing concept to us.
change, there’s inspiration we’re picking up from
ARE TOKENS CONNECTED TO ICOS LIMITED IN THE VALUE THEY CAN OFFER INVESTORS -
everywhere we are going, that we continue to add to the mix, so that is something extremely exciting for G8C this year.
WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON THE
We have recently attended blockchain events in
RECENT SHIFT TO STOS?
Turkey, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Manila,
As far as G8C is concerned, we agree entirely that there was a considerable amount wrong with the ICO “concept” up until now, so we personally refer to ourselves as an “anti-ICO”. We firmly believe that launching a token simply to watch the value be traded rather than the token having any actual use is nonsensical. That being said, the overall feeling across the board at G8C was that while things weren’t going in quite the right direction, it wasn’t far off and
and coming up we have the Malta A.I. and Blockchain Summit in May, which we’re obviously very excited about. We were present there in November, but we weren’t the G8C that we are today and of course looking at what the AIBC Summit will be like in May, the AIBC Summit then wasn’t what it is today either. We’ve gone through a very similar growth rate in a very similar time frame, so it’s going to be fun to continue to embark on that journey together.
shouldn’t be given up on yet.
Blockchain Island | 51
COMING FULL CIRCLE BY TABATA MUSSONE
TABATA MUSSONE IS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT MALTA A.I. AND BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT, AS WELL AS CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF NOWHEREPLASTIK, A NON-PROFIT CRYPTO-FRIENDLY REVERSE VENDING COMPANY THAT ALSO 3D PRINTS NEW PRODUCTS OUT OF RECYCLED PLASTIC.
| Blockchain Island
n 2019, plastic waste represents one
Blockchain offers a decentralised way to
potentially adding speed. Based on a
of the main pollution sources on the
record digital moments and is designed to be
single network distributed among the
planet, and one of its most widespread
secure, transparent, robust and auditable.
various stakeholders involved, it will
and invasive forms at that. Islands of plastic
By doing so, it enables frictionless and
decrease the costs associated with the
waste are floating in our seas, some of
collaborative ways to connect the whole
need for multiple solutions which enable
which exceed 6,000 times the size of Malta.
supply chain involved in the production cycle.
IoT devices to communicate.
It is estimated that by 2050, oceans will
Nowadays, IoT devices are segregated in their
contain more plastic waste than fish. Every
own operating system and network, creating
year the amount of plastic we dispose of
undesired but unavoidable bottlenecks. The
exceeds the weight of the entire human
cycle is initiated from the hardware which
species. As such, it’s urgent to rethink the
triggers data through attached sensors; the
current economic model, which is based on
information gathered is transmitted over
excessive exploitation of natural resources
their network to the hub where integration
only to maximise profits without considering
and consolidation of data take place. The
Indeed, the application of blockchain technology and IoT devices would seem to be an excellent answer to these issues: • With the use of blockchain technology it is possible to ensure the continuity and accessibility of relevant information within the supply chain, inherent to all stakeholders
environmental and social damage.
hub formats the data to be pragmatically
Plastic pollution is just one example of
to take action. The complexity comes when
the many scenarios where blockchain
distinctive data formats come together from
technology can play a role to efficiently
different devices resulting in vast gaps of
• The function of IoT devices is to capture
transition towards a circular economy -
compatibility. Various blockchains eliminate
and transfer data and information from the
namely a regenerative economic system
those gaps by maintaining a constant
entire supply chain.
that reuses materials in subsequent
communication bridge for data that relays
productive cycles to regenerate value from
information between every substantial part of
waste. Adopting blockchain technology to
the supply chain.
visualised and derive insights for us humans
implement a circular approach to review each and every phase of the supply chain is crucial to reuse waste in the most efficient
involved, which ensures greater transparency compared to the classic supply chain model;
We find applications of these technologies already exist in a variety of sectors such as food, where there is a greater need for
“ With blockchain technology humanity has a great chance to make a vital difference in this world ”
way, minimising energy consumption while generating the maximum
transparency and trust, or in fair trade commerce, where it is essential to track each product back to its source. The potential for
The aggregated data, being intrinsically
the application of these technologies
diverse, is nonetheless merged in order to
becoming integral to the supply chain is
reach optimal outputs by means of constant
the attention on promoting both local and
promising, but to date, it has been difficult
sequential learning. Decentralised and
to overcome some critical issues to achieve
distributed solutions add extensive features
the desired outcome.
amount of value. Doing so can slash negative environmental impact, focusing
A supply chain is the sum of the processes and resources required to make and deliver a product to the consumer. In recent years, supply chains have reached a level of complexity and cost that puts data aggregators in great difficulty when managing complex data flowing from an increasing number of devices. This spiking
that enhance any complex supply chain with transparency, elasticity and undeniable trust.
On the one hand, the blockchain may have
Information gathered should be available and
some limitations regarding scalability and
visible to every stakeholder by maintaining
performance, while on the other, IoT devices
a consensus agreed upon at the start to
need to be more resilient and secure.
establish trust. This solution should empower the collaborators to take rapid actions to pivot in fast-changing environments.
With blockchain technology humanity has a great chance to make a vital difference in this world but first we need
activity creates critical issues regarding
Blockchain technology permits not only
to better understand the technologies and
transparency, coordination, and the sharing
a seamless data flow but also drastically
functionalities to then apply it to worthy
of information amongst stakeholders.
reduces the associated costs while
causes in a responsible way.
Blockchain Island | 53
EXPERTISE AND THE POWER OF TOKENISATION E&S GROUP IS A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY LEGAL ADVISORY THAT ASSISTS A PORTFOLIO OF INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS INCLUDING BOTH INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES ACROSS VARIOUS ENTERPRISES FROM SEVERAL INDUSTRIES. HERE DR MARIELLA BALDACCHINO, E&S GROUP DIRECTOR, WRITES ABOUT THE TRANSFORMING DIGITAL LANDSCAPE.
he digital economy is taking shape and
during this time we have amassed valuable knowledge and
transforming the way businesses are structured
experience in the field. Today, our client portfolio has over
and operate, how enterprises interact, how services
150 blockchain and crypto related companies, including
are delivered to customers, as well as the way information
top five exchanges. The areas we currently specialise in
and goods are shared. The implementation of emerging
are blockchain and crypto advisory, legal, tokenomics
disruptive technologies is obligatory for business success
and Security Token Offerings (STOs). We also assist
and competition in the global dynamic market.
clients on matters related to crypto exchanges, including Professional Investor Funds (PIFs) in crypto assets,
Digital assets are taking the place of traditional ones
personal and corporate tax advisory related to acquisitions
while functioning like commodities. However, some of
and disposals of crypto currencies and crypto assets, as
them are also able to facilitate financial transactions, data
well as licensed trust and escrow arrangements related to
exchange and storage, as well as to disrupt and transform
cryptocurrency OTC trading.
various economies with the tokenisation of services. The companies and industries who do not keep up with
We advise our clients through every stage of ICO and STO
blockchain technology could possibly face declining sales
development, including generation of ideas, timing, market
and even falling market share.
research, registration, issuing of tokens and launching the campaign. We provide legal assistance from the concept
The concept of tokenisation is not revolutionary and has
stage to the actual offering to ensure that all your offering
been around for centuries. Fiat currencies, for instance,
documents and materials are compliant with the Maltese
may be considered as tokens since they are not backed
DLT Regulatory framework.
by precious metals, instead they serve as a means of exchange and represent a certain value that society has
We are constantly building partnerships with financial
agreed on. Nevertheless, digital tokenisation entered
institutions which are open to blockchain and crypto
global markets with blockchain technology and has since
businesses in order to provide smarter and more efficient
given an opportunity to change the process of real-life
Malta has become an attractive jurisdiction for digital
The tokenisation of services and crowdfunding campaigns based on the digital coinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; offering are new instruments of business development, and the representation of the interpleural spirit of modernity.
companies and start-ups since the complete DLT Regulatory Framework came into force. During the last two months, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) received more than 600 applications from individuals, project teams and service providers. Our expertise in token
Back in February 2017, we expanded into offering
utilisation, allocation, distribution, and supply and demand
blockchain and cryptocurrency-related services, and
make E&S Group the obvious choice.
| Blockchain Island
â&#x20AC;&#x153; Malta has become an attractive jurisdiction since the complete DLT Regulatory Framework came into force â&#x20AC;?
Blockchain Island | 55
BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE 56
| Blockchain Island
THE BLOCKCHAIN ISLAND TOOK A COMPREHENSIVE REGULATORY APPROACH BACK IN 2018, LEADING THE WAY IN AN INNOVATIVE AND ELUSIVE INDUSTRY. CHRISTOPHER ATTARD SAT DOWN WITH DR. JOSEPH F BORG, PARTNER AT WH PARTNERS, TO DELVE INTO MALTA’S APPROACH FOR LEGAL CERTAINTY AND THE BLOCKCHAIN INDUSTRY MORE BROADLY. WHY DID MALTA GO ALL IN ON BLOCKCHAIN? Malta was always at the forefront of
wanted to be the first European member state that gets into new industries before
innovation. We saw this in 2004 when it
everyone else. Similarly, the government saw
ventured into the iGaming sector which at
potential for blockchain and was the first to
the time was pushing the envelope in this
react. However, we’re still in the early stages
regard. It’s understandable that Malta, being
despite the price-fuelled hype in 2017 and
the flexible and dynamic country that it is,
Indeed, the exuberance of 2018 will
jurisdictions still need to adapt their
WHY SHOULD ONE CHOOSE MALTA AS
materialise in organic growth over the
laws to cater for STOs. Given all this,
THE JURISDICTION FROM WHICH TO
next few years. Like everything else,
it’s a bit of a gamble to do an STO at the
OPERATE ITS BLOCKCHAIN BUSINESS?
there’s a hype right at the start followed
moment. But certainly, the shift will
by a crash. But in the long-term, I see
probably happen in the future.
projects slowly inching towards a
I always say that regulation is a necessary evil. Malta is clearly ahead of
LET’S SHIFT GEARS TO PRIVACY-
its time, but in the long-term it could be
COINS. DO YOU EXPECT CURRENCIES
a plus. If you compare Malta’s framework
LIKE MONERO AND ZCASH TO BECOME
to others in Europe, you’ll realise that
succeed will radically change things.
BLACKLISTED BY GOVERNMENTS?
it’s quite tough compared to Estonia
SOUNDS LIKE THE DOT.COM BUBBLE
Privacy coins are seen as a threat to
convinced that we’re going to have
ALL OVER AGAIN. BUILDING ON THIS
law and order. I sympathise with Bitcoin
regulation toughening up everywhere in
LAST POINT, WHICH SECTORS WILL BE
fundamentalists that truly believe all
a couple of years.
MOSTLY DISRUPTED BY BLOCKCHAIN IN
transactions should be anonymous
and governments should not interfere.
Meanwhile, the Maltese framework
structured, organised evolution rather than a ‘revolution’. Needless to say, a lot of projects will fail but the ones that
and other jurisdictions. That said, I’m
However, we all know that reality speaks
could serve as an example for other
We briefly mentioned iGaming initially,
to the contrary, as you cannot allow
jurisdictions. We’re expecting regulation
and to my mind this industry will be
money launderers to make use of crypto
at ESMA level (European Securities and
significantly disrupted since blockchain
and circumvent the national order.
Markets Authority) – once that happens
brings a number of advantages to
then all EU countries will follow. Malta
this sector. More broadly, we’ll see
anticipated this eventuality and offered
major changes in stock exchanges, drastic changes in the way insurance companies, banks, and fintech firms operate and other fundamental changes. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON THE ICO-STO SHIFT IN THE INDUSTRY FROM AN ADVISORY PERSPECTIVE? Currently the ICO market is slow, but the idea to raise capital was ingenious.
