Category Archives: Malta Blockchain News

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Malta to Register Rent Contracts on Blockchain

Malta to Register Rent Contracts on Blockchain

In a move that will deeply ingrain blockchain in every citizen’s life, Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, announced last Sunday during an interview that every rental contract in Malta will have to be registered on a decentralized ledger.

The Prime Minister revealed that the cabinet approved these reforms in the rental laws after a lengthy consultation and discussion period.

He stated the benefits of the project would include enhancement of security and safety against record tampering while ensuring that only authorized persons can access the records. In particular, storing data on the distributed ledger means there is no possibility of creating fake contracts of places without any public record.

He added:

“We will now be showing people the added value of this technology by applying it to something which they will use in their daily lives. This shows how the digital transformation will affect their lives.”

Malta, dubbed “blockchain island” courtesy its highly favorable policies towards crypto, was one of the first countries to adopt crypto and blockchain back in July 2018, when the government agreed upon a relaxed regulatory framework to encourage the implementation of distributed ledger technologies. Since then, financial instruments, electronic money, financial instruments, and virtual financial assets have been granted legal legitimacy.

In addition to the tolerant regulatory environment, EU membership and an educated workforce have assisted Malta to become a booming hub for blockchain activities.

The PM added that the full details of the rental reforms would be revealed in the coming days.

 

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Blockchain-backed System to be Integrated into Malta’s Registry of Companies

Malta

A blockchain-backed system will be integrated into Malta’s Registry of Companies according to a news piece on The Malta Independent on 8 May 2019.

Official information and documentation concerning both new and existing companies are currently held by the Registry of Companies (a public registry). At the end of 2018, the agency established itself as an independent entity after separation from the Malta Financial Services Authority’s (MFSA). The new agency will be run on a blockchain-powered system according to the media reports. Moreover, it is expected that the internal management structure of the Registry will be strengthened by the establishment of a separate agency.

Silvio Schembri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation stated that due to the implementation of new technology, the Registry of Companies will get rid of unnecessary bureaucratic procedures and act more efficiently. It will allow the provision of new services, which the old system is not capable of catering. The agency will be the first of its kind to be run on a blockchain-based system, added Schembri.

Previously in December 2018, a declaration was passed by seven southern European Union member states to promote the use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in their respective countries. In the said declaration, healthcare, shipping, transport, education, land registry, company registry and customs were identified as key sectors that can be improved by the use of blockchain-backed technology.

However, in January 2019, International Monetary Fund (IMF) observed that significant risks of money laundering and terrorism financing have been created due to the growth of the crypto sector in Malta. IMF suggested that authorities must impose more sanctions on crypto sector and meanwhile enhance their own understanding of potential regulatory breaches and risks.

 

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IMF Suggets That Malta Has Insufficient AML and CFT Regulation

Malta

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recommended immediate action on some critical gaps in Malta’s supervision for combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML). Times of Malta reported the news on 28 February 2019.

The IMF issued a comprehensive report (Financial System Stability Assessment Report) summarizing the quality of regulatory and supervisory framework in Malta, an assessment of its financial system and its ability to overcome the financial crisis.

IMF maintained that in order to address AML/CFT deficiencies, a multipronged approach is required. Moreover, financial stability can be affected by financial integrity risks. An efficient AML/CFT system is needed to safeguard the financial sector and broader economy against potential terrorist financing or money laundering threats.

Screening processes for beneficiary owner information are required according to the report. Moreover, monitoring risk-sensitive accounts such as digital assets, IIP-related funds, and e-gaming is the need of the hour.

In order to supervise blockchain related service providers, employment of more resources was recommended by the IMF.  The report stated that the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) needs to upgrade its operational capacity to face the challenges of monitoring the increasing number of licensed financial institutions in an evolving regulatory setup.

Due to its crypto friendly and blockchain supportive environment, Malta is renowned all over the world. However, the IMF has raised concerns over possible AML compliance violations. In January, IMF maintained that due to the rapid growth of Malta’s financial sector, MFSA is under “considerable strain”. The IMF may have become wary of the success of Malta in the cryptocurrency field and might look to tighten its control in order to slow down the crypto adoption process.

