Current Affairs
Malta to have first blockchain companies licenced by MFSA – Silvio Schembri

Addressing the second blockchain and artificial intelligence summit in the country, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated that Malta is truly becoming the island for the world’s blockchain industry, and is attracting leading companies in this sector. Parliamentary Secretary for the Digital Economy Silvio Schembri announced that this year Malta will have the first blockchain companies licenced by the MFSA following a rigorous process.

The Prime Minister declared that the Malta Authority for Financial Services has approved the first agents for virtual operations, and the Authority for Digital Innovation has approved the first digital auditors. Dr Muscat added that to date, eleven virtual agents have been approved, which goes to show that Malta is truly becoming the bockchain island.

The Prime Minister was speaking during the second blockchain technology summit being held in Malta. Dr Muscat stated that Malta is open to opportunities for new technology and had been a pioneer in the blockchain sector by setting up a serious regulatory framework which is leading to more investment in Malta.

The Prime Minister referred to the national strategy on artificial intelligence, stating that within the next five years some fifty billion pieces of equipment will be operating through the internet service, and for this reason Malta wants to be prepared for this new revolution.

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Digital Economy, Silvio Schembri, stated that by the end of last year some 800 blockchain companies were operating from Malta.

Silvio Schembri added that “in order to operate from Malta, one has perforce to be licenced, and we are reckoning that towards the end of this year we will start seeing the first Maltese licences being issued by the country.”

Meanwhile, 19 students have been given scholarships in Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies, DLT. This scholarship fund has been set up in collaboration between MITA and the University of Malta.

Parliamentary Secretary Schembri stated that shortly after Government had launched the vision for Malta to become a blockchain island, the country is today leading the market. The scholarships given to the 19 students amount to 160,000 euro. Mr Schembri added that a new blockchain at Masters level will start at the University in October.

MITA Chairman Tony Sultana and University Rector Professor Alfred Vella agreed that through collaboration between both entities and with Government assistance, more importance is continuing to be given to this sector with the aim of more students choosing it as a career.