“ While Monero and other coins might become blacklisted, I don’t see this as a general rule ”
shareholding, the ICO market provided an opportunity to crowdfund projects where investors didn’t hold any stake. This made sense right up to the point ICOs became irrational, where tens of millions were being raised.
In fact, Malta provides accreditation of auditors, certification of blockchain platforms and gives comprehensive legal certainty in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THE CURRENT MARKET SITUATION AND HOW DOES THIS AFFECT INDUSTRY-GROWTH IN MALTA? Earlier you mentioned the dot.com
Instead of going to a venture capital which would have taken a chunk of their
a complete ecosystem for the industry.
At the same time, privacy coins for large acquisitions and mergers by companies of a certain repute, which understandably might not want to make their transactions visible to everyone, is a valid use case. So, while Monero and other coins might become blacklisted, I don’t see this as a
The shift towards STOs will house
general rule-provided police can track-
companies looking for larger funding.
down illicit activity. The best way around
However, very few exchanges are
this is to promote currencies that are
licensed to list security tokens, which is
safe, secure and private but with the law
a deterrent for the STO market. In fact,
bubble and you hit the nail on the head. 20 years ago, during this bubble, everyone was buying domain names, selling at millions and taking over the world, so to speak. As we know, most failed but the ones that remained are now the largest companies in existence. All in all, it will be faster this time round as we’re living in a more fast-paced society, now more than ever.
Blockchain Island | 57
| Blockchain Island
rel ive the moments MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN AWARDS 31 OCTOBER The first edition of the Malta A.I & Blockchain Awards honoured individuals helping forge the future of this emerging industry.
2018 MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT 1-2 NOVEMBER From a packed expo floor to high-profile speakers, the atmosphere at the 2018 Malta A.I. & Blockchain Summit was electric.
NETWORKING EVENTS 1-3 NOVEMBER Premier networking opportunities and exclusive wining and dining events for VIP guests.
CLOSING NIGHT 2 NOVEMBER Closing Night was on fire, bringing the Summit to a perfect close.
Blockchain Island | 59
MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN
| Blockchain Island
Photographer credit, Petra Maria Poola
Blockchain Island | 61
2018 MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT
| Blockchain Island
1 - 2 NOVEMBER
Photographer credit, Petra Maria Poola
Blockchain Island | 63
NETWORKING EVENTS 64
| Blockchain Island
1 - 3 NOVEMBER
Photographer credit, Petra Maria Poola
Blockchain Island | 65
CLOSING NIGHT 66
| Blockchain Island
Blockchain Island | 67
27-29 NOVEMBER Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ILLAGE THE WORL iGAMING V
SAVIOUR OF HUMANITY? BY JULIAN MOORE, DIRECTOR OF PUBLISHING AT THE MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT
GLOBALLY THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF INNOVATORS DREAMING UP NEW WAYS FOR BLOCKCHAIN APPLICATIONS TO PROVIDE SOLUTIONS TO REAL WORLD PROBLEMS, BUT CAN BLOCKCHAIN SAVE HUMANITY AS WE KNOW IT?
lockchain, the newly established
more. That’s one in the eye for corrupt
rock star of the technology
politicians and scam artists right there, no?
revolution 2.0, is permeating
society on every level to mix reality with technology for positive outcomes. The
improvements in administration and
technology (DLT), which blockchain
efficiency by implementing blockchain
facilitates, will likely bring significant
strategies. Patient records could be linked
change for our society through adoption
to decentralised digital IDs, while savings
of encrypted smart contract data and
of up to 40% could be made on healthcare
decentralised tokenomics models.
costs by cutting out inefficiencies in logistical areas. Smart contracts could
There are many who say we’re in
advance research activities with better
desperate need of a reboot - so could
data collection and analytics, while drug
blockchain be the answer?
prices could be reduced for the end
innovation is our own identity - I’m talking about digital IDs, not how interesting you are. In a world where election hacking seems to have become normalised, blockchain’s ability to secure an individual’s digital ID on a global scale could yet save the fate of democracy. One person, one digital ID, one vote - simple right? But it’s not just about voting and elections - digital ID offers a whole universe of positive change for protecting our personal data.
| Blockchain Island
healthcare sector could see radical
future uses for distributed ledger
One obvious area ripe for change and
Alongside new digital IDs, the
user through A.I.-powered analysis and collaborative projects on a global scale. With our IDs and health all straightened out, we can turn our attention to our daily digital nirvana, and as our online activity becomes increasingly decentralised, dApps will offer unhackable applications distributed across a global network of nodes. They will make the internet a fairer place, with less downtime and more productivity. With dApps working on a peer-to-peer basis behind the scenes, the experience for the user
Your personal ID credentials make your
will be unchanged, except for provision
digital self unique, but it all becomes
of service - dApps are “unstoppable
worthless if compromised. Blockchain’s
applications” (according to the Ethereum
inherent security benefits can provide
Foundation) which will run “exactly as
a secure digital ID which could be used
intended without downtime, censorship,
in areas such as voter registration,
fraud, or third-party interference”. No
medical profiles, KYC signups, property
more buffering circle of doom then…
conveyancing, login processes and much
Another win for blockchain!
Back in the real world, we will still need
and data while removing the need
So, yes, it’s safe to say that blockchain
food, clothes, and all manner of products
for trusted partners to complete
could indeed be the saviour of humanity,
that are manufactured across the
transactions. Smart contracts take up
and in so many different ways. Over
planet. Managing supply chain logistics
the mantle and will make us all richer!
the next five to ten years, we can
in the commercial sector has become an increasingly weak link for global companies who need to move products from one place to another. To the rescue come blockchain-powered shipping solutions, offering unprecedented transparency, trust and collaboration to global supply chains. This already adopted blockchain solution means that any unforeseen changes in the shipping journey can be updated
expect blockchain to be implemented
“ There are many who say we’re in desperate need of a reboot - so could Blockchain be the answer? ”
across a plethora of sectors, including those critical challenges to humanity such as energy, environment, and equality, leading to a better world for everyone. Perhaps we’ll see blockchain technology receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace? Steady on old chap...
to everyone in one step, and while the information is stored ubiquitously on blockchain, admins can specify who has permissions to view individual documents and data at certain points of the journey, allowing for efficient data and information distribution amongst all parties involved. Often with more than 100 points of contact along the shipping route from start to end, this approach makes the logistical element of product distribution a breeze, streamlining both administration and costs. Plus, cheaper shipping costs should put more money back in the pocket of the customer. Talking of money, we all know that cryptocurrencies using blockchain technology have set in motion a profound change in the world of finance, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how blockchain is revolutionising the banking and finance sector. From banking the unbanked to streamlining the money transfer market, blockchain is now making a tangible difference to the world’s population in general, offering far greater cost-efficiencies to end users than ever before. Cutting out the middleman is something that blockchain does impeccably well, due to its zero-trust protocols which promote reliability of information
Blockchain Island | 71
Keeping Up with KSi Malta KSi MALTA IS A CORPORATE AND PRIVATE CLIENT ADVISORY, ACCOUNTING, AUDIT AND TAX FIRM PROVIDING A FULL RANGE OF FINANCIAL, LEGAL, AND BUSINESS ADVISORY SERVICES TO A DIVERSIFIED CLIENT BASE. BENJAMIN GRISCTI (DIRECTOR – TAX), DANIEL BILOCCA (HEAD OF RISK AND COMPLIANCE) AND DR JOSEF CACHIA (HEAD OF LEGAL) TALK TO THE BLOCK IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.
YOU CURRENTLY RUN A BLOCKCHAIN ADVISORY SERVICES, CAN YOU ELABORATE ON SOME OF THE BENEFITS THIS OFFERS YOUR CLIENTS? Upon the publication of Malta’s DLT regulatory framework we have moved on to settingup our fintech arm specifically aimed at offering legal and corporate assistance to the cryptocurrencies stakeholders. While we generally do not assist with the technological aspects, we consider ourselves a one-stopshop solution for customers seeking the necessary legal, corporate and tax advice for carrying out an ICO, or anyone interested in offering cryptocurrency-related services.
| Blockchain Island
WHAT IN YOUR OPINION IS THE BIGGEST BARRIER
even if your intention is to issue an ICO, an STO or simply launch
TO THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF MASS
an exchange platform, doing it through Malta would automatically
introduce you to all subject matter experts, leading market players,
We would say stereotyping and market volatility, because let’s face it, the majority of people still trust fiat currencies more than cryptocurrency. Fiat currency has been around for too long to be replaced by a new means of payment, let alone by a volatile one. The counter argument would be that volatility is probably being caused by such stereotyping because cryptocurrencies are still
and professionals you may need - all working within a regulated, trusted and comprehensive ecosystem. The Maltese legislator has attempted to build on an already tried-and-tested regulatory legislation to create a new platform of regulation for a new section of technology which has the potential to affect our financial systems and the way we do business.
sought by a comparatively small number of people, resulting in
WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP FOR MALTA IN TERMS OF REGULATION
prices swinging much faster depending on sentiment and fear.
With increased awareness and the new generation seemingly
In recent days the MFSA has issued the third rule book dealing
willing to try something new, we believe that an increased adoption
with virtual financial assets service providers such as custodians
of cryptocurrency could be nearby.
and exchanges – with this in hand we now have a complete legal
ITALY RECENTLY APPROVED THE SIMPLIFICATION DECREE, WHICH WILL ACKNOWLEDGE SMART CONTRACTS IN THE DIGITAL FORMAT AS BEING EQUAL TO CONTRACTS IN WRITING. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THIS? Smart contracts are generally taunted to be one of the key benefits of blockchain technology. The potential main traits of smart contracts are
“ fiat currency has been around for too long to be replaced by a new means of payment, let alone by a volatile one ”
the possibility of automatic execution and their versatility due to being usable in almost every sector. Realistically speaking, no matter how good at drafting a written contract a lawyer is, there is no way how one could go a step further and come up with
package for DLT and virtual financial assets. Following the publication of the Maltese government’s vision on Artificial Intelligence and the Malta Financial Service Authority’s fintech strategy, we are now also eagerly awaiting a legislative framework on this concept. The government’s plan
is to mirror the approach taken for DLT space and to position Malta amongst the top 10 countries in the world with an Artificial Intelligence Policy.
a written contract which does not only encompass the rules, but
We also hope that in the near future there will be legal clarity with
enforces them – only a smart contract could achieve that. Gartner,
regards to Security Token Offerings (STOs). With these seemingly
one of the world’s leading research and advisory companies in fact
becoming very popular, one also expects Malta to be improving its
estimates that by 2022, 25% of the world’s organisations will be using
legislative framework specifically for this purpose.
smart contracts – and this is just 3 years down the line!
BITCOIN BILLIONAIRE INVESTOR TIM DRAPER RECENTLY
While it is clear to the naked eye that there are still considerable
GAVE AN INTERVIEW WHERE HE SAID THAT AS CRYPTO
security, coding, and privacy issues which are to be improved,
BECOMES MORE WIDESPREAD, THE ONLY PEOPLE USING FIAT
well-coded smart contracts have an edge over traditional written
CURRENCIES IN 5 YEARS TIME WILL BE CRIMINALS – WHAT IS
contracts when it comes to trust, autonomy and efficiency. One
YOUR POSITION ON THIS, DO YOU AGREE WITH HIM?
of the main challenges however would be how to deal with smart contract errors. WHAT MAKES MALTA SUCH A HAVEN FOR BLOCKCHAIN AND FINTECH COMPANIES LOOKING TO SET UP SHOP HERE?
Let’s face it – fiat currencies have been around for a thousand years, while cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy, so five years could be a bit of a long shot. Even for fiat currency, global mass adoption took a further 500 years. Having said that, globalisation can certainly accelerate mass adoption. Arguably, at one point in
Malta’s game plan has been different from other countries. This
the nearby future, we can anticipate that society at large will catch
is mainly due to the fact that we are not only seeking to attract
up with disruptive technologies and their applications, including
ICOs, but our legal framework aims to cover most of the typical
cryptocurrencies, and there should definitely be a shift in mind-set
players of the blockchain and cryptocurrency world. Therefore,
of stakeholders and modus operandi of corporates.
