Malta: Capital of Innovation in Europe

Malta is positioning itself as a leading European hub for innovation and openness to technology. Its reputation stems from a number of business-friendly regulations put in place to attract investment and spur economic activity in the Mediterranean island.

Malta was once a British colony — gaining independence in 1964. The island nowadays leverages its language and cultural heritage to support business and trade — alongside a prominent set of regulations which bring value to the national economic activity.

“Innovation is the key for future economies. Additionally, for a long time, crafts and trade were sidelined but innovation plays a role here too to revitalise them. The global economy is becoming more innovative and it is the responsibility of our country to be at the forefront of that innovation,” MEP Miriam Dalli recently said, outlining the country’s commitment to taking its ‘economy to the next level’.

Clear evidence of this prosperity is Malta topping the European Commission economic growth list for 2019 and 2020, after the Maltese economy presented growth of 6.6 per cent last year.

The innovative mindset is reflected in diverse sectors, from personal healthcare to financial technology. Malta has been the European gateway for many policies, including the legalisation of cannabis and embracing crypto and gaming projects.

Medical Cannabis Capital

In March 2018, Malta officially legalised medical cannabis. A month later, with the Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Research Purposes Act in place, Maltese entities were able to cultivate, import, process and produce cannabis intended for medical and research purposes under a controlled and supervised environment.

These policies led to the Malta Medicines Authority gaining international reputation and prestige for its patient-centric work in the regulation of medicines. The strategy seems to be working so far: according to statistics from Eurostat, a 75% share of the population in Malta perceived their health as good or very good.

Last November, Malta hosted the Medical Cannabis World Forum, which brought together the policymakers, business leaders and healthcare practitioners who are shaping the global cannabis industry today.

“One would think that a small country like Malta would follow suit; instead, Malta is a dynamic … leader. The legislative measures enacted with respect to medicinal cannabis are not some transposition of provisions implemented everywhere else. Many in the field are cognisant that Malta has floodlit an area which may still be quite hazy elsewhere,” said Parliamentary Secretary Dr Deo Debattista at the Forum last year.

Gaming, blockchain and technology hub

Following recent advancements made in the legislation for Gaming operaters in Malta, the island has received over 20 applications from new companies looking to direct business in Malta. Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri, who announced the surge of applications to the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) at the ICE London 2019 edition, the leading global gaming conference, identified the island as the ‘home of gaming excellence’.

This was clear at the event itself, as Malta had the highest number of stands at ICE London , with 11% of exhibitors being Malta-based operators.

Prompted by the uncertainty around the post- Brexit scenario in the UK, Malta has seen an influx of businesses moving part of their activities to the island, such as big UK-based gaming and betting companies — 888 Holdings and Ladbrokes’ parent company — announcing it would be moving some of its operations to Malta because of looser regulations and lower tax rates.

Regarding Malta’s openness to disruptive technologies such as blockchain,

high-profile exchanges like Binance, Bittrex, Okex, Bitbay, and Zebpay, have moved or extended operations from stricter regulatory jurisdictions to incorporate their businesses in crypto-friendly Malta.

Stefania Barbaglio, blockchain consultant and technology PR says: “Malta has become a role model in Europe, highlighting the role of positive legislation to boost economy and business activity. Outdated regulations and closed attitudes towards innovation can lead to elite nations — such as the UK and the US — losing their spot in the international investment scene. It is important that new regulations are centered around innovation and the social value of technology, so that the digital economies can flourish and develop.”

Malta AI & Blockchain Conference

The Malta AI and Blockchain Conference Spring Edition is approaching, giving stage to over 300 exhibitors and welcoming over more than 5,000 guests. Among the list of speakers, there is prime minister of malta Joseph Muscat and parliamentary secretary for financial services Silvio Schembri.

Last November, three innovative bills were launched during the event. In this 2019 edition, the Maltese Government will enact a world first: a fourth bill, giving a D.A.O. its own legal personality. In addition, a task force is also working around the clock on a set of incentives that will support businesses in Artificial Intelligence.

Malta: Europe’s new innovation hub

‘Artificial Intelligence has the potential to change not only basic concepts, such as work, but also life as we know it,’ said Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat. Having already conquered a special position within the blockchain space, the Maltese government is now set on a mission to place Malta at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT).

