Maltese Government Welcomes 5000 Blockchain Enthusiasts to Blockchain Summit

After the Mal­tese gov­ern­ment had already pro­mot­ed its goal of posi­tion­ing itself as “Blockchain Island” with the organ­i­sa­tion of the Delta Sum­mit in Octo­ber, the big Mal­ta Blockchain Sum­mit fol­lowed. From Novem­ber 1st to 2nd more than 5000 cryp­to enthu­si­asts, blockchain devel­op­ers, start-ups and investors gath­ered at the Inter­con­ti­nen­tal Hotel in St. Julian’s.

The Mal­tese gov­ern­ment around Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat and Junior Min­is­ter Sil­vio Schem­bri used the media atten­tion for sev­er­al impor­tant announce­ments. While Mus­cat spoke about the suc­cess of the Blockchain Island and inspired start-ups to choose Mal­ta as their home, Schem­bri announced the estab­lish­ment of a task force on Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence to fol­low the exam­ple of the Blockchain Island ini­tia­tive. At the same time, on Novem­ber 1, 2018, the 3 leg­isla­tive ini­tia­tives that will cre­ate the world’s first DLT frame­work came into force.

Among many keynote speak­ers and experts were the leg­endary John McAfee, Jon Mato­nis from the Bit­coin Foun­da­tion. The Mal­ta Blockchain Sum­mit was sup­port­ed by indus­try por­tals such as Crunch­base, Cryp­to­Com­pare and Coin­Tele­graph. We from Dr. Wern­er & Part­ner were also rep­re­sent­ed with our own booth and were hap­py about excit­ing con­ver­sa­tions and long queues of vis­i­tors who lined up to test Birdly’s Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty Sim­u­la­tor at our booth.

John McAfee: Blockchain Must Remain Permissionless, Decentralized and Independent

One of the eager­ly await­ed high­lights was the keynote by cryp­to leg­end John McAfee, who has achieved cult sta­tus in the cryp­to scene with his some­times scan­dalous and provoca­tive state­ments. In his open­ing speech for the Mal­ta Blockchain Sum­mit, he first thanked the Mal­tese gov­ern­ment for organ­is­ing the con­gress and invit­ing him to par­tic­i­pate in this impor­tant event. Con­gress­es like this would help the Blockchain com­mu­ni­ty to exchange ideas and gain more vis­i­bil­i­ty.

At the same time, the well-known lib­er­tar­i­an also found very crit­i­cal and warn­ing words con­cern­ing what an increas­ing­ly legal­ized and reg­u­lat­ed blockchain and cryp­to world could entail. In essence, the cryp­to scene must remain trust­less and per­mis­sion­less, as this is the only way to guar­an­tee its decen­tral­ized char­ac­ter and the equal­i­ty of all par­tic­i­pants. Efforts by gov­ern­ments to bring legal clar­i­ty to the wild west of the cryp­to world would be nice, but in the long run the cryp­to world would retain its per­mis­sion­less char­ac­ter. The ini­tial­ly ide­al­is­tic core idea of the scene would have to be pre­served and should not be abol­ished by exces­sive reg­u­la­tion.

Silvio Schembri Announces Foundation of a Task Force around Artificial Intelligence

One of the biggest news of the con­gress came from Malta’s Junior Min­is­ter for Finan­cial Ser­vices, Dig­i­tal Econ­o­my and Inno­va­tion Sil­vio Schem­bri. In his 10-minute keynote on the 2nd day of the con­gress, he announced the estab­lish­ment of a task force on Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence. The expert group, cur­rent­ly made up of 10 renowned experts from busi­ness, research and pol­i­tics, is to devel­op ini­tia­tives and frame­work con­di­tions with the aim of posi­tion­ing Mal­ta as one of the 10 most inno­v­a­tive and attrac­tive loca­tions for AI tech­nol­o­gy. The aim is to build on past suc­cess­es in posi­tion­ing Mal­ta as the first choice loca­tion for com­pa­nies in the iGam­ing or Blockchain sec­tor. With the estab­lish­ment of the task force, the por­tal was also launched. The por­tal will inform inter­est­ed par­ties from all over the world about the devel­op­ment of Malta’s nation­al strat­e­gy for AI.

DLT Framework Comes into Force with Start of Congress

With the start of the con­gress — Novem­ber 1, 2018 – three impor­tant Acts estab­lish­ing Malta’s DLT frame­work came into force, includ­ing the intro­duc­tion of Vir­tu­al Finan­cial Asset (VFA) licences. Of course, legal advice was also a hot top­ic at the con­gress. At the same time, the MFSA announced that per­sons who wish to make use of the tran­si­tion­al pro­vi­sion in the sense of Arti­cle 62 of the Act, but have not yet sub­mit­ted a reg­is­tra­tion form, have until 12 Novem­ber 2018 to sub­mit a com­plete reg­is­tra­tion form.