Blockchain Island | 73
An Operating System for Capitalism:
CRYPTOCURRENCY BY CHRISTOPHER ATTARD, HEAD OF MEDIA OPERATIONS AT THE MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT
WITH THE ADVENT OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES DRIVING THE FINTECH SECTOR TO NEW HEIGHTS, THE SENSE THAT TRADITIONAL FIAT CURRENCIES ARE IN FOR A HEAVY SHAKEUP IS GRADUALLY CREEPING INTO PUBLIC AWARENESS.
| Blockchain Island
rrespective of one’s opinion on individual currencies,
the promise of sustainable value, traditional fiat also fits
there are confluent reasons why competition in the
neatly into that description.
value storage and transfer business is growing. In fact,
it’s reasonable to say that an emerging economic system built on improved fundamental principles is approaching faster than die-hard traditionalists care to admit.
Bitcoin’s significance lies in the fact that it provided a solution to the double-spending problem. As such, cryptocurrency isn’t the future merely because a committed band of dreamers would have everyone
Back in 2017, barely 1% of the value of all payments made
believe it is. On the contrary, it is the future because
in Sweden were transacted in coins or notes. Similarly, the
decentralisation takes trust away from unreliable third
UK saw a 15% drop in notes and coin usage that same year,
parties and tangibly places it in the hands of individuals. It
indicating growing popularity of contactless cards and
is the digital equivalent of paying someone with cash up
cashless payments. While the possible Orwellian downsides
front with no meddling middleman. This was never possible
to fully-digitalised cashless payments are obvious, the facts
before Bitcoin. Case in point, Bitcoin has allowed an entire
speak to a transition nonetheless.
generation of Venezuelans to have an alternative to the
This is in part why those who carelessly dismiss cryptocurrency as a bubble that’s going to zero will all be eating humble pie in due course. Money has no personal agenda, it is simply a means of exchanging value. Once this mechanism is pitted against an alternative built on a trustless premise that provides the same level of convenience, then the switch is inevitable. Today, fiat currency valuations are no longer tied to any
“ Cryptocurrency is not a final solution, it is a prototypical upgrade ”
crippling inflation brought about by a socialist, governmentcontrolled paradise. In principle, Bitcoin – one of many
commodity – which is to say that their price is essentially
cryptocurrencies – grants people financial autonomy
contingent on what people collectively believe it to be.
irrespective of monetary policies dictated by governing
If that belief were to be extinguished overnight, then
bodies. This is to say that there is now an alternative
would there be any reason to go back to paper money
operating system to forced austerity, government
and metallic coins? Leaving aside arguments based on
intervention and financial collapse.
historical precedent, the size and scale of central banks and the promises they’ve made to maintain valuations,
Needless to say, government regulation through taxation
the emphasis on widespread belief becomes even more
and legislation is still a big factor depending on which
relevant. In fact, it’s reasonable to say that trust and belief
cryptocurrency one uses. But then again, cryptocurrency is
are the primary drivers that buoy fiat-currencies. Admitting
not a final solution, it is a prototypical upgrade. At the same
this forces one to consider that technological innovation
time, Bitcoin is probably more comparable to MS-DOS in
in either of these could allow for another step forward. For
terms of its operating system capabilities, but despite its
example, if the element of trust is taken away from the
rudimentary functions it is undeniably a cash alternative.
inevitable failings of centralised human systems, then the only thing that remains is belief in any given asset. Far from the panacea-like assertions of blind cryptocurrency enthusiasts, or the witless declarations of hardcore traditionalists that can’t see beyond their own nose, outsourcing trust to quasi-infallible systems is a clear technological advancement.
One can argue the details and the issues relating to nextof-kin, cashback and ease-of-access endlessly, but these discussions come after the fact and do not take away from the fundamentals. Bitcoin’s value lies in the fact that it is a non-replicable digital asset as well as a peer-to-peer payments system. Perhaps the best thing of all is that all this technology can be used across cryptocurrencies. At the same time, Satoshi’s invention mimics gold’s natural and
Given the collapse of the Gold standard, which is to say that
uncontrolled scarcity on the Internet. If this isn’t valuable,
cash valuations are now a product of beliefs coupled with
then what is?
Blockchain Island | 75
BUILDING VALUE 76
| Blockchain Island
2019 MARKS THIRTY YEARS SINCE VISIONARY SCOTT STORNETTA SAT DOWN WITH HIS PARTNER STUART HABER AND FLESHED OUT AN IDEA THAT WAS TO BECOME THE FOUNDATION OF BLOCK TECH. HE IS ENDEARINGLY REFERRED TO AS THE FATHER OF BLOCKCHAIN, AND IT IS A TITLE HE CARRIES WELL – HIS OPINIONS ARE ALWAYS ‘GLASS HALF FULL’. SCOTT STORNETTA IS CHIEF SCIENTIST AT YUGEN PARTNERS, A VENTURE CAPITAL FIRM BASED IN NEW YORK CITY THAT WILL BE INVESTING TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO BLOCKCHAIN COMPANIES. HE SPEAKS TO KATY MICALLEF.
tornetta’s revolutionary building blocks have
They might not be the most exciting applications in terms
since given rise to an advanced, digital world
of people trying to think outside the box, but Stornetta
that has already infiltrated a variety of industry,
has absolute confidence in their ability to unlock value,
shaping even the most ordinary facets of our lives. As he
saying: “It takes very little leap of faith to see those cases
celebrates the anniversary of one of his most important
are full of social benefits.”
pieces of work, I ask him how he sees the next chapter of history unfolding for blockchain applications. “The first thing that really emerged was Satoshi’s efforts, in a sense he attempted the highest degree of difficulty in the project. I think there are many easier things to accomplish than just trying to create - almost out of nowhere - a viable alternative to traditional fiat currency.”
Another nuanced problem is creating the right sorts of incentive systems for peer-to-peer social media applications, which Scott thinks offer tremendous opportunity but which are very difficult to get right. The idea, he says, is to challenge the current revenue streams, often advertising-based, to become more beneficial to the population participating in the social media network.
Stornetta goes on to explain that we need to forge realistic expectations, taking into consideration that
“By having incentives and reward systems that embody a
different types of applications and use cases are going to
token, there’s the ability for participants to feel that they
emerge in different time frames.
are helping to create and sustain the social media network
“There is plenty that is going to emerge in the near-to-
- to be the recipients of much of the value creation.”
mid-term, so the ongoing modifications to some of the
Speaking of social media, I can’t help but bring up the
earlier entrants, including Bitcoin, are attempts to re-tool
intriguing plans rumoured to be in the works for social
for more difficult things, such as cryptocurrencies. There
media giant, Facebook. The company is thought to be
are plenty of things happening now that are somewhat
contemplating a stablecoin-driven scheme that will allow
less challenging. The so-called lower hanging fruit is
users to send money through WhatsApp.
where we’ve seen plenty of progress.” One of those fruits concerns one of the most fundamental uses of the blockchain, which is simply to provide a more credible audit record and corporate governance control within existing corporations – this says Stornetta, is an often overlooked initiative.
While Stornetta is cautious about opining on something before it has been fully revealed, he believes a stable currency might be something the company may try to bring forward, especially in light of their vast database of users – users who would most likely want to engage in some kind of inter-party commerce.
Other much larger gumptions are efforts to reduce settlement and reconciliation costs in the financial
A long-term ideal will be the possibility that a
services space and moving real-world assets onto the
decentralised operation will in turn reflect a more peer-
blockchain, something which it hasn’t always been
to-peer or middle-class situation, where the owners of
economically possible to create liquidity for.
the system really reflect the users.
Blockchain Island | 77
a t io n
t ate P
F in a
at io n
Re m o t e G
email@example.com | www.kinanis.com
Tel: + 356 27 54 00 24 | Fax: + 356 27 54 00 25
t in g
C ro c t u al P
e ll e
Suite 20, The Penthouse, 4th Floor, Ewropa Business Centre, Ac co mingDun Karm Street, Birkirkara, BKR 9034, Malta a G c c e s si o n
S hi p p i n g
P l a n ni n a te g Law | Consulting ce| Tax | Accounting st an
Kinanis Law Firm Kinanis Fiduciaries Limited F in
S er v ic e
Malta Office: P er ty rop
, M& A & S e ate
t of en
s & Manage m ion at
Liquida ate t or
BLOCKCHAIN Legal, Tax & Vat Consulting Cyprus - Malta
The concern is the assumption that if an entity that has a strong dominant position, such as Facebook, were to introduce a stablecoin it would be governed not by users, but by a strong concentration of powered capital, which may fail to live up to some of the ideals we have of cryptocurrencies. “Is that good or not? I guess I would have to come down on the glass is half full side. Getting a stablecoin right is a very tricky thing, progress in getting
“ There’s something about ideals that just feel right, and they create aspiration in us - as humans, we want a better world ”
the algorithms’ right is still progress. Seeing viable, successful stablecoins, I think that helps prove the research agenda alone, just to see something emerge - in that sense, I feel: the more the merrier.” Stornetta is at pains to point out the unfairness of assuming it will be a fully centralised component, especially before the project has been officially revealed, and has little sympathy for anyone that condemns a company for creating something that people like a lot and use a lot, but that doesn’t go far enough towards the ideals they’d like to realise. “I think what’s more likely to be the case is there will be some nod to decentralisation but it will not be taken as far as some of us would like.”
the ways they can to make this work - to find a way to entice users in their self-interest to go one way or another. “There’s something about ideals that just feel right, and they create aspiration in us - as humans, we want a better world. But the way to get to a better world is to demonstrate that the ideals themselves have genuine power in creating value. It’s so early in the game that it would be nice to see some success scenarios of whatever flavour - because I think they would advance the agenda for all of us in trying to understand what can be done. What I’m striving for is an economic community where we can pursue our self-interests but are also looking out for the interests of
As he surmises though, there is
our neighbours, and I feel that that’s
nothing to stop someone from
a fundamentally more value creating
bringing those ideas forward into
and viable future for how we relate to
a more realised project, something
each other economically.”
which he believes is at the heart of value creation and adoption.
His quiet positivity and generosity of spirit belie what is, in fact, a deep
“If we haven’t found the right value
commitment to the innovation and
creation, it only means there’s more
creative development of this sphere.
room for those that can think of
True to form he ends on a reflective
a better mousetrap. Rather than
note, saying: “As a friend of mine once
complain about something Facebook
counselled me – don’t tell me what
may or may not do, let people try all
you’re against; tell me what you’re for.”
Blockchain Island | 79
RIDING THE INNOVATION WAVE 80
| Blockchain Island
BLOCK MAGAZINE SITS DOWN WITH DR. IAN GAUCI AND DR. ABDALLA KABLAN, PARTNERS AT CALEDO, FOR A LOOK AT HOW THE INNOVATION, BLOCKCHAIN AND DIGITAL SPHERE IS TRANSFORMING MALTAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ECONOMY.
