Category: Malta

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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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A Half Year Report on virtual currencies in 2018

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, ICOs, Malta, ICO Legal Service, Law, The Blockchain Island, DLT Regulation, Smart Contracts, E&S Group, Technology, Trading, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Tokenomics, Regulation, Tokens, Binance, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens, DLT

A Half Year Report on virtual currencies in 2018

2018 has been an interesting year for crypto with colossal crashes, much-needed market adjustments, and of course, the emergence of a large number of new tokens and cryptocurrencies. Along with significant advances in regulation and legal frameworks that seek to understand, support, and protect those stakeholders operating within this new industry, there is no doubt that the rest of 2018 is going to be just as, if not more exciting as the previous six months.

Mid-January Market Crash

If you were holding Bitcoin in December 2017, you probably couldn’t believe your luck. As the value of a single Bitcoin headed towards $20k, a mad rush to invest ensued and predictions on where the price may head reached stratospheric new heights. Then on January 16th 2018, Bitcoin investors woke up to a nasty shock. The value of their coins had dropped by 15% and this news had a knock-on effect on the value of all other altcoins, causing a huge slump in the value of the market. The excitement and hype that had surrounded cryptocurrencies just a few days before, disappeared just like the profits of those who invested in it.

As prices continued to fall, investors started to panic. They started selling their coins in an effort to nip their losses in the bud and the moniker “Black Tuesday” was coined. Some crypto-coins saw losses of up to 40% and it seemed like many naysayers predictions were coming true and that the bubble had finally burst. Some voices remained steadfastly optimistic however and maintained that price slumps were common in all markets, not just the crypto one. After such an exponential increase in value, it was naturally expected that the market would correct itself because after every meteoric rise comes to a reverse-swing of the pendulum that needs to be ridden out – January was exactly that. As prices are now more stable it is hoped that they will increase at a steady rate, signalling a new era of market stability and maturity.

TRON Makes a Name for Itself

Since January of this year, TRON has experienced a steady increase in value. Despite a few issues, mainly caused by the crypto price-crash, it seemed to have found its niche which suggests a bright future for both the platform and its cryptocurrency.

TRON is a decentralised, blockchain-based, protocol project that functions as a content distribution platform for the digital entertainment industry. Whilst the platform itself is yet to go live the TRX coin is gaining significant traction.

Created by Justin Sun in 2017, the concept behind it is to establish a global network of free entertainment content which allows creators to publish, store and distribute their own content without the need for an intermediary. Whilst its value per coin was only $0.30 in January, it is expected to hit $1 by the end of 2018.

Its main selling point is that it is not just another cryptocurrency. It has a platform that solves a problem and offers functionality to a range of users and publishers. Over the last year, TRON has increased in value by 1.39% making it one of the top crypto coins in terms of growth, making it one to keep your eye on as we progress through 2018.

The Unexpected Rise of Litecoin

Many have dismissed Litecoin as “the poor man’s Bitcoin” but despite this, its popularity has increased drastically over the past few months. It was initially launched via an open-source client on GitHub in 2011, a sort of spin-off of the original Bitcoin Core client, but it offered much lower block generation times, a higher number of coins, a modified GUI, and a different hashing algorithm.

In 2013 it experienced a big surge in value and by May 2017 it had secured a spot as one of the Top 5 global cryptocurrencies in terms of its market cap. Now accepted by a wide range of online retailers, its adoption is increasing and many are seeing it as a better alternative to the rather bloated and over-inflated Bitcoin.

12 and even 6 months ago, blockchain was not something that was widely understood but as we progress to the end of 2018, it is expected that we will see a dramatic uptake of blockchain integration across a diverse range of sectors. Following in the footsteps of IBM, Microsoft, and Maersk, even smaller SMEs are likely to be interested in harnessing its potential.

Litecoin is predicted to peak at a value of over $600 per coin by the end of 2018 and there is no doubt that it has huge potential. Negating many of the issues that are faced by Bitcoin users, it presents a practical, simplified and completely viable alternative to the crypto-giant.