Prime Minister Muscat Welcomes Participants on the Blockchain Island

The Mal­tese Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat also did not miss the oppor­tu­ni­ty to wel­come the par­tic­i­pants in his keynote speech and to dis­cuss in more detail his government’s efforts to attract and sup­port blockchain start-ups. Using the anal­o­gy of a seed grain, he illus­trat­ed the role of his gov­ern­ment in prepar­ing fer­tile soil for seed (= blockchain tech­nol­o­gy), water­ing it reg­u­lar­ly and pro­mot­ing its growth in an appro­pri­ate envi­ron­ment. At the same time, he also empha­sized the many open ques­tions and issues sur­round­ing Blockchain, which call for a glob­al dia­logue and exchange. Will cryp­to cur­ren­cies become equiv­a­lent to con­ven­tion­al fiat cur­ren­cies? Will they even replace tra­di­tion­al paper mon­ey at some point?

Ques­tions such as these must be clar­i­fied in an open, glob­al dis­cus­sion. Blockchain tech­nol­o­gy would offer the oppor­tu­ni­ty to cre­ate more trans­paren­cy at a time when oth­er coun­tries increas­ing­ly start­ed build­ing walls and want­ed to iso­late them­selves eco­nom­i­cal­ly. Sim­i­lar to his speech to the UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly in Sep­tem­ber, he reit­er­at­ed the proac­tive approach that Mal­ta has cho­sen to explore the poten­tial of blockchain tech­nol­o­gy. Final­ly, he addressed the par­tic­i­pants direct­ly and under­lined his government’s will­ing­ness and desire to engage in more inten­sive dia­logue with them and receive their con­cerns.

Dr. Werner & Partner Also Present at Malta Blockchain Summit

We as Dr. Wern­er & Part­ner were also rep­re­sent­ed at this great and excit­ing con­gress with our own booth. Dur­ing the two-day event we were able to talk to many com­mit­ted founders and pas­sion­ate entre­pre­neurs and learn about their inno­v­a­tive, vision­ary busi­ness ideas as well as con­sult on the advan­tages of set­tling on the Blockchain Island Mal­ta. At this point we would like to thank you for all the excit­ing encoun­ters and dis­cus­sions dur­ing the con­gress!

Espe­cial­ly inter­est­ing and enter­tain­ing was our coop­er­a­tion with the start-up com­pa­ny Bird­ly, which has devel­oped a vir­tu­al flight sim­u­la­tor that con­gress vis­i­tors could expe­ri­ence at our booth. With its vir­tu­al real­i­ty solu­tion and intu­itive oper­a­tion, it allows users to ful­fill their dream of fly­ing — or at least to expe­ri­ence it in a cap­ti­vat­ing­ly real way. Sim­i­lar to a bird, you can con­trol speed, alti­tude and nav­i­ga­tion by flap­ping your wings while enjoy­ing the flight expe­ri­ence through VR glass­es.

If we did not have the chance to meet you per­son­al­ly at the Mal­ta Blockchain Sum­mit, but you would like to learn more about the ben­e­fits of Blockchain Island Mal­ta and our con­sult­ing ser­vices, then click here. As a licensed VFA agent, we can also assist you in licens­ing your DLT mod­el or per­form­ing your ICO in Mal­ta.


About Dr. Jörg Werner

Dr. jur. Jörg Wern­er, born 27 May 1971, attend­ed the law school of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Leipzig and passed his first state exam­i­na­tion in the State of Sax­ony in 1996. After suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ing his manda­to­ry legal intern­ship, he suc­cess­ful­ly passed the sec­ond state exam­i­na­tion of the State of Sax­ony-Anhalt in 1998 and was admit­ted to the bar and began to prac­tice as a Ger­man attor­ney (Recht­san­walt) before the court of Magde­burg the same year. He worked as an attor­ney at the Law Offices of Prof. Dr. Fre­und & Kol­le­gen until he formed the firm of Wrede & Wern­er. He was also admit­ted to prac­tice before the Supe­ri­or Court of Naum­burg. In 2001, he moved the firm’s offices to Cen­tral Berlin, where he was admit­ted to prac­tice before the Courts of Berlin. Dr. jur. Jörg Wern­er then com­plet­ed his doc­tor­al stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ham­burg and grad­u­at­ed as a Dok­tor der Rechtswis­senschaften (Doc­tor of Laws).

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