Silvio Schembri outlines MDIA guidelines
Schembri sets out government plans for tech innovation
Nov 2, 2018
Silvio Schembri addressed the Devs and Technology Conference at the second day of the Malta Blockchain Summit. Schembri outlined the policies and procedures the Maltese government has implemented to cater to the influx of innovative companies.
The timing of Schembri’s speech ties in seamlessly with the enforcement of the much-anticipated blockchain and crypto laws, which came into force yesterday. “Operators, investors, entrepreneurs within the blockchain and crypto sphere, you can now operate in a jurisdiction with a regulated environment which will provide you with legal certainty,” said Schembri.
Schembri noted that Malta’s “agile and fast-moving advantage has put us at the epicentre of the blockchain industry”, paving the way for other countries. He remarks that in such a short period of time, Malta is providing the ideal ecosystem for an industry still in its infancy. “As a government, we are full committed to putting Malta on the map of tech innovation. We already have a strong ICT infrastructure and a very talented human capital.”
Schembri stated that the MDIA provides a “holistic framework that does not stifle innovation,” and is based on three main pillars: market integrity, market stability and consumer protection. Schembri urges businesses to apply for the licence via an auditor who will act as a bridge between operators and the MDIA.
Schembri continued, “Companies operating in virtual currencies in and from Malta must obtain a licence from the MFSA.” In the case of virtual currency, the VFA agent will act as the buffer between the authority and the industry and are responsible for overseeing that operator’s comply with Malta’s regulations. Schembri added that when the MFSA’s rules and regulations were developed, the existing E.U. financial services legislation, referred to as MiFID was taken into consideration.
Schembri discussed how the Maltese government has stepped up to the plate in terms of education and training by providing Blockchain courses at the University of Malta and including scholarships and a new technology lab to incorporate Malta’s vision as a digital hub. Schembri states that Malta is at “the forefront at the technological revolution”, whilst also noting the use of blockchain and AI in the pubic sector, tying in with the government’s latest innovation – Malta.ai.
It is clear from Schembri’s words that the Maltese government is doing all in its power to further enhance the island’s potential as a leader at the forefront of this emerging technology. The amalgamation of AI and blockchain into government policies and into the education system cements Malta as a hub for future and current innovation.
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