WHO ARE IAN GAUCI AND ABDALLA KABLAN, AND THE OUTFITS BEHIND THEM? Dr Ian Gauci is a leading technology lawyer. He has co-founded GTG Advocates, Afilexion, MITLA and BMA and most recently Caledo. Throughout his career, Dr Gauci has provided legal, regulatory and strategic advice to various businesses in local and cross-border negotiations, mediations and arbitrations. Dr Gauci also assisted the government and several other government agencies, including the Malta Gaming Authority, Malta Financial Services Authority, Malta Digital Innovation Authority and Malta Communications Authority on various issues ranging from E-Commerce and E-Trust certifications, fintech, digital financial assets, technology arrangements and data protection. Dr Gauci also lectures on topics related to A.I., DLT and Digital Economy, Legal Futures and Technology Law at the University of Malta. Dr Abdalla Kablan is a serial entrepreneur and award-winning fintech expert. He specialises in complex financial systems through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Throughout his life, he has founded several start-ups in the field, is an Alumni of Microsoft Ventures London, has worked on projects which were featured at the World Economic Forum and has featured as a guest speaker at the United Nations. He currently sits as a partner and co-founder at Wyzer and DELTA Summit. Dr Kablan also lectures on topics related to computational intelligence, financial engineering and financial data science at the University of Malta. The rapid rise of digital assets and the digital economy led Dr Gauci and Dr Kablan to the realisation that technology and the law can no longer be viewed in isolation from each other but a more holistic view was needed in order to ensure that one field does not stifle the other. This realisation led to the birth of Caledo. Caledo is a joint venture between Wyzer, GTG Advocates and Afilexion Alliance with the aim of offering holistic services to clients whose businesses revolve around the digital economy. WHAT HAS HELPED CALEDO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD IN SUCH A COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY? Caledo is a unique outfit which has the capabilities to offer technical, legal, regulatory and business consultancy services under the same roof. Caledo speaks all languages - be it smart contracts, regulations, company formations, any form of legal or technical advice, marketing strategies and business consultancy. Through this approach, we are committed to treating our clients as our partners by assisting them in every step of the way.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE INNOVATION, BLOCKCHAIN AND DIGITAL ECONOMY? Innovation is an enabler to emancipation. It is not a linear process but involves multiple inputs emanating from emerging technological developments, like we are experiencing in A.I., IoT, and blockchain which will soon be embedded together in a perfect symbiosis. This enabler is powering society’s entry into the Digital Economy dominion where we anticipate a paradigm shift in life as we know it today. HOW IS CALEDO, THROUGH ITS SERVICES, AN INCEPTOR AND FACILITATOR FOR INNOVATION AND HOW DOES IT ENSURE INNOVATION IS NOT STIFLED BY REGULATION? Caledo’s ideology is reflective of the anticipated wave of innovation in the Digital Economy. Aside from sharing this vision and advising corporate clients and consumers, we also work closely and advise institutions, governments and authorities on policy and regulation based on sound yet proportionate principles that embrace the full potential of Digital Economy. MALTA’S INVESTMENT IN INNOVATION AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES HAS ATTRACTED SEVERAL BIG NAMES TO THE ISLAND, HOW CAN IT ENSURE ITS INFRASTRUCTURE CAN SUPPORT AND SUSTAIN THIS INFLUX OF BUSINESS? Malta has consistently encouraged innovation. Decoupling economic and social development from all environmental pressures and consumption of resources is a continuous challenge in Malta, as in many countries. It requires a paradigm shift in our approach to future development. Malta’s Sustainable Development Vision for 2050 is grounded in these principles and is designed to lead us on this desired development path. MALTA SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED THREE KEY PIECES OF DLT REGULATION LAST NOVEMBER, WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP FOR REGULATION IN YOUR EYES? Through our soft sand box approach we are learning more from the industry and finalising the rules and licensing regimes to fine-tune our regime in a robust yet proportionate manner. Once the licences are rolled out we need to find our feet and take stock of the market and developments around us to make sure we always strike the right balance when regulating as well as to foster technological innovation through fintech and regtech. HOW SHOULD CONCERNS OVER BLOCKCHAIN PRIVACY BE BALANCED WITH USERS DIGITAL IDENTITIES? There are many misconceptions about privacy in the context of the blockchain ecosystem. There are several configurations of a DLT that can be tailored to cater for the needs of different systems. We are now seeing a new wave of permissioned blockchains in which actors on a ledger are clearly identified and permissioned. Decentralised digital identities are core to this and probably one of the most
“ Decentralised digital identities are probably one of the most exciting applications of blockchain technology ”
exciting applications of blockchain technology which has the potential to transform the manner in which our personal data is handled and further propel the sovereignty of the data subject in a legitimate and proportionate manner. Issue 2
Blockchain Island | 81
NEW HORIZONS BY JANE ZHANG
JANE ZHANG IS THE FOUNDER AND CEO OF SHELLPAY. SHE IS A SUCCESSFUL ANGEL INVESTOR AND A SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR WHO IS CREDITED FOR HER INVESTMENT IN THE EARLY STAGES OF COMPANIES LIKEÂ ALIBABA, UTSTARCOM AND VIPS.
n April 2018, ShellPay helped lay the technical
will allow global participants (all are welcome to join)
foundation layer for the Special Economic Zone in
to create a near-instant economy online. E-citizenship
Yongbang to issue digital coins and e-citizenship.
entitles citizens to create businesses and issue coins
The SEZ is a dedicated area to test new economic models
within the ecosystem. The digital activity will filter down
without the constraint and bloat of bureaucracies.
to the physically-based economy through locally focused
Yongbang will be a grand social experiment, which not only
programs and projects, such as education, jobs and
tests the promise of blockchain technology but creates
infrastructure to ensure the development of the local
a new peer-to-peer based society. Its human-centred
economy. All citizens will participate in approving projects,
mechanism design aims to give a voice to the countless
coin issuances and jurisdictional governance via digitally-
undocumented refugees who have no voice or visibility in
based voting mechanisms.
the public forum.
The Yongbang blockchain and the Yongbang coin has been
There will be a phased process over the coming
created and deployed, and is now live. Not dissimilar to
years. There are two parallel, interconnected streams
Satoshiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision and the creation of Bitcoin, what happens
of development: digital economy that is effectively
now with Yongbang has been turned over to the hands of
borderless and the physically-based economy which is
the collective community. All eyes are on Yongbang as its
tied to the digital application. The e-citizenship program
citizens forge new paths in a bright economic future.
| Blockchain Island
HARNESSING A.I. POWER BY ALEXIEI DINGLI
ALEXIEI DINGLI, HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MALTA, OFFERS HIS INSIGHT ON THE A.I. REVOLUTION AND ITS POWER TO TRANSFORM BUSINESSES.
Blockchain Island | 83
â&#x20AC;&#x153; The question you should be asking yourself at this stage is not whether this revolution will hit you, but rather when it is going to hit you â&#x20AC;&#x153;
| Blockchain Island
he world we live in is changing rapidly. A new technology
is essential since it can help administrators foresee the power
comes along almost every year and businesses have to
of A.I. and motivate employees to learn about the various tools
decide whether to adapt or not. The new kid on the block
which can unleash new potential for their business.
this year is without doubt Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). Really and truly, A.I. is not a new kid because it has been around for almost seven decades. The technologies under the hood are mature and widely used by everyone even though many people do not realise that they are using them already, irrespective of whether they are small retailers or large corporations.
The second step of the AITP is to conduct a readiness audit. Decision makers need to understand whether their organisation is ready to embark on a fruitful transformation process. Because of this, an audit is conducted in order to assess the fundamental, operational and transformative readiness of the organisation. Through the audit, organisations will have a better understanding
Transforming an organisation into an A.I. company is not simply
of their company and its potential within an A.I.-enhanced
achieved by sprinkling some A.I. inside the business processes.
ecosystem thus saving them huge amounts of money.
The company needs to sufficiently understand A.I. and appreciate what it can do for the organisation, after all, every organisation
The third step involves the drafting of an A.I. strategy which
is different and a one-size-fits-all A.I. model does not exist. To
defines a custom-made roadmap aimed at guiding the
achieve this, an organisation has to undergo an A.I. Transformation
organisation in its journey to becoming an A.I. company.
Process (AITP) whereby potential areas of improvement can be
Through this strategy, the company has to leverage the power
identified and valuable A.I. projects can be implemented. These
of A.I. in order to gain specific advantages within the industry.
can either be outsourced or else delivered through in-house
It must capitalise the data available, which is the fuel for most
talent. But in the end, it is very important to recognise the direct-
A.I. algorithms and plan to build A.I. assets which are in line to
value-added which it contributes to the business.
a coherent strategy. This will eventually create a ripple effect which will ensure sustainable growth using A.I. technologies.
Above all, the business’s strategic direction needs to be aligned too. To do so, we need to instill a culture which is not afraid
The fourth step is to increase their A.I. capacity. Whilst most small
to use the data lying in the heart of the various processes to
organisations should probably be fine with outsourcing their A.I.
improve them. It has to measure its progress, gauge the distance
enabled technologies, larger organisations might find it more
from the goals which form part of the strategic direction of the
beneficial to have a proper structure in place. They need a team of
organisation and take action to bring forth alignment. It may
people capable of supporting, planning, developing and advising
sound daunting but with the right people, such a challenging
on the process to implement. An A.I. unit is a horizontal unit whose
task will become feasible. Small organisations can expect to
aim is to support the entire organisation and its targets.
be up and running in a few months whilst larger ones normally take between 2-3 years, with concrete results being felt within the first year. Investing in such a process will not only keep any organisation ahead of its competitors but it will also allow it to leverage the power of A.I. technologies in order to advance the organisation as a whole.
The question you should be asking yourself at this stage is not “whether this revolution will hit you”, but rather “when is it going to hit you?” I understand that changing your organisation into a great A.I. company might sound daunting at first but it is feasible with the support of experts in the field. As a start, it would simply involve getting a professional A.I. expert to have a look at your
The first step of the AITP is training. A.I. expertise is very rare
processes. They will give you an indication of what you can
to find - it is estimated that there are just around 40,000 A.I.
achieve, by exploring various possibilities before going further
experts around the world. Many people still do not understand
with an in-depth analysis. Then you can decide how far you
what A.I. is all about, even though they use it on a daily basis and
would like to take this transformation. But remember that only
it will affect their job in the near future. Because of this, everyone
by investing in such a transformation are you guaranteed to stay
should have the opportunity to understand and adapt to the new
ahead of your competitors and leverage the A.I. capabilities of
roles which will be created in this new technological era. Training
your organisation in order to significantly move forward.
Blockchain Island | 85
Crypto Insight: BY CHRISTOPHER ATTARD, HEAD OF MEDIA OPERATIONS AT THE MALTA A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT
Stablecoins to become the new norm?
THE ADVENT OF BITCOIN CREATED A NEW WAVE OF APPLICATIONS, CRYPTOCURRENCIES AND STABLECOINS THAT HAVE CAUSED DIVISIONS IN THE WIDER TECH SECTOR. A SERIES OF ENERGISED DEBATES ABOUT THE TRUE NATURE OF BITCOIN AND ALTCOINS HAVE RECENTLY VEERED TOWARDS USECASES FOR ESTABLISHED GIANTS LIKE FACEBOOK.
rrespective of which side of the pond one sits on, it seems crypto has also caught the attention of social media giant Facebook, which is reportedly developing a cryptocurrency
that will let users send money via its WhatsApp messaging app. The cryptocurrency would first launch in India, a country with over 200 million Whatsapp users and the world’s leader in sending money overseas. According to Bloomberg, this would be achieved through the creation of a stablecoin, also known as a digital currency pegged to a fiat currency like the US Dollar. Such currencies are often less volatile than regular cryptos – as is their intended purpose. Stablecoins took the limelight throughout most of 2017, with the highest profile one being Tether – a coin surrounded by controversy. In fact, questions about Tether’s transparency regarding its professed 1:1 Tether to fiat reserve remain an unnerving marker of uncertainty for many.
| Blockchain Island
Hinting its entry into the market, Facebook
At the same time, Tim notes that at least
WeChat, who created a payment coin to the
has over 2.5 billion global users and $40
“Facebook is tying it to the Dollar and not to
same effect. That said, Jay noted that the
billion in annual revenue, despite the stock
the Nigerian Naira.”
devil is in the details.
“Still, the currency will hold political risk with
“I am yet to name the stablecoin as a
seemingly no benefit. Maybe they should just
cryptocurrency as we have little information
use Dollars. Or better, Facebook should use
on how Facebook plans to implement this coin.