Malta Takes the Lead in Industry Regulation

In the last 12 months, it has seen cryptocurrency, blockchain and ICOs negate a minefield of regulatory and legal issues. Problems around its classification, AML and KYC regulations, and the reluctance of many banking institutions to support the burgeoning technology has resulted in many setbacks for the crypto world but that is all set to change.

The island of Malta has long been a hub for digital technologies and it is well known for its iGaming, Finserv and Fintech industries that when combined, account for around half of the country`s GDP. Then, in March 2018 the Government announced the drafting of three new bills that would seek to provide legal and regulatory clarification on DLT, crypto, and ICOs. These bills are the Virtual Financial Assets Bill which would provide a regulatory framework for ICOs and virtual currencies, the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill and the Technology Arrangements and Services Bill which will oversee companies that operate within the market, as well as providing a much-needed guidance and clarification.

This makes Malta the first jurisdiction in the EU, and the world to create a comprehensive legal framework that not only protects all stakeholders including operators and investors, but also supports the growth and development of the industry. By ensuring explicit legal clarification as well as adherence to AML and KYC regulations. This means that the industry will receive a much-needed confidence boost and will help to increase the  level of public trust in this new market sector.

Binance Relocates to Malta

As a result of Malta’s decision to support cryptocurrencies and related industries, an exciting announcement came just a few days later. Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world and commands 10% of the global trading volume as well as having a market capitalistion of $1.3billion at the time of writing. Its founder Changpeng Zhao started Binance in July 2017 and in just a couple of short months, it has grown to be the market leader.

Following the introduction of restrictive laws in Japan and China regarding cryptocurrencies and exchanges, Binance was on the look out for a more welcoming and flexible home. On March 23rd, Binance announced their move to Malta and the crypto community rejoiced. Such a vote of confidence is a big deal for the small EU country and it is expected that such a move will encourage many other companies and startups to follow suit.

The Blockchain Boom

This time last year, most people had heard of the blockchain but only in the context of it being intrinsically linked to Bitcoin. Now, the technology has broken away from just monetary uses and has earned a lot of attention for its potential. In the last few months, more and more use cases have come to prominence at blockchain has found uses in industries such as logistics, healthcare, politics, real estate, and even crypto-powered beer vending machines. It has also been tipped to completely revolutionize the way we vote, as well as provide microloans to SMEs in developing countries and to solve the energy crisis in third world countries.

 

E&S Group is a leading corporate & 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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A Second Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in Malta

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Malta, Bitcoin, Anti Money Laundering, Conference, DLT, Smile-Expo

A Second Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in Malta

On October 23, Smile-Expo will conduct the second Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in Malta. This meeting of top industry experts will become the 50th-anniversary event of the Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference series.

Malta was chosen as the country to organise such event, not by chance. Throughout the year, the island kept on hosting various conferences, summits and blockchain related events. One of the most DLT-friendly countries took the lead in a number of blockchain community members and visiting experts. The government drafted and will soon enact positive and encouraging ICO regulations, innovative bills with guidelines for the industry, and companies moving their businesses to the island – this is definitely a sign of successful technological development.

The guests participating in this event will have an opportunity to meet with 50 experts from top world corporations. Speakers will pay to such topics as blockchain in education, AML policy, and cryptocurrency trading. Apart from discussing the financial sphere, professionals will turn to the innovative usages of DLT. Invited speakers will share knowledge about DLT integration into transportation, gaming industry, real estate sector, the healthcare sphere, and AI. Crypto specialists will provide the existing use cases and will emphasize the advantages of the technology’s innovative implementation.

There are 5-panel discussions scheduled:

  • Blockchain and IoT.
  • The World Gets Tokenized.
  • Tales and Adventures of Blockchain Hacking.
  • ICO’s: Opportunity or Threat?
  • Legal and Regulatory Challenges in Blockchain.

E&S Group provides a range of services including ICO Legal Services, Corporate Services, iGaming, International Tax Planning, Financial Planning, Tokenomics, and take part at the event. If you are attending the Conference and you would like to meet our representative there, please contact us by sending an email on [email protected].