Fintech investments have been steadily growing over recent years, and Malta positions itself to snap up a large share. More than bringing innovation to obsolete financial systems, the advent of the fintech industry is increasing value in services, placing user benefit at the core of each product and contributing to a more connected society.

Understanding the potential of new disruptive technologies, the small but ambitious island is becoming a hub for technology innovation by seeking partnerships and developing friendly regulation.

Looking to the future and welcoming AI into its economy has the potential to take Malta’s economy to the next level. AI is set to become of the main drivers of multisector economic growth, improving customer experience in financial services, manufacturing and entertainment, among other fields.

“Now that the Blockchain-related laws are in effect, and our vision of making Malta The Blockchain Island is materialising, we can start looking at new economic niches, finding ways to incorporate them into our ecosystem. We want Malta to become a powerhouse of economic innovation. In the case of Artificial Intelligence, we believe that this holds a lot of opportunities that will benefit the entire country,”’ said Malta’s Junior Minister Silvio Schembri.

One of the main hurdles preventing fintech from growing even further are outdated regulations. Malta therefore hopes to attract investment by setting up a fintech-friendly business environment. It has already put in place a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and blockchain activities, becoming one of the leading crypto nations in Europe, and now hopes to replicate this success within the AI and IoT spaces.

The Maltese AI strategy aims to identify opportunities and key stakeholders to integrate AI with a view to boosting the country’s digital economy. Furthermore, Malta is working to provide the education, expertise and infrastructure necessary to support AI developments.

The recent Malta Blockchain Summit has been one of the most important events in the crypto space. The Summit gathered over 8,000 delegates and the biggest names from the global blockchain community, including John McAfee, and co-founder of IOHK Charles Hoskinson.

Block Commodities Chairman Chris Cleverly, City AM Crypto Insider James Boawter and of IOHK Founder Charles Hoskinson. “There are quite a few smart people on the block-train and a few very big brains driving. Only one of them actually gets Africa is the place where Blockchain will FIRST make a meaningful difference and ACTUALLY goes there. Great to hang with him in Malta and my long-time buddy the crypto journo for CityAM.” commented Chris Cleverly on his Linkeldn

The Summit was organised with the support of the Maltese government, and according to local sources has already been confirmed again for 2019.

One of the conference highlights was the official announcement of Malta’s AI strategy by ‘Sophia’: a humanoid robot capable of interpreting and understanding human language, as well as 60 different human expressions.

Much like blockchain, the official incorporation of AI technology into the Maltese economy points towards great progress in diverse areas such as health, education, transportation and logistics.

Following the success of the Blockchain Summit and the launch of strategies on AI and IoT, Malta establishes itself as a leading innovation and fintech hub in Europe.

“There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain are the two most-discussed disruptive technologies in the last years, which are set to disrupt the the tech and business paradigm in a big way over the next decade. In many ways, the two are conceptual opposites: AI, which reached its peak in 2016–2017, is very much centralised and closed; whereas blockchain, which boomed a year later, powers open-source decentralised systems. However, the future is the intersection and integration of both. Their combined power is huge: maximising scalability security, transparency and decentralisation, and efficiency via fully decentralised AI marketplace networks, and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAO). A new paradigm is taking shape.“ commented Stefania Barbaglio director at Cassiopeia Services, leading PR agency in the blockchain space.

Fintech: Boosting economies and markets in Europe

Fintech has created systems which are faster, cheaper and more convenient than their predecessors, challenging industries to innovate and improve their services and products. The merging of financial services and technology has birthed the fintech industry, one of the fastest-growing markets in recent years, which is not only improving financial services but also spurring economic growth and development in many parts of the world.

Fintech has been an unstoppable force over the last few years. So far in 2018, the market has already accumulated $41.7billion — up from $39.4bn in 2017, already a record year for fintech investment around the globe.

As tech startups gear up to reshape the future of finance, investors and venture capitalists move to join the movement. The impressive growth in fintech has led venture capitalists from all parts of the world to join the fintech boom and invest substantially in innovative projects, with investment in fintech companies up 41% over the last four years, according to PwC’s data.

“Innovation is disrupting financial services and opening up new opportunities and experiences to facilitate transactions and promote financial inclusion. The leading companies in fintech are those which develop technologies with strong use cases,” says Stefania Barbaglio.

Malta: Europe’s new innovation hub

‘Artificial Intelligence has the potential to change not only basic concepts, such as work, but also life as we know it,’ said Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat. Having already conquered a special position within the blockchain space, the Maltese government is now set on a mission to place Malta at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT).