Bitcoin, seeing how poorly they are being
It’s plausible, perhaps even likely, that this will
treated by governments around the world.”
be a centralised and trust-based solution.”
falling of small stones that starts another
Taking a more optimistic stance, Scott
avalanche in the crypto universe.
Taking a more critical approach, Jay
Stornetta, the founding father of
also outlines questions about supply
blockchain technology referenced in
chain controls, tax implications and
Satoshi’s original whitepaper, outlined his
Indian compliance. Without a sufficiently
belief that various use-cases could find a
decentralised approach, Jay says that
home under the DLT umbrella.
Facebook’s stablecoin will be “nothing more
market’s dismal 2017 performance. It could easily be said that a well-established platform like Facebook could have everything it takes to develop a fullyfunctional and ubiquitous stablecoin. If successful, the venture could be like the
While the social media mammoth has been very hush-hush about its blockchain initiatives, a spokesman teased some insight into their plans to move in this direction:
than an alternative trust-based payment
“Like many other companies, Facebook is
“I, for one, welcome any introduction of
exploring ways to leverage the power of
blockchain technology. Some express
blockchain technology. This new small team
concern that anything associated with an
is exploring many different applications. We
entity such as Facebook is not being true
don’t have anything further to share.” As
to the peer-to-peer ideals of the blockchain
the industry titan leans ever-closer to the
ethos. But we should welcome all varieties
crypto bandwagon, should expectations be
Ultimately, the evolution of stablecoins as
of use of the technology, and then let users
frictionless intermediaries is bound to gain
decide which brings the most benefit.”
In exclusive commentary with the Block, well known venture capitalist Tim Draper outlined his cautious optimism about the development, wishing Facebook’s
channel with immediate distribution and a slick UX. Great for Facebook’s bottom line, but lesser the progression of selfsovereignty and decentralisation.”
prominence over time, particularly due to the
“ A well-established platform like Facebook could have everything it takes to develop a fully-functional and ubiquitous stablecoin ”
“We welcome Facebook into Bitcoin’s cryptoverse. I am concerned with any cryptocurrency that is tied to fiat though. It
of Bitcoin. In a fresh blog post, Lebanese–American essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader, and risk analyst,
venture success despite some lingering reservations.
Founder of Unique Block Group, Jay Coshan, also weighed in on the issue, acknowledging that Facebook’s entry into some aspect of finance has been a long time coming.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, said: “Bitcoin is a currency without a government… its mere existence is an insurance policy that will remind governments that the last object establishment could control, namely the
seems to be technology without a market.
“This prospect has been in the cards since
currency, is no longer their monopoly. This
Why create crypto if you just tie it to
the company hired David Marcus (former
gives us, the crowd, an insurance policy
government political currency!”
president of PayPal) way back in 2014, not to
against an Orwellian future.”
mention their focus on blockchain being made According to Tim, ‘fiat currency’ is
apparent as of May 2018. Even Zuckerberg’s
Putting this into perspective, the stablecoin
synonymous with ‘political currency’, which
sister, Randi, became involved advising
landscape seems to be flexing its muscles
anchors his Bitcoin maximalist approach on
blockchain ICO startup Pledge Camp last year.”
as more ambitious projects make headway.
the matter. This is in line with Tim’s broader
Depending on their effectiveness as “in-
belief that fiat currency will be slowly eaten
He goes on to say that Facebook’s move is
between currencies”, this could potentially
up by a better currency which is global,
welcome, but that it was undeniably inspired
direct the ecosystem towards further
decentralised and frictionless.
by the success of their Asian competitors,
mainstream adoption. Issue 2
Blockchain Island | 87
Great events start here. Planning an event for your employees? Let SIT do all the work, so you can focus on the results!
Now with added ROCK! We’re collaborating with Brian Allan from Rock Your Business to help corporations achieve their objectives by using the power of music and highly interactive group singing to truly inspire & motivate their employees
Malta's premier Event Management Company brings you creative programmes for all type of events in Malta & around the world
Events | Incentives | Conferences
Special Interest Travel Ltd. Demajo House 103 Archbishop Street Valletta, VLT 1446 Malta +356 2552 0000 firstname.lastname@example.org
IN MALTA’S A.I. & BLOCKCHAIN ECOSYSTEM
Blockchain Island | 89
Advendor is a brand new affiliate network using a CPA model, allowing for effective cooperation between publishers and advertisers. For the advertisers this means that their budget is spent only on target actions: providing a more flexible and economically efficient way to work with the system. For publishers it provides an opportunity to maximise their profits from the attracted traffic.
AEToken provides blockchain enabled secure payment solutions for the affiliate marketing industry. Affiliate marketing is the primary lead driver for the Casino, Gaming and Adult industry and AEToken revolutionises these processes by eliminating the need for minimum payouts, reducing complaints with built in dispute resolution and minimising fraud by smart contracts.
Afilexion was initially established as a joint venture project between Avviza Advisory and GTG Advocates in 2016, to service gaming clients they had in common. Over time, the partners at GTG Advocates and the founder of Avviza Advisory, realised that whilst both firms were already amongst the leading mid-tier firms in their respective fields, their expertise and experience, when combined together, created exponential value to their clients.
AGOPOLIS is a groundbreaking social network that provides a much needed platform for today’s independent music artists to be discovered. It employs a utility token-based model (AGOPOLIS Coin) for artists to take control of their own music’s destinies by readily broadcasting and selling their tracks throughout the network’s platform.
Almond is a new blockchain-based ecosystem that aims to create an alternative goods market to better benefit consumers, the planet and purpose-driven brands. A secure, hidden code is included on partner products to allow brands to share supply-chain data, the product’s CO2e footprint and offer brand cryptocurrency token rewards.
DR. ERIC FALZONE
Founder & CEO
Founder & CEO
IT Legals Ltd (ITL) specialises in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) web applications and due diligence back-office services for the Blockchain industry. ITL’s AMLEXA, is the first Artificial Intelligence Platform for Remote Customer Due Diligence that automates identification, risk assessment and on-going monitoring.
Avanzia Taxand is a corporate service provider licensed by the MFSA. Whilst offering a plethora of services including the formation of your business and the provision of ancillary services thereto, Avanzia Taxand remains highly focused on taxation matters. Avanzia Taxand maintains a standard of excellence and a personalised service.
| Blockchain Island
GERNOT WINTER CFO
AVINOC is a consistent, integrated and permissionless base data layer for decentralised, transparent and worldwide coordination of business flights within the general aviation, to achieve optimal utilisation and reduce costs significantly. Every user involved in AVINOC possesses a local copy of all relevant data. This creates new opportunities for global, direct, permissionless, and fast communication between participants involved in the complex aviation business.
ALEXEY ERMAKOV CEO
We created an app that facilitates quick deposit and exchange of funds, provides secure storage and easy withdrawal options. The Aximetria bank card gives our clients total freedom to use cryptocurrencies in any part of the world.
For the past 40 years, BDO Malta has acted as auditors, tax advisers and consultants for numerous Maltese and international companies, including online gaming companies. BDO Malta provides professional advice to projects that are blockchain-related, including but not limited to the setting up of ICOs, crypto-funds, cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms, structuring them in a way which enables efficient audits of DLT setups.
A professional trading platform with a wide range of financial assets. In addition to classic investment opportunities and the most profitable trading conditions, Binomo offers trading with cryptocurrency pairs - Bitcoin, Litecoin, and the Crypto Index. The undisputable advantages of these new assets are high volatility and the ability to trade around the clock, including on weekends. Bitcoin’s market cap is the largest among other virtual coins and its intensive rate growth creates good opportunities for earning.
Bitcoin.com is your premier source for everything Bitcoin related. We can help you buy Bitcoin and choose a Bitcoin wallet. You can also read the latest news, or engage with the community on our Bitcoin Forum. Please keep in mind that this is a commercial website that lists wallets, exchanges and other Bitcoin related companies.
The Bitfury Group is the world’s leading full-service blockchain technology company and one of the largest private infrastructure providers in the blockchain ecosystem. Bitfury develops and delivers both the software and the hardware solutions necessary for businesses, governments, organisations and individuals to securely move an asset on the blockchain.
BitStarz is big and we really do mean big. With a 10-minute average cashout time, crypto and fiat support, 1,600+ games, 24/7 customer support, and more than 1 million registered players, we’re not just an award-winning crypto casino - we’re the online casino that everyone is talking about!
Blackmoon is a platform which allows cryptocurrency owners to purchase blockchain tokens linked to investment funds’ performance. Blackmoon allows asset managers to issue and distribute blockchain tokens linked to their funds’ performance, access previously unavailable classes of investors, raise capital and increase liquidity of the investment proposition. The company’s vision is to create a new standard for the asset management industry that will bridge the gap between the traditional and crypto financial universes.
Marketing & Affiliate Manager
Founder & CEO
Blockchain Island | 91
FRANCESCO DE SANTIS
Chief Marketing Officer
Blockchain Advisory Limited is one of the very few Maltese advisory firms which has actively worked on past and present ICOs, STOs, exchanges, and crypto-funds. Its Managing Director, Jonathan Galea, and Partner, Anton Dalli, have been active in the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies for more than ten years collectively.
Bloomio is redesigning the venture capital industry. We are an equity crowdfunding platform powered by blockchain, connecting startups with individual investors. The platform allows startup founders to raise capital by tokenising equity, and gives investors the ability to trade startup stakes through a secure blockchainbased marketplace.
Books Without Borders aims to delight readers, publishers, libraries, philanthropists, and authors with a fresh approach to digital book distribution. Wherever there’s a BWB button - on websites, apps, or screens near authors, we deliver digital books on the rights holder’s terms. Readers just need to swipe and read. The organisation is peerto-peer, decentralised and based on DLT.
BTCBIT is a reliable and convenient cryptocurrency exchange service provider and payment processor that deliver services in more than 220 destinations. The company has an mpeccable reputation for striving for the pursuit of high ethical standards and quality of services to its customers world over.
Co-Founder & CEO
Founder & CEO
DR IAN GAUCI
DR PRISCILLA MIFSUD PARKER
Caledo houses advocates, academics, technologists, policy and regulatory experts, economists, and security and fintech specialists, to provide its clients with an exceptional one-stop-shop environment. In a world where developments in technology are constantly pushing the boundaries of laws and society, we believe that an interdisciplinary expertise is the lynchpin for innovation in our industry.
Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates is one of the largest law firms in Malta and enjoys a history of tech-oriented work, serving clients in the online gambling, digital games, crypto and blockchain sectors. Besides familiarity with the legal aspects of blockchain technology, the firm strongly bridges technology with the financial regulatory aspects and has positioned itself as a top legal and tax advisor to the fintech and blockchain sector.
Co-Founder & Partner
VAIBHAV KADIKAR Founder & CEO
London-based company, CloseCross Ltd is the developer of a multiparty, decentralised derivatives trading platform driving democratic participation. By introducing simple 3-click-trading, helping to eliminate unquantified risks, and making trading 90% cheaper, CloseCross promises to level the playing field for those wishing to participate in the $1200 trillion financial derivatives market.
SERGEI SERGIENKO CEO
ChronoBank is re-imagining hiring for the blockchain age. Founded in Australia following its successful token sale in February 2017, the company has developed a sophisticated blockchain-based hiring ecosystem. ChronoBank is led by an executive team with deep domain experience in HR, banking, and fintech. It boasts one of the strongest technical and product teams in the blockchain world and is well-funded to innovate in all sectors of HR.
Blockchain Island | 93
THE EASY WAY FOR CRYPTO PAY It was never easier for merchants to accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Enquire now and attract new customers. Get more information at www.salamantex.com and email@example.com
ACCEPTANCE OF CRYPTO PAYMENTS
EASY - TO - USE
CONVERT CRYPTO TO FIAT
Co-Founder & CEO
CoinCME is a cryptocurrency (Virtual Financial Assets) exchange based in the Republic of Malta. The management team consists of veterans from the FX and blockchain industries. The exchange employs in-house developed breakthrough technology that aggregates liquidity from major exchanges around the world, giving the tightest spreads with highest depth-of-market execution.