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A guide to token usage, utility, and value

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Malta, E&S Group, Technology, Tokenomics, Tokens, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens, Data, Cryptoeconomics

A guide to token usage, utility, and value

There is no shortage of information available about cryptocurrencies, but there is very little in the way of defining exactly the type of tokens. When it comes to technical details about blockchain, the concept of a cryptocurrency coin is well understood; a programmable currency until that is linked to a blockchain and relates to smart contract logic in the context of a certain software application. But when it comes to the non-technical details, what is a token?

A token is another way of naming a privately issued currency. When we consider sovereign governments that issue currency, they do so with set terms and governance, directing how the economy functions with fiat currency as the medium of value. Then, we have the blockchain with new types of organisations who issue their own currency in the form of digital assets, otherwise known as cryptocurrency. These issuers are setting their own rules and terms around their operations and essentially creating new, self-sustainable micro-economies.

In other words, what was once the sole preserve of governments, is now in the hands of anyone that has the capability to create their own tokens.

A few years ago, no one was talking about ICOs or STOs, or even token models, and with much confusion still present around these phenomena, this article is designed to make things a little clearer.

Tokenomics vs Cryptoeconomics

At E&S Group, we believe that there is a difference between tokenomics and cryptoeconomics. When we talk about cryptoeconomics we refer to the incentive structures that are designed to facilitate the creation and subsequent transaction validation of a particular cryptocurrency. For example, the cryptoeconomics of Bitcoin is designed to give Bitcoin miners a reason to mine new BTC. These miners validate each Bitcoin transaction and then receive newly minted BTC as a reward for their efforts.

Individuals, businesses, and users of BTC then pay a transaction fee to the miners so that their transaction is included in the mining of the next block. This means that even when all BTC has been mined (something that is estimated to happen in 2140), miners of Bitcoin will still be incentivised to keep mining and validating transactions.

This is what we refer to as cryptoeconomics. Whilst it is quite similar to tokenomics in terms of the incentivisation of stakeholders to ensure specific behaviour, there are some differences between the two.

Tokenomics focusses specifically on the application layer of a token so that the goal of it is to ensure that a crypto-token is used within the ecosystem as intended.

This means that tokenomics is not just about the supply and transaction validation of a token, but more about the things that happen afterwards. When we consider tokenomics, we have to consider what the token is used for and what behaviour we are trying to elicit.

Having explained that tokenomics is not the same as cryptoeconomics, we must define exactly what tokenomics entails as depending on who you speak to, it can have different meanings. For some, the tokenomics of an ICO refers to certain token metrics including supply and the amount that is reserved for founders and advisors to the project. Others believe that tokenomics is a four-layer model that comprises of token functionality, token distribution, token workflow, and token governance.

Token use

A token must have a purpose, and during the ICO boom this was mainly to raise funds to the project, but now things are changing. Even if the main goal is to raise funds, the token still needs to have an additional, secondary purpose. Eventually, the aim is for investors to use the token and not just to invest in it for later speculation.

Whether the token is used to start an online platform, or whether it is to incentivise another kind of behaviour, it is of the utmost importance that the purpose of the token is clear. To be able to set up a long-term sustainable token, it needs to be designed with the tokens utility clearly set out, because if not, it will hurt the business.

Token Utilisation

A second part of the tokenomics is the way that the token will be utilised. Once you have established your purpose, clarification needs to be given as to whether the token will be used, when it will be used, and how it will be used. Consideration also needs to be given to how often it will be used and by whom. Just because you have a clear purpose for the token, does not mean that people will use it effectively, therefore you need to do token research to understand how the token will be used.

Token utilisation is as important as token value. For example, what happens when the token increases in value due to speculation? In such cases, users of the platform will be less likely to use it for its intended purpose and more likely to hold it so that they can cash in at a later date.

Token functionality

Programmable money is a term that has been used to describe cryptocurrency tokens but you also need to have an idea of what sort of functions the token will have.

For example, in the case of a security token offering, a company can issue its shares as a token, therefore, providing a financing mechanism for the company whilst also providing value for the shareholders. To be able to provide such value, the token needs to be structured in such a way that allows people with no tokens to vote and receive dividend payments. Functions such as dividend payments of voting are clear examples of functionalities that could be programmed into the token.

