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At a recent event, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated that blockchain technology forms the “inevitable future of money,” and can create a more transparent and equitable society.
The small island of Malta is finding an opportunity to gain global relevance as a blockchain player. The country leaves no chance to evangelize the disruptive tech at major events and has successfully attracted the world’s top-grossing cryptocurrency businesses to its jurisdiction.
Speaking at the 73rd Session of the General Assembly of the U.N. on September 27, Muscat ascertained a more transformative, political-centric impact of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, adding a digital economy shall be served best if merged with a “digital state” for creating a sustainable, “future-proof” society.
Muscat singled out blockchain’s prowess as an immutable, decentralized ledger that validates transactions and operates as a framework for digital currencies. He added that the system helps “filter good businesses from bad businesses,” and that the broader distributed ledger technology (DLT) space – such as DAG technology and other big data – can “do much more.”
The Prime Minister spoke of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) as transforming the fundamentals of political, civic, and corporate systems. He also revealed the “decades-old problem” of inefficient, corrupted administrative systems serves as the impetus to position Malta as a self-styled blockchain island, adding that the country was the world’s first jurisdiction to regulate the technology and introduce a legal mechanism.
Muscat further explained to the audiences how compromised data leads to individuals being deprived of their legitimate property. However, citizens can now leverage DLT systems to monetize and protect their data in a trustless environment while corporations become more accountable to each shareholder.
Putting forth the healthcare industry as a use-case, Muscat stated the implementation of DLT systems would provide patients with certified ownership of their medical records, alongside the creation of a robust and more efficient administration. Blockchain-powered ambulance services could form another considerable area of implementation as well – customers could verifiably track humanitarian assistance reaching the intended destination.
However, Muscat was quick to note resistance towards rising technologies by traditional players, noting:
“There are challenges in this fast and obvious transition to a digital economy and society. These challenges have to do with the very nature of concepts that we believed would stay with us forever […] but solutions do not come by closing doors.”
To conclude, Muscat stated that “antagonistic stances” may provide a short-term strategy for decision makers, who may resist widespread technological changes, comparing the ideology to politicians in the early 20th-century advocation for “horse carts not to be replaced by automobiles.”
Malta is gaining a reputation for providing a robust regulatory and banking environment to cryptocurrency businesses. Crypto-exchanges have taken a huge liking to the island-country, with Binance the first to move in March 2018, followed by former Hong Kong-based exchange OKEx.