Leah Carr is the Vice President of Licensing at Coinsquare. Leah launched this division in March of 2018 with the mission of enabling people worldwide to harness the power of security of Coinsquare’s technology. Leah was employee 9 at Coinsquare and has also launched Coinsquare Wealth which is a premium service for Coinsquare’s highest traders. Leah is also the host of FintechTO, a bi-monthly event featuring inspiring presentations from leaders of the Fintech community.
ORON BARBER CEO
We offer cutting-edge services and solutions that empower small-scale businesses and multinational companies. Whatever it is you are looking for, we have you covered and more in the expanding markets of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
SERGEI VERBITSKI CEO
Cointraffic - The Premier Digital Advertising Partner in the blockchain and crypto sectors. We serve over 300 million unique ad impressions a month across a network of 400+ crypto websites including CoinMarketCap, CCN, and CoinGecko to name a few. Cointraffic helps advertisers engage visitors and boosts conversion rates in a number of ways including tailored banner ads - which allow publishers to gain a stable income stream from their websites by publishing the relevant crypto advertising.
TOBY GILBERT CEO
Our mission is to make blockchain more personal, more connected and mainstream. Leading with our innovative Hyperlayer, a Layer 2 solution that seamlessly connects blockchains. Use it to build powerful solutions that span multiple blockchains, without requiring any underlying code changes. You can create smart contracts, trade and even issue custom tokens that use multiple blockchains, like one blockchain for fast transactions and another for lower costs.
DR. SILVIO CILIA Founding Partner
Corrieri Cilia is a leading law firm based in Malta specialising in international business and taxation. Our experienced team of tax and corporate lawyers, accountants and professionals provide high quality advisory services to cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses.
PIOTR KULCZYCKI Founder & CEO
Craftchain is a leading blockchain software house from Poland. We provide end to end blockchain services and support. Our solutions include consultancy and business planning, platform design, backend development and roll out. Our goal is to help your blockchain business grow. Unlock the disruptive potential of blockchain and a free consultation.
GORDON EINSTEIN Founding Partner
CryptoLaw Partners is passionate about crypto and blockchain law. Its legal practice includes working with startups, securities law, ICOs, fund formation, AML/KYC compliance, money transmitter regulation, jurisdiction selection, and related areas. The firm is dedicated to advancing the global state of the law and works with government regulators. Mr. Einstein, its founding attorney, frequently speaks and educates both in the United States and aboard.
Blockchain Island | 95
Co-Founder & CEO
Head of B2B
Cryptonity is the combination of two words: Crypto & Community. Simple but strong and meaningful, our goal is to be an exchange that is respected by the Cryptocurrency Community. We aim to provide the most comprehensive, secure, transparent and collaborative exchange platform in the market.
Founded in 2013, Cryptopay has made bitcoin accessible to consumers and businesses for years. We provide merchants with a simple and secure gateway, so they can accept bitcoin from customers instantly, with zero friction. We settle daily in traditional currency – or immediately in bitcoin!
Senior Manager Financial Services and Blockchain
ULRICH SCHOBER CEO
CSB Group (est. 1987) provides its clients with a spectrum of specialised business and commercial services, offering a complete turnkey solution to clients wishing to setup or relocate their business to Malta. Areas of specialisation include: Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Regulation, Regulatory & Compliance, Tax & Accounting, Company Incorporation, Trust & Fiduciary Services, iGaming Licensing Advice & Assistance, Recruitment and Property Sales & Letting.
DACONOMY is building the world’s first universal, decentralised, practical and secure Data Trading and Utlilisation System for businesses and individuals. An intelligent, A.I.-driven Data Ecosystem for data from all sources and all protocols as a product or service. Generate additional income streams with DACONOMY: Get deeper insights and optimise your processes, products and services to increase revenues.
Founder & CEO
Daneel provides unchallenged news curation and market emotions analysis through an A.I. assistant, which understands natural language. It is powered by the reference of the market in the fields of natural language and emotion analysis: IBM Watson.
My dream was to offer a refreshing concept with comfortable, convenient and relaxing accommodation in Malta’s most sought-after town, bringing luxury to our guests and similar amenities to those found in a 5 star property. Rooms and apartments are finished to high standards with various layouts, bed, pillow, and bathroom types. Strong, reliable WiFi is available throughout the property. We also offer the use of a multipurpose meeting room and spa facilities.
PHILIPP MARIA SAUERBORN
Advisor for International Tax & Crypto Regulation
Dr Werner & Partner – if you’re looking for next level chakkawanga: ICOs, blockchain and crypto licence advisory services for businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups who are looking for a next level consultant, to turn next level ideas into next level reality.
E&S Group is a boutique, multi-disciplinary practice based in Malta, with a track record in providing corporate, commercial, tax and trust and fiduciary services and with a strong focus in advisory services in relation to ICO and token offerings and other crypto related activities carried out in terms of Maltese law. In 2019, the Group established a fintech division to be a key contributor and builder of the blockchain and fintech ecosystem, handling banking and payment solutions.
| Blockchain Island
Founder & Maintainer
Founder & CEO
Europecoin Financecloud API emerged from a thought-experiment, named Federated Blockchains. The paradigm shift behind it is to place “features” into a decentralised, blockchain-agnostic protocol, rather than into a single currency. The Europecoin team predicts, that in the near future, inter-connectivity will out-compete unique features as an advantage. The resulting product is a “cryptocurrency smarthub” for the home-network.
Fairwinds Management Limited is a company formation and administration specialist, offering an extensive range of corporate, legal, and accounting services. We handle company incorporations, open bank accounts, submit VAT and tax applications and other administration tasks related to new set ups. We also provide iGaming & Betting Licence Registrations.
JOHN FARRUGIA RANDON
Available globally at 50,000 shops, Flexepin is a prepaid cash voucher allowing you to make fast, secure and hassle-free online payments. Flexepin eliminates the risk of having your identity and banking information exposed online - making it safer than conventional online payment methods for cryptocurrency, gaming and other e-commerce transactions.
The Forestals Group is renowned for its high-end brands such as HP, Sony, CTOUCH, Miele, Smeg, Pergo and many others. By consolidating all products and services offered by the Group of Companies, we specialise in providing a one-stop shop for complete office fit-out solutions complemented with cuttingedge technology required in demanding industries.
DR LEONARD BONELLO
Director of Business Development
The G8C token represents an innovative way of bridging the gap between virtual assets and the casino industry. GanaEight Coin Ltd, a Ganapati Group company, is looking to be the first to utilise both its in-depth knowledge of blockchain technology and unique approach to the online casino world, whilst preserving Japanese tradition.
Head of Commercial Sales
GANADO Advocates is a leading commercial law firm with a particular focus on the corporate, financial services, and maritime sectors, predominantly servicing international clients doing business in or out of Malta. The firm traces its roots back to the early 1900s, and is today one of Malta’s foremost law practices, consistently ranking as a leading firm in all its core sectors.
OLIVER MARCO LA ROSA
Globiance is a FIAT<>CRYPTO exchange platform based in Malta. Through the platform, traders will not only be able to trade the top crypto currencies and tokens but they will also be able to create individual IBAN accounts which will support SEPA/SWIFT payment methods. Users will also have the ability to receive virtual and conventional prepaid cards.
Globitex has launched the EURO Wallet – a banking solution with instant transfers, powered by Nexpay UAB, an EU licensed financial institution. The EURO Wallet allows users to make euro payments with a personal IBAN account. The account is accessed on the cryptocurrency exchange platform, ensuring seamless transactions and euro under full control seconds after withdrawing from the Globitex trading account.
Blockchain Island | 97
Harness the CRYPTO MARKET
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
RAOUL BEHR CEO
With its HQ in Curaçao (Dutch Caribbean) and fully-fledged office in Malta, HBM GROUP is dedicated to providing its clients with the highest quality of service. Beyond being licensed to assist with the Formation and Management of Companies, Foundations, Trusts, and other legal entities for both international businesses and individuals, whilst ensuring compliance with local and international rules and legislation, HBM GROUP is a turnkey provider of Business Support and Corporate Services that meet and exceed the clients’ demands in an ever-changing global market.
Co-Founder & President Hosho is the global leader in blockchain security, specialising in enterprise-grade security services for Fortune 500 and earlystage companies alike. Entirely focused on the blockchain industry, Hosho is setting the standard for blockchain security, providing state-of-the-art smart contract auditing, penetration testing services, and security consulting services around cryptocurrency.
ARMANDO GIARDINO Co-Founder & CEO
HYPE.estate is a Value-Chain platform for real estate investments based on Smart-Contract technology supported by the Ethereum ERC-20 blockchain architecture. It was born from work between Information Technology, Real Estate and Legal experts specialised in the acquisition of non-performing loan portfolios (“NPL real estate”) that give a quality solution and high performance to investors. Our claim is : “The Real Estate @the speed of the Blockchain”
STAV ZILBERSTEIN Co-Founder & CEO
Hyperion Tech is a dedicated IT teams company for mid and longterm projects based in Malta. We build outstanding, passionate dedicated teams. We know that by creating the right company culture, teams form in their true potential and that is exactly what we do. Hyperion is a disruptive force in the IT market thanks to a lean and effective approach for enterprise clients.
TIM M. ZAGAR
Co-Founder & CEO
Founder & CEO
ICONOMI is a platform for managing digital assets. ICONOMI enables managers to advise on the creation and management of diversified baskets of different digital assets called Digital Asset Arrays (DAAs). DAAs are the foundation of the ICONOMI platform. They combine an assortment of specific assets that can be invested according to each adviser’s strategy. The ICONOMI platform offers a range of diversified DAAs with a variety of investment strategies with various risk levels and performance targets.
Investment Evolution is a Malta-based company with its own IEC cryptocurrency coin/network and operates the IECX Malta cryptocurrency exchange. IEC cryptocurrency facilitates fast and free international payments to the Philippines by Filipino OFWs in Europe. We also provide cryptocurrency token creation/exchange listing services and plan to offer cryptocurrency loans.
JIMMY ZHONG CEO
IOST is a blockchain venture that provides ultra-high TPS blockchain infrastructure to meet the security and scalability needs of a globally and mass-adopted decentralised economy. Led by a team of proven founders and backed by world-class investors, the IOST mission is to be the underlying architecture for the future of online services.
MARZIO PANELLI COO
Ivyn is a start-up company founded by people with a common vision and mission to “bring cryptocurrencies into everyday life in an easy way”. The Ivyn Digital Currency is a payment platform for managing cryptocurrencies and includes functions such as: Real Time Transfers, Virtual Prepaid Crypto Card, Multi Cryptocurrency Wallet, Wallet Recover System, Merchant API Integration & Crytocurrencies Exchange.
Blockchain Island | 99
Leading the way guided by knowledge
Ranked among the top three corporate service providers globally, Vistra is a versatile group of professionals, providing a uniquely broad range of services and solutions. Our capabilities span across international incorporations to trust, fiduciary, private client services, and fund administration. As a leading global player with expert industry knowledge and location specialists, Vistra has a deep understanding of the professional worlds of our clients, and a proven track record of offering highly versatile solutions, providing the people, processes, and products that help our clients get the most from their international business. Our services include: • Company formation and back office services • Licensing • Tax & VAT compliance/accounting • Bank account opening • Setting up residences in Malta • International expansion For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jelurida is a blockchain software company that enables enterprises to build decentralised applications utilising the Nxt and Ardor technologies. We offer scalable proof-ofstake blockchain solutions, with a unique parent-child chain architecture, built on top of five years of software development and production blockchain experience.
Kinanis represents a legal and fiduciary group of companies with 35 years of experience with offices in Malta, Cyprus and representative office in China. The group is staffed with around 80 professionals, lawyers and accountants and has a business-oriented approach, providing proactive legal, tax, vat, regulatory and ICO consulting.