Fintech investments have been steadily growing over recent years, and Malta positions itself to snap up a large share. More than bringing innovation to obsolete financial systems, the advent of the fintech industry is increasing value in services, placing user benefit at the core of each product and contributing to a more connected society.

Understanding the potential of new disruptive technologies, the small but ambitious island is becoming a hub for technology innovation by seeking partnerships and developing friendly regulation.

Looking to the future and welcoming AI into its economy has the potential to take Malta’s economy to the next level. AI is set to become of the main drivers of multisector economic growth, improving customer experience in financial services, manufacturing and entertainment, among other fields.

“Now that the Blockchain-related laws are in effect, and our vision of making Malta The Blockchain Island is materialising, we can start looking at new economic niches, finding ways to incorporate them into our ecosystem. We want Malta to become a powerhouse of economic innovation. In the case of Artificial Intelligence, we believe that this holds a lot of opportunities that will benefit the entire country,”’ said Malta’s Junior Minister Silvio Schembri.

One of the main hurdles preventing fintech from growing even further are outdated regulations. Malta therefore hopes to attract investment by setting up a fintech-friendly business environment. It has already put in place a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and blockchain activities, becoming one of the leading crypto nations in Europe, and now hopes to replicate this success within the AI and IoT spaces.

The Maltese AI strategy aims to identify opportunities and key stakeholders to integrate AI with a view to boosting the country’s digital economy. Furthermore, Malta is working to provide the education, expertise and infrastructure necessary to support AI developments.

The recent Malta Blockchain Summit has been one of the most important events in the crypto space. The Summit gathered over 8,000 delegates and the biggest names from the global blockchain community, including John McAfee, and co-founder of IOHK Charles Hoskinson.

Block Commodities Chairman Chris Cleverly, City AM Crypto Insider James Boawter and of IOHK Founder Charles Hoskinson. “There are quite a few smart people on the block-train and a few very big brains driving. Only one of them actually gets Africa is the place where Blockchain will FIRST make a meaningful difference and ACTUALLY goes there. Great to hang with him in Malta and my long-time buddy the crypto journo for CityAM.” commented Chris Cleverly on his Linkeldn

The Summit was organised with the support of the Maltese government, and according to local sources has already been confirmed again for 2019.

One of the conference highlights was the official announcement of Malta’s AI strategy by ‘Sophia’: a humanoid robot capable of interpreting and understanding human language, as well as 60 different human expressions.

Much like blockchain, the official incorporation of AI technology into the Maltese economy points towards great progress in diverse areas such as health, education, transportation and logistics.

Following the success of the Blockchain Summit and the launch of strategies on AI and IoT, Malta establishes itself as a leading innovation and fintech hub in Europe.

“There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain are the two most-discussed disruptive technologies in the last years, which are set to disrupt the the tech and business paradigm in a big way over the next decade. In many ways, the two are conceptual opposites: AI, which reached its peak in 2016–2017, is very much centralised and closed; whereas blockchain, which boomed a year later, powers open-source decentralised systems. However, the future is the intersection and integration of both. Their combined power is huge: maximising scalability security, transparency and decentralisation, and efficiency via fully decentralised AI marketplace networks, and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAO). A new paradigm is taking shape.“ commented Stefania Barbaglio director at Cassiopeia Services, leading PR agency in the blockchain space.

Fintech: Boosting economies and markets in Europe

Fintech has created systems which are faster, cheaper and more convenient than their predecessors, challenging industries to innovate and improve their services and products. The merging of financial services and technology has birthed the fintech industry, one of the fastest-growing markets in recent years, which is not only improving financial services but also spurring economic growth and development in many parts of the world.

Fintech has been an unstoppable force over the last few years. So far in 2018, the market has already accumulated $41.7billion — up from $39.4bn in 2017, already a record year for fintech investment around the globe.

As tech startups gear up to reshape the future of finance, investors and venture capitalists move to join the movement. The impressive growth in fintech has led venture capitalists from all parts of the world to join the fintech boom and invest substantially in innovative projects, with investment in fintech companies up 41% over the last four years, according to PwC’s data.

“Innovation is disrupting financial services and opening up new opportunities and experiences to facilitate transactions and promote financial inclusion. The leading companies in fintech are those which develop technologies with strong use cases,” says Stefania Barbaglio.