Category: Artificial Intelligence

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A brief overview of Malta’s Budget 2019 

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Malta, Regulation, Artificial Intelligence, Know Your Customer, Anti Money Laundering, DLT, Budget

A brief overview of Malta’s Budget 2019

The Maltese Budget for 2019 is set to be announced on Monday 22nd of October, but what can we expect? Following the 2018 budget, 79% of the measures introduced within it were fulfilled during 2018, bringing to over 1,250 implemented measures over the last five years in total.

Entitled “Fostering a Quality Culture”, the Pre-Budget 2019 Document has given us some key points that we are expecting to be addressed in Monday’s reading.

Infrastructure

Investing in the country’s infrastructure, including public transport is expected to be a priority for the government, directly referencing the authority’s pledge to upgrade the national infrastructure over the next seven years. Other means of alternative transport are also expected to be announced as well as conceptual designs for the Malta-Gozo tunnel. Other areas expected to receive additional investment include maritime, aviation, and the digitization of The Lands Authority. The well-developed infrastructure can boost the real-estate growth and attract more foreign entrepreneurs and businessmen to the island on a permanent basis.

Regulatory Authorities

Following the implementation of the 4th AML Directive, the government is expected to announce further dedication towards addressing fiscal evasion as well as giving the Malta Customs greater investment towards non-invasive tools. The report also mentioned work that needs to be done at the stock exchange and the Malta Development Bank which focuses on SMEs and infrastructure projects supporting regional development.

New frameworks to be introduced will limit unnecessary expenditure, reduce inefficiencies, and create the Public Sector Performance and Evaluation Directorate. An extensive training programme, financed partially by the Structural Reform Support Programme, will improve human resources capacity. However, the competition on the labour market is not likely to decline due to the foreign companies entering the market with their employees on board.

Social Matters

The document addresses issues around housing and distribution of income and suggests that issues such as minimum wage, pensions, and tax refunds will be addressed.

The Environment

Waste management will be consolidated at Magħtab to provide a “national waste management nucleus” and to avoid unnecessary movement of vehicles. The government is expected to focus on a greener economy by announcing initiatives that will reduce the amount of waste and single-use plastic. Further work is expected on the Malta strategy to transition to a low-carbon economy.

The document also makes reference to conserving natural assets and taking necessary action, as well as simplifying the legal framework for agricultural operators, and reforming open vegetable markets. The government is also expected to continue its efforts to promote animal welfare, the sustainability of fish stocks, and the competitiveness of fishermen.

Let us hope that the solid part of the budget is dedicated to environmental improvement and conservation needs because the rapid development of the infrastructure is able to shake the balance between nature and technology.

Energy and Water

Water Services Corporation will continue to expand its distribution of new water as well as upgrading several reverse osmosis plants. The money will be invested in identifying significant flood risk areas and improving them, both across Malta and Gozo. Attention will also be given to decarbonising of the energy system and introducing further incentives to invest in renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency awareness.

Digital Innovation

A new legislation regarding online gaming is expected to be enforced, including new niches such as fantasy sports.

Blockchain is also expected to have a significant investment, as well as artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things – all of which will be given significant support over the coming years.

Fintech and Regtech will be further developed as well as Islamic finance, and the MFSA will adopt a more modern structure making it more proactive. The international companies are waiting for the three regulatory acts to come into force to consider Malta as their new base.

Sustainability

Malta Enterprise will continue to support businesses by reducing costs and encouraging investment in research and development. Intellectual Property services will be restructured and a new trademark act will be created as well.

Malta Industrial Parks (MIP) will integrate business parks to accommodate clusters of industries in the same location whilst considering vertical or horizontal expansion. MIP will also consider private-public partnerships and a comprehensive master plan for the Luqa area.

Furthermore, student visas will be simplified for non-EU Students and the Malta Residency and Visa Programme will suggest changes to the law to make it more attractive, as well as exploring a visa action plan for foreign workers.

 

If you would like to know more about Malta’s budget plan this year and its influence on your industry, drop us a line by sending us an email on [email protected]

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Artificial Intelligence and Decentralised technology

Categories Blockchain, Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Finance, Marketing

Artificial Intelligence and Decentralised Technologies

Two of the most disruptive industries that the world has ever seen are both coming to prominence at the same time. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain are making huge waves in the worlds of technology and finance, as well as marketing. Big name brands such as Netflix, Amazon, and Airbnb are already using new technology to offer tailored services and products to their client bases.