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Malta to Store Education Certificates on Blockchain

Malta to Store Education Certificates on Blockchain

Local English publication Malta Today has reported that the country will now store all education certificates on a blockchain-based platform.

According to the report, the latest move came after the successful implementation of a two-year-old pilot project. Now, the pilot project will be upgraded to include all schools in Malta, whereby secondary school certificates issued by independent schools, state or church will be stored on the blockchain. A two-year contract has been signed by the Maltese government with software company Learning Machine, which will upgrade the present system, noted the report.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat remarked during the signing ceremony that Malta was the first country to adopt to blockchain-based education certificates. He added that in 2017, his government decided on a policy to make the nation a haven for blockchain and gradually it has been successful in achieving that. Malta remains one of the most progressive countries when it comes to blockchain and crypto regulations. In July 2018, a set of bills was passed by the Maltese government in order to provide legal certainty for the crypto sector.

Malta may be the first country to take such a grand step but in January, the University of Bahrain also announced that it would issue diplomas on the blockchain. As part of a pilot program, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had also decided to issue blockchain based education certificates to more than 100 graduates.  A special app was used to issue those certificates which will enable students to share a verifiable certificate with their employers and other parties.

In December 2016, media reports came out claiming that the Kenyan government has decided to use IBM’s enterprise-grade blockchain solution in order to create a tamper-free and transparent education management system.

 

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Malta Pioneers the Future of Blockchain, Introduces First Ever Decentralized Bank Backed by Binance

The Mediterranean island of Malta is set to become a key component of blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation and evolution. There are plans for the world’s first decentralized bank to be built regulation-ready, in the future blockchain hub of the world.

A Decentralized Bank

In a Bloomberg report on July 12th, cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao were said to be backing the world’s first decentralized bank named the ‘Founders Bank’.

A unique characteristic of the bank will see that it owned in parts; Founders Bank will be issuing a “legally-binding equity token” offering through a blockchain-based equity fundraising platform called Neufund.

According to comments made by Binance on Bloomberg, Binance has taken a five percent stake alongside other anchor investors at a 133 million-euro ($155 million) pre-money valuation.

However, the Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat remains sanguine in the face of these hurdles, saying in a recent speech describing the countries future, “The concept sounds confusing right now, but I have no doubt that it will form the base of a new economy in the future. Just as we attribute value to pieces of paper, so too will future generations attribute value to electronic storage systems.”

The equity-token sale would be a collaboration with a major European stock exchange and conducted under German regulations, though the exchange at present has not been named.

Motions in Malta

In March of this year, Binance announced plans to move its operations to Malta; this came after rigorous reviews of several other potential locations and conclusively, the European island proved itself worthy of the largest crypto exchange in the world.

On July 4th, Malta passed three bills into law that legalized cryptocurrency businesses, making it the first ‘legal certainty’ country for the industry. The island has been especially bullish on crypto for quite some time; proposals for new rules regarding cryptocurrency investments were made in late 2017 and by March 2018 the three recently passed bills were entered into debate.

Bullish Lawmakers

Cointelegraph spoke to Simon Chembri, (13th July), a partner at Ganado Advocates — a leading law firm in Malta which was a critical component during the drafting of the new legislation. He comments, “The purpose was to make Malta a blockchain hub, attracting a number of investments in the country.”

Which is simple enough, however he also gave bullish comments on the legitimization of distributed ledger technology (DLT), blockchains, ICOs, crypto assets etc. by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, saying, “It gives the opportunity for DLT frameworks at the outset to come over to Malta and voluntary, — if they want — register, or have their DLT framework licensed or certified by this new authority…”

Later adding in regards to a national cryptocurrency, “At this stage, there is nothing set as an agenda by the Maltese government. But we are aware that other countries are considering this and have already taken steps. And we would not be surprised if that would be the next step.”

Ranked third most ‘crypto-friendly’ nation by a BlockShow Europe study earlier this year, it would be no surprise to see Malta reach and hold the top spot should the study be conducted again after the Founders Bank is launched.

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