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Max Ganado participated in a podcast that describes Malta’s rise and current state of play within the blockchain space. The episode forms part of a series of podcasts entitled ‘Blockchain won’t save the world’, hosted by Anthony Day, that analyses the developments within blockchain across different nations around the world. In the Malta episode, participants spoke about: Malta’s role in supporting blockchain businesses during the emergence of Bitcoin, ICOs and VFAs; the purpose and establishment of a dedicated authority to regulate the industry; the rush of ICOs, crypto and blockchain businesses to Malta; and how everything came to nowadays post the initial hype. In the concluding remarks, the participants also express their views on what the future holds within this sector for Malta as a recognised leader within the blockchain space.

Max started off the discussion by describing the emergence of Malta within its pillar industries, namely shipping and financial services, and how law became an enabling rather than an oppressive tool to help such industries thrive. He describes the law and regulations that came into force in 1990, contributing to the island’s robust regulatory framework. He also details how the initial idea around blockchain and DLT came along, describing how a strategy document was initially presented to the local government in 2017 which addressed the gap in regulation brought about by disruptive technologies. Furthermore, he speaks about the difficulties of decentralised blockchain arrangements, mainly from due diligence and compliance point of view.

Max comments on what we’re to expect in the future. In his opinion, Malta could embark on an environmentally friendly offering of assisting innovation and bringing in legal support structures and mechanisms to address potentially defective set-ups. He describes the current opportunity for the island as that of having the advantage to lock in regional solutions fast, as opposed to other jurisdictions that do not have much experience within the blockchain space. He further defines the next step of global relevance as recognising legal personality for innovative technology arrangements, which would solve fundamental difficulties in legal systems, such as governance and liability issues.