These businesses have incredible amounts of data at their disposal such as customer preferences, purchases; and behaviors and in-depth data analytics allow them to target their audiences much more accurately. Data-driven decision making has the power to  replace long-term marketing plans with specialized one-to-one engagement programmes completely meaning that marketing is truly becoming a science.

Whilst old-school companies are still thinking about the “Four P’s” and hedging their beets on traditional digital marketing, it is those that leverage AI and blockchain that will get a lions-share of the market.

For some individuals, the ideas of AI and blockchain might seem a bit daunting but once they get to grips with the terminology, it really is quite simple. The benefit is that business able to collect large amounts of data can then use AI to optimize their marketing dollars and engage with their clients in a very different way. By using blockchain they are able to eliminate intermediaries and get better insights into where and how their adverts appear. This created drastically enhanced transparency within an industry that is shrouded in a lot of unaccountability.

AI and blockchain technologies that can be used in marketing include:

  • Chatbots that can answer customer queries, process orders, and give information.
  • Decentralized tracking of clicks that caters to affiliate marketing, therefore lowering costs and speeding up the payment process.
  • Tailor-made marketing campaigns that use AI to redefine target segments and algorithms to decide which demographics should or should not receive marketing messages.
  • Probabilistic Data Modelling that will infer what customer profiles will like and then market to them accordingly. For example, Netflix could use AI to predict what someone would be more likely to buy at Amazon, thus providing previously unheard of cross-industry marketing opportunities.

In an era of heightened attention on customer privacy, it is also possible to issue individuals with private keys to their data or even allow them to issue tokens so that companies can pay to see their tastes and preferences.

There is no doubt that marketing professionals need to get up to speed with AI and blockchain as well as familiarizing themselves with the new techniques, tools, and platforms that can enhance their marketing strategy.

 

To learn more about ICO Legal Services in Malta please follow this link.

Contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out more.

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MFSA organised a seminar titled: Due Diligence and Cybersecurity in Relation to DLT

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, Malta, The Blockchain Island, DLT Regulation, Smart Contracts, Technology, Trading, Regulation, Artificial Intelligence, Tokens, Conference, MFSA, DLT, Privacy

MFSA organised a seminar titled: Due Diligence and Cybersecurity in Relation to DLT

 

Last Tuesday, 11th September, MFSA organised a day seminar for those who work in the field of DLT and Fintech which took place at Corinthia Palace Attard. The seminar titled ‘Due Diligence and Cybersecurity in Relation to DLT’, discussed many challenging issues that the DLT is facing. Many topics were discussed during this seminar, with a particular focus on cybersecurity, hacking and fraud.

E&S Group was represented by its team who gained a better insight into this ever-growing space.

Speakers from around the world, (most notably coming from France, Germany, England and the USA), attended the seminar. They spoke about their concern about hackers’ attacks which are made every day, and also covering the topic of frauds. In fact, in the past few years, many banks have experienced some kind of attack, with the consequence of losing their customers’ money. As a result, this has made the DLT space to look like a high-risk sector. However, everyone working in a network is subjected to an attack. The speakers all agreed that the blockchain technology needs to implement some sort of due diligence on the platform, preventing any hacks and tarnishing the sector further.

Moreover, it was discussed that crypto investors should conduct a due diligence procedure, helping banks and exchanges to identify who is fraudulent or not. Those institutions that do not follow any due diligence procedures are subjected to hackers accessing customers’ wallets, thus resulting in the bankruptcy of the company. In order to prevent such theft in the sector, cryptographers are creating complex algorithms to prevent such wrongdoings. This will help maintain the system to stay safe in combination with constant checks done to make sure no access is given to intruders. Mrs Maria Vello from Cyber Defence Alliance pointed out that that hackers are not anonymous and many criminals who stole money from banks have been caught by police.