Co-Founder & Director
Founder & Managing Partner
With a staff compliment of around 350, including 29 principals, KPMG in Malta is one of the leading providers of audit, tax and advisory services. Our vision is to be the clear choice for our clients, our people and our community. We are committed to working shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients by adopting a clientcentric approach that integrates innovative approaches and deep expertise to deliver real results.
KSi Malta is a corporate and private client advisory, accounting, audit and tax firm providing a full range of financial, legal, and business advisory services to a diversified client base. KSi Malta is a member of Morison KSi, a global association of leading professional service firms, established to meet cross-border accounting, auditing, tax and business consulting needs of clients. It consists of 160 member firms, is present in 82 countries, employs over 10,000 staff, and has a turnover of over $1 billion.
With headquarters in Malta, regional office in Ukraine and representatives in Singapore, Australia and South Africa, Kyte utilises its position on the Blockchain Island to provide services to Cryptocurrency Exchanges and DLT companies, to complement its existing business with the world’s leading Gaming Operators and Financial Institutions that are operating and licensed out of Malta.
The Malta Blockchain Hub is made up of the Blockchain Labs and the Blockchain Studios. The Labs performs testing for compliance with the Virtual Financial Assets and Digital Innovation Technologies Regulations. The Studios offer hot desking facilities to start-up companies setting up in Malta including corporate services and application process for Malta ICO and blockchain licenses.
ANTHONY DAVID GATT
MICHAEL J. ZAMMIT
Manager of Investment Promotion
Director & Joint Owner
Malta Enterprise is the country’s economic development agency, tasked with attracting new FDI as well as facilitating the growth of existing operations. It endeavours towards the expansion of major economic sectors including: High added value manufacturing, life sciences, logistics, aviation maintenance, international educational services, and digital innovation.
Our distinct offering extends itself to both local and international clients seeking real estate investment opportunities, those seeking to relocate to Malta, and property owners looking to list and promote their property to qualified buyers. Services include: Residential Sales & Letting, Commercial Sales & Letting, Property Management and Relocation & Residency.
Partner, International Tax
Director – Tax
Blockchain Island | 101
Lawyer / Partner & CEO
Director of Business Services
We are one of Malta’s top-tier law firms, with significant depth and expertise across a broad range of practice areas. As an integrated corporate and commercial legal practice, we pride ourselves on our service delivery. We always strive to exceed the expectations of our clients as we provide them with expert advice and legal insight.
We provide smart solutions for business, combining the most powerful internet network in Europe with the most advanced mobile network to enable IoT capabilities. Our purpose-built Data Centre provides high security, cloud services and connectivity whilst our dedicated support teams and our fully redundant international links keep your business running.
www.melitadatacentre.com | www.melitabusiness.com
Marketing Manager The Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) is the central driver of Government’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policy, programmes and initiatives in Malta. MITA’s role is to deliver and implement the assigned programmes as set out in the Digital Malta National ICT Strategy 2014 - 2020, and from time to time, as directed by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation.
Managing Director Nagarro drives technology-led business breakthroughs for industry leaders and challengers. When our clients want to move fast and make things, they turn to us. Today, we are more than 5,000 experts across 20 countries. Together we form Nagarro, the global services division of Munich-based Allgeier SE.
Founder & CEO
Founder & Director
NEUTRINO is a software house with special talents in exploiting cyber technology for Law Enforcement and Government use. Thanks to these skills Neutrino has created a leading cryptocurrency investigation and analysis platform, providing insights ACROSS multiple currencies and THROUGH deliberate techniques used for obfuscation. The Neutrino platform and practical expertise supports Market Regulators to determine AML/KYC processes and risk mitigation.
The pain in the A.I. marketplace is how difficult it is to apply. We make A.I. easy and fun. NinjaMoba LTD is the winner of the Nov 2017 Malta Techstars weekend. We have three projects in development. Sentiment emogies and emogies The NinjaMoba Market Stress Index. We are in diligence to foster climate action evaluated by distributed A.I. and recorded with DLT.
Founder & CEO
NOKU create interfaces for the use of the blockchains. Our goal is to bridge the gap between the most complex technology existing nowadays and the mass market. We are creating an all-in-one ecosystem that gives everyone the possibility to create their own token, exchange value and trust, and launch their own blockchain projects in the easiest and most reliable way. NOKU is the NO-banks society.
Established in 2008, NOUV is a professional services firm based in Malta offering a wide range of advisory services in the following areas; Cryptocurrencies, DLT, Corporate, Legal, Technology, Accounting and Outsourcing, Tax, Audit and Assurance and iGaming. We focus on international clients wishing to be regulated and/or setup in Malta. NOUV is an independent member of TGS Global, an international network of professional business advisors.
Blockchain Island | 103
E&S Fintech is a division of the E&S Group focusing heavily on all payment, card, crypto and blockchain advisory services in relation to growing digital currency market. We have a dedicated team specialising not only in tech but also in the licensing and tokenomics of ICOs, STOs and VFA Exchanges in or from Malta. We are also proud to be the first legal firm in the world to have tokenised its streams of income.
Secure Data Tokenisation Vault for cards, Private Keys and other Sensitive Data
Custom Software Development in the FinTech space.
Tel: +356 2010 3020 Email: email@example.com
W W W. E L L U L S C H R A N Z . C O M C O R P O R AT E
Crypto & Card Acquiring Services
Palace Court, Church Street St. Julianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, STJ 3049, Malta
The ODEM platform connects students, educators, and service providers where, together, they develop and engage in personal, group, in-person educational programs. The platform reduces costs and improves access to premium education by directly connecting educators with students and eliminating inefficient and costly intermediaries.
OpenLedger ApS is a Danish company dedicated to bringing the power of blockchain technology to the wider business world. The company has over 50 expert software development and architecture specialists, marketers, business analysts, legal and support personnel in our headquarters in Pandrup, Denmark, and our technical center in Minsk, Belarus.
STEVEN ORMOND SMITH
Ormco provides blockchain advisory and support services for projects at the concept stage right through to live blockchain projects that have completed their ICO. Supported by a team of 30 accountants, Ormco has offices in Malta, the Isle of Man and India. Services include ICO advisory, BTC & ETH escrow facilities for OTC trades, and back office support services including accounting, administration, treasury and wallet management.
Paymentworld Europe Limited is an EU licensed E-Money Institution. We facilitate our client’s needs from a Gateway that provides 400+ payment methods worldwide via Instant Payments through E-Wallet and Marketplace solutions. All combined with your own dedicated IBAN and banking services! Easy integration and “One Stop Payment” guaranteed.
Co-Founder & CEO
Founder & CEO
Founder & Co-Owner
Founder & CFO
Chief Technology Officer Perfectial is in the business of helping companies disrupt markets with state-of-the-art software. Years of experience in building products has helped us gain expertise in a range of fields; all of our work is accompanied by the industry’s new tools, practices, and technologies with blockchain being one the most impactful.
NIKOLAI TIMOFEJEV Partner & COO
Prifinance is a safe and legal way of funding your blockchain project. We will bring your start-up to a successful ICO, backing your team in every aspect, from legal consulting, to effective marketing, management and technical audit. We have an extensive experience in obtaining licenses for the crypto exchange activity and are able to advise you about the legal status of cryptocurrencies in any country.
Prime Trust is a technology-driven financial institution, that as a qualified custodian provides FIAT and token custody, funds processing, AML and KYC compliance, and transaction technology for the new digital economy. Its mission is to provide exchanges, portals, platforms, brokers, investment advisors, stablecoins, and others, with smart API solutions to seamlessly meet the needs of their businesses.
Private Financial Services is a reputed and established player in the financial and legal services market, having its representative office in Estonia, Latvia, and Russia. In operation since 1998. As from 2015 we also provide legal services and licensing for crypto business. PFSER has assisted more than 70 crypto-projects all over the world.
Head of Estonian branch
Blockchain Island | 105
With you all the way
Consultancy Kyte Crypto Services
Security Operations Centre (SOC)
Vulnerability Management & Pen Testing
eLearning Blockchain Assurance
Founded by Largillière Finance, a leading M&A advisory firm, Psion Finance assists their clients in their tokenisation projects (ICO / STO). The core team consists of dedicated blockchain and finance experts, strengthened by a worldwide network of Tier 1 entities specialised in blockchain, finance and technology.
Blockchain based fourth factor authentication service and wallet allowing users to securely authenticate services and secure funds across multiple users directly from a mobile device using blockchain as an encrypted ledger. Pyxis gives every user a hardware wallet right on their phone with advanced encryption techniques and shared secure secrets.
Quickbit is a simple and easy way to buy Cryptocurrency with your Visa or MsterCard! QuickBit eu AB (publ) is a Swedish public fintech company that provides cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to the global online market. QuickBit offers its customers cryptocurrency for quick, easy and secure e-commerce and provides e-merchants with blockchainsecured solutions that mitigates the risk of fraud.
Already a proven success in creating, refining and adapting state-of-the-art quiz technology with thousands of people test-driving the prototype platform, Quizando is about to turn the gaming and influencer market on its head. Based on a solid, existing success story, Quizando is a sensational proposition about to be unleashed globally.
KEVIN BUTTIGIEG CEO
RE/MAX Malta is a Real Estate Agency with 27 offices
Co-Founder & CPO
strategically located throughout Malta & Gozo. The company has a team of over 350 sales & letting associates that each specialise in different areas of the market. This, paired with one of the largest property databases on the island, certifies that your RE/MAX real estate agent can easily show you almost any property currently available on the market.
Reitium is a global, compliant, secure blockchain technology platform, offering investors a 100% asset-backed Real Estate investment, using a fractional ownership model. Built on IBM’s Hyperledger fabric, our enterprise-grade, permissioned private blockchain uses smart contracts to enable privacy, security, transparency and liquidity while reducing transaction time and costs.
VITO MARTIN HRZENJAK
MAX VON WALLENBERG
Head of Product
RIALTO.AI is a fintech company developing a platform for automated trading in the growing multi-billion landscape of digital assets and blockchain transactions. The team of experienced trading economists, data scientists, and signal processing experts is designing algorithms for arbitrage, market making, and prediction trading. Our algorithms allow the RIALTO.AI platform users an automated, seamless and secure way to trade their cryptocurrencies.
Rise is a science-driven software technology company and innovator of machine learning and algorithmic trading systems. Rise’s AI-powered trading technology puts the power of Wall Street’s best financial and quantitative analysts into the hands of everyday investors.
Blockchain Island | 107
Bags & Backpacks :
Backpacks, Document & Laptop Bags, Shopping & Thermo Bags
Conference Products :
Conference Holders, ID Holders, Lanyards, Notepads, Pens, Stress Balls, USB, Sweets & Mints
Drinkware & Outdoor :
Bicycling, Binoculars, Car Accessories, Compasses, Flasks, Golf, Reflective Items, Sport Bottles, Steel & Thermo Mugs
Electronics & IT Accessories :
Audio Headphones, IT Accessories, Portable Speakers, Power Banks, Smart watches, USB Flash Drives
Fashion - Beauty & Health :
First Aid Kits, Manicure Sets, Mirrors, Towels, Wallets
Keyrings & Tools :
Buttons, Keyrings, Lanyards, Pocket Knives, Tape Measures, Tools & Torches
Bottle Openers, Candles, Cups, Glasses, Lighters, Mugs, Tea Sets, Wine Accessories
Leather Products :
Briefcase, Desk Sets, Gift Sets, Portfolios, Purses & Wallets
Office Accessories :
Business Card Holders, Calendars, Calculators, Clocks, Folders, Notepads, Stress Balls, Weather Stations
Bandanas, Caps, Gloves, Hats, Jackets, Slippers, T-shirts, and Vests
Travelling Accessories :
Cosmetic Pouches, Luggage tags, Pillows, Suiters, Trolley Bags, Umbrellas & Ponchos, Weighing Scales
Writing Instruments :
Gift Sets, Highlighters, Pencils & Pen cases, Metal & Plastic Pens
(+356) 99 493 975
GORDON MICALLEF Partner
RSM offers specialist advisory services to medium-sized companies aspiring to grow locally and internationally. Our bestin-class resources are supported by knowledge and expertise available throughout the RSM global network. We invest heavily in talent to provide quality, business and IT advisory services as well as tax advisory, corporate services, back office support and audit services for our clients.