VFA Agents in DLT

The event also highlighted the importance of VFA Agents. Accountants, auditors and lawyers who are applying to become a licenced VFA Agents have to go through a rigorous procedure, including, an exam, an interview and the applicable due diligence. The MFSA stated that this procedure is important to eliminate any “bad practises” within the industry. Moreover, the licenced VFA Agents need to conduct the Financial instrument test on their clients, thus presenting all the required information, one of which being the white paper, to the authority.

Malta has become the leading jurisdiction to have a friendly approach on DLT sector. At E&S Group we have helped over 80 ICOs to launch their project in Malta. If you would like to join these companies but require further advice, please contact us at [email protected] or by telephone on +356 2010 3020. We make things happen!

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Blockchain advert shown to 30 million football fans

Categories Blockchain, Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Automobile Industry

Blockchain advert shown to 30 million football fans

Blockchain was catapulted into the mainstream during the World Cup match between England-Sweden. An advert by Hyundai was broadcast to over 30 million viewers during the halftime break, showcasing the benefits of blockchain technology.

The blockchain advert by Hyundai Digital Assets Company (HDAC) presented a high tech vision of what lies ahead and included both blockchain and The Internet of Things in the clip. On July 7th the ad was shown during the quarter-final break on both BBC and ITV.

IoT and blockchain solutions

HDAC was founded by Chung Dae-Sun, the nephew of the CEO Chung Mong-Koo back in 2017. The aim of the company is to provide top of the range and secure IoT systems by using both public and private blockchain solutions.

The clip used the word “blockchain” three times throughout and will have brought the concept to a whole new audience who may not have previously been familiar with the technology. The advert shows a family making instant blockchain based payments as well as living in a house that was protected by the technology. It presented a range of smart appliances and even a meter that automatically processed readings and made payments.

The HDAC website states:

“The technology can be applied to smart factories, smart homes, smart buildings, and various industries. Also, [machine to machine] transaction for mutual contracts and operation between IoT devices are implemented to bring a platform where rational consumptions and transactions are possible.”

A step in the right direction

But more importantly than just showing the potential of the product, the advert showed that the technology is trustworthy and not just some alien concept that would never be of use. With Hyundai backing this tech, any viewers of the advert will have a new perspective- a more credible one- with a name that they know and trust.

This is great news for crypto and blockchain as its reputation has sometimes unfairly been sullied by the actions of a few as well as criticism about its anonymous nature. Many have said it could be used for money laundering and other illegal transactions but the truth of the matter is that the good points far outweigh the bad. But for it to receive widespread adoption, its public perception has to change and this advert from Hyundai that reached millions is a step in the right direction.

 

E&S Group is a leading law firm offering various services with regards to ICOs. Feel free to contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out how E&S can help you in ‘making things happen’.

For more information click the link.

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How blockchain technology and artificial intelligence go together.

Categories Blockchain, Technology, Artificial Intelligence

How blockchain technology and artificial intelligence go together.

When it comes to law, politics, and economics, being able to maintain records of contracts and transactions in a safe and secure way is extremely important when it comes to setting boundaries and protecting assets. Over the last few years, blockchain technology has begun to completely revolutionise the way that we do business due to the way that it follows a decentralised architecture of already operational centralised systems. This means that it is able to speed up the operations whilst ensuring they are more secure and transparent. Now researchers are saying that blockchain technology can be applied to artificial intelligence and can transform this burgeoning industry in a number of different ways.

Shared characteristics

AI as a standalone technology has a vast number of applications and possibilities and it also shares a number of characteristics with blockchain technology. By recognising these shared similarities, a smooth and continuous manner of cooperation and interaction can be developed for the benefit of all involved stakeholders. For example, the decentralised blockchain system puts focus on the importance of data sharing among multiple clients, likewise, AI relies heavily on big data.

The highest levels of security

When it comes to security, blockchain and AI both need it at the highest levels as should there be a breach, the results could be catastrophic. Furthermore, blockchain offers a truly unique way of accessing data which can be scattered across various sources as it facilitates the concept of P2P connectivity. The decentralised nature of blockchain means that it can function as a digital ledger that can identify and validate data therefore making the conduction of transactions completely frictionless. In addition to this, the combination of both technologies can open up the global trade arena by making investments completely secure and totally seamless.

E&S Group is a leading law firm offering various services with regards to ICOs. Feel free to contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out how E&S can help you in ‘making things happen’.

For more information click the link.

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