EVAN MASLENNIKOV Co-Founder & CEO
RunCPA is the world’s leading crypto affiliate network established in 2015 specifically to bridge cutting-edge blockchain product with new customers and investors. By now RunCPA has over 20,000 customers generated every month, over 1000 active traffic sources with over 12% average conversion rate and works with all existing blockchain niches.
RENÉ POMASSL CEO
Salamantex is a fintech and blockchain company based in Austria and focusing on crypto payment solutions for merchants. To provide EASY-TO-USE interfaces in the crypto and blockchain world under the slogan “easy way for crypto pay”. The Salamantex crypto payment solutions can be used on their own developed payment terminals or can be integrated into existing POS systems, smartphones, tablets and online shops. Salamantex is also focusing on blockchain and crypto development, research and consulting.
BRANDON SYNTH Co-Founder
The Skycoin Platform is the most advanced blockchain platform in the world. Developed by early contributors to both Bitcoin and Ethereum, Skycoin’s platform is completely secure, infinitely scalable, and ISP independent. Backed by bandwidth, storage, and computational power Skycoin is built to fulfill Satoshi’s original vision.
Co-Founder & CEO ShareRing is the first global marketplace allowing security of access, connection and payment - anywhere, at any time. ShareRing have developed a sharing ecosystem, built on a distributed blockchain called ShareLedger. ShareLedger enables universal access to any asset attached to the ShareRing system with fast, secure transactions. ShareRing has created the first centralised solution for the highly fragmented community providers across all industries and locations.
JOHAN ZAMMIT Founder & CEO
Smart Studios builds world-class digital solutions for leading brands and emerging startups, empowering them to embrace the opportunities of blockchain, A.I. and IOT. With over 20 years of relevant experience we provide a unique balanced view to forward thinking organisations that want to incubate their decentralised business ideas and scale them into successful blockchain, AI and IOT based products.
SushiChain is a custom blockchain written in Crystal. It features CPU only mining, Human readable addresses, 2FA at the transaction level, a decentralised application framework and many more features.
John Calian is Senior Vice President at Deutsche Telekom AG, and Head of the Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) in Berlin. Additionally, John co-founded and leads all product development for the T-Labs Blockchain Group, a team dedicated to decentralisation research and development. John is responsible for developing and leading innovation topics, including blockchain strategies and initiatives, machine learning techniques and customer experiences.
Senior Vice President
Blockchain Island | 109
Located in the centre of Malta and targeting LEED Platinum certification, The Quad Business Towers is set to deliver over 44,000m² of commercial floor space, including a mix of Grade A office space, a range of retail and amenity outlets, ample parking facilities and spacious landscaped outdoor areas and piazzas. Developed by the Tumas and Gasan Groups and designed by leading architectural firm DeMicoli & Associates.
Thompson&Stein is an international law firm specialising in law and tax consulting for blockchain industry. The company’s activities include assistance in obtaining cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service provider licenses in Estonia. Professional team consists of experienced lawyers, tax advisors and certified accountants.
Chief Marketing Officer
We’re the first A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) driven concierge for online Casinos. It’s become super challenging to acquire new players just to lose them in a whim of a second due to poor customer experience. Our A.I. solves player issues, so in real time they keep playing.
traceto.io is a decentralised Know Your Customer (KYC) network that provides an inclusive KYC solution to cryptocurrency and blockchain product companies, by fusing Smart Contract and Artificial Intelligence technologies. Leveraging on over 5 decades of experience in Compliance and RegTech, traceto.io’s vision is to bridge the gap between the real and virtual world KYC processes.
Trijo is Sweden’s first real cryptocurrency exchange and is set to go live at the beginning of 2019. In addition to our exchange, we also operate Trijo News, a news site that covers the latest from the world of bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies.
Founded in 2009, TrustPay belongs to first financial institutions within the region to provide secure e-commerce payments across EEA area. Our principal membership with VISA Europe, MasterCard and UnionPay as well as PCI DSS Level 1 certification enable us to provide our clients with outstanding cross-border B2B services.
Business Development Manager
Founder & CEO
ULTICoin is the first-of-its-kind cryptocurrency built on Ethereum blockchain that implements and manages in-game virtual currencies. ULTI can be used in any game. ULTI’s main purpose is exchanging assets: ULTI tokens can be traded for other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. With more than 25,000 e-gaming platforms worldwide, ULTI aims to unlock value through partnerships and integration into multiple gaming platforms.
| Blockchain Island
Umnai is an A.I. focused solutions provider that is creating new A.I. technology that can explain itself and its decisions. Our ethical A.I. solutions assist people to achieve their full potential, rather than replacing them. Our emphasis is on achieving a positive social impact through creativity and innovation.
Head of Business Development U.SAVE BLOCKCHAIN LTD, a Maltese company, is a Global Tracking Solution, Producing, Securing, Storing and Marketing Eco-Responsible Gold, which is using blockchain technology to revolutionise the entire gold supply chain industry. Powered by the Ethereum blockchain, our network will track and record data throughout the entire supply chain, from the miner to the end consumer.
MARCO BUGELLI Managing Director
Vistra is a market-leading provider of corporate services in 46 jurisdictions, focused on giving blockchain & crypto operators tailormade solutions with a global approach. We offer regulatory and legal expertise, company formation & bank account opening services, ITO/ STO, Tax Compliance, GDPR and Residence Services, as well as IT Consulting/Audit services (with our partners).
ROBERT ELLUL MICALLEF
JOSEPH F BORG
Vodafone has a history of technological innovation and prides itself on being at the forefront of developments that change customer lives for the better. Companies look to Vodafone to connect their fixed and mobile needs, online businesses and international offices to the rest of the world. Vodafone is the island’s leading telecommunications provider, delivering an unparalleled level of support.
WH Partners is a leading Malta-based business law firm specialising in the following sectors: gaming and gambling, financial and investment services, fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and taxation. Both the firm and the lawyers are highly ranked by the foremost legal directories, including Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal and the International Financial Law Review.
Solutions & Innovation Senior Manager
WizKey is an Ethereum-based decentralised finance network designed to maximise the value of enterprises’ and banks’ receivables. The use of smart contracts and blockchain technology allows users to disintermediate and streamline receivables due diligence and transfer, resulting in increased cost efficiency. Tokenising receivables on the Ethereum blockchain allows users to leverage a massive network effect to open new markets and opportunities, leading to higher revenues.
ZBX is a regulation ready cryptocurrency exchange registered in Malta and targeting the European market. Built with and powered by the technical solutions from Zillion Bits AG - a Swiss based world leading exchange solution provider, Zillion Bits’ core solution has already been commercially used on several top-tier exchanges such as ZB.com and EXX.com. The founding team of ZBX has broad and intensive experience in traditional financial service, IT and cryptocurrency sectors.
Co-Founder & Chief Evangelist Zilliqa is a high-throughput public blockchain platform that aims to make decentralised blockchains the building block of future enterprises and applications. Developed through academic research and helmed by a team of experienced scientists, engineers, venture creators and leaders in the financial services, Zilliqa addresses limitations in scalability and security, enabling real-world usability across a variety of industries, including finance, digital advertising, and gaming.
Blockchain Island | 111
Global Leader in Cryptocurrency Payments, Loans and Exchanges
MEDIA PARTNERS The mission of AI Time Journal is to divulge information and knowledge about Artificial Intelligence, the changes that are coming and new opportunities to use A.I. technology to benefit humanity. AI Time Journal promotes Artificial Intelligence initiatives that enable people with knowledge the tools to have an impact through A.I.
AMBCrypto is an independent cryptocurrency news publishing platform with a comprehensive ICO listing page, a dedicated real-time live cryptocurrency price ticker page and a blog section with a reach of over a million users worldwide. Conceptualised and brought to life in 2018, we are a young and vibrant start-up on an upward climb to the top. We take great pride in the fact that we are a nonfunded organisation and have seen exponential growth since inception. We are among the top cryptocurrency media portals in the world.
Bitcoin Garden is a news site and discussion forum about Bitcoin, fintech and other applications of the blockchain technology. Launched in March 2013, since the very beginning Bitcoin Garden has always paid special attention to the world of alternative cryptocurrencies.
blockcast.it is a Chinese media focusing on blockchain related news and articles. We serve our contents to all Chinese regions including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Beginners to professionals are all our target audience, and our contents cover cryptocurrency investment to technical discovery.
Bringing you news, analysis, opinion and insight from the fast-moving blockchain world. Our team of journalists and contributors cover the likes of cryptocurrencies, wallets, exchanges and ICOs across a wide range of sectors including retail, fintech, banking and gaming. We go beyond the press releases and marketing hype to tackle all the industry topics that matter.
CoinMarketCap is the largest site in the world for cryptocurrency market cap rankings, charts, and more, with over 65 million monthly users. Their website tracks capitalisation of various cryptocurrencies by listing prices, available supply (amount of coins/tokens that is currently in circulation), trade volume over last 24 hours, or market capitalisations. The website has historical snapshots, currency converter calculator, crypto glossary, API service, events calendar, and offers a watchlist for users to personalise.
Blockchain Island | 113
Cryptimi.com is a professional digital currency review site. Cryptimi provides objective reviews and test each product thoroughly as part of the review process, only giving high marks to the very best. Easy to follow guides, investment opportunities, technical analysis & important news updates keep crypto enthusiasts active & informed.
CryptoSlate was founded in 2017 by Seattle-based technology entrepreneurs, Nate Whitehill and Matthew Blancarte. As strong believers in blockchain technologies, they envisioned a more streamlined way to get a glimpse of the cryptocurrency universe - including the latest crypto news, blockchain companies, products, cryptocurrency prices and blockchain events. CryptoSlate’s mission is to deliver transparent and accurate coverage of cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption.
DuniaFintech.com is the largest media web property in Indonesia specialising in cryptocurrency, blockchain, and financial technology and our services include banner, articles, publishing and more. We serve as media partners of event planners. Established in 2017, the firm has offices in Jakarta, Indonesia.
ForkLog magazine is an information resource dedicated to Bitcoin, blockchain, and decentralised technologies. Cryptocurrency events, Bitcoin price analysis, op-ed’s, crypto technologies, and all the news about Bitcoin. Working for you since 2014.
Founded in early 2017, kriptokoin.com has quickly become the innovative face of Turkey’s finance industry. The company created the first mobile crypto news app of Turkey on iOS and the website has monthly one million pageviews. Kriptokoin.com’s news are also feeding investing.com.tr. For further information and co-operation reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
NewsBTC is a news service that covers bitcoin news, technical analysis & forecasts for bitcoin and other altcoins. Here at NewsBTC, we are dedicated to enlightening people all around the world about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. We cover news related to bitcoin exchanges, bitcoin mining and price forecasts for various virtual currencies.
The Times of Malta is an English-language daily newspaper in Malta. Founded in 1935, by Lord and Lady Strickland’s daughter Mabel, it is the oldest daily newspaper still in circulation in Malta. It has the widest circulation and is seen as the daily newspaper of “reference” of the Maltese press.
Tractica, an Informa business, is a market intelligence firm that focuses on emerging technologies. Tractica’s global market research and consulting services combine qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to provide a comprehensive view of the emerging market opportunities surrounding Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, User Interface Technologies, Advanced Computing, Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, and Wearables & Digital Health.
| Blockchain Island
BOLTON HOLDING LIMITED - SUITE 14301 - BURJ KHALIFA DUBAI WWW.BOLTONHOLDING.COM