Token Distribution

Another aspect of tokenomics is the way that it is distributed. Often, ICO projects make mistakes in their token distribution by making it fixed that is issued at just one time moment.

If we look at fiat currencies, their supply is never fixed, instead, the central bank is able to print more money or a local bank can provide a loan. These are both means of creating money where previously there was none. From this, we can ascertain that a fixed token distribution is likely to have negative effects on its value, inflation, and of course, usage. For these reasons, it is incredibly important that special attention is paid to how the token is distributed, for example:

  • When will the token go into circulation?
  • When will it leave circulation?
  • How much will be released at first?
  • How do current and projected utilisation and value coexist?

Token Value

The value of the token is another important aspect of tokenomics. When a token is issued as a share or security, the value of the token should be clear and straightforward. For example, if a company is valued at $50 million, and 10 million equity tokens are made available, each token/share should be worth $5.

If a token doesn’t have a clear value, things can get a lot more complicated. If an issuer thinks that a token is worth X, the market may put it at a different value. This can become even more complicated when you want to enable users to exchange tokens for specific services. If the value of a token falls in the market, the price should be adjusted by the issuer.

Tokens that work in the long-run

Tokenomics has a lot of complicated and very different facets that include token purpose, utility, functionality, distribution, and supply. But there are many others that can be taken into consideration such as mechanism design, stakeholder interviews, and token governance, meaning the good token design is not as easy as some would believe.

Even if all of these things have been given consideration, the task is still not completed because to properly set up a tokenised business due attention to other parts of the business such as the token market, the business technical infrastructure, and the token and revenue model. This is not an easy task and it is one that requires the help and guidance of a professional.

E&S Group has solid experience in designing tokenomics infrastructures, as well as advising companies on all of the other important aspects of creating a successful project. For further information please send us an email on [email protected]

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Blockchain island to welcome Waves

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Malta, The Blockchain Island, DLT Regulation, E&S Group, Regulation, Waves

Blockchain Island to Welcome Waves

Waves, a popular decentralized blockchain application, is currently in talks to relocate all or some of its operations to the island of Malta.

This week CEO of Waves, Sasha Ivanov met with the Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat to discuss the accreditation required to operate within the country. Cooperation in terms of land registry, voting, healthcare and other sectors, as well as various proposals to use Waves as a platform for the tokenisation of financial instruments, was also discussed.

In a statement released by Waves, the meeting was described as “encouraging”. The statement added:

“We are interested in this accreditation and are ready to start working with Malta’s legal experts to bring our ready-to-use blockchain solutions here.”

Junior Finance Minister, Silvio Schembri added that there was a chance that the Maltese government would reach an agreement with the Russian company in the coming weeks. Good for Waves, the Russian state-owned manufacturing conglomerate Rostec has agreed to work with Waves on the development and implementation of the Waves platform for the management of data with $2 million being invested into the project.

This week, Waves also announced the launch of a new protocol that would allow smart contracts to run over the Waves main-net.

Over the last few months, Malta has seen an incredible influx of big-name cryptocurrency related businesses relocation to Malta. Binance, OKEx, BitBay, and ZB.com have all announced either a full relocation or the opening of operations in the country, now dubbed “blockchain island”.

This current influx of blockchain and crypto related businesses is due to the three acts that are to come into force on the 1st of November 2018 that will seek to regulate and define the burgeoning industry. These new laws will place Malta at the forefront of global regulation for cryptocurrency and related industries, making it something of a pioneer.

If you own or think of starting a blockchain-based business, then Malta should be at the top of your list when it comes to choosing a jurisdiction. To find out more about setting up a business in Malta, and all of the legal and regulatory requirements, please contact a member of our team here. E&S Group is perfectly positioned to help with setting up companies and business structures, providing fiscal and legal advice. Contact us on [email protected]

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Refreshing KSU

Categories Malta, The Blockchain Island, E&S Group, University, Academics, Applications, Education, KSU

Refreshing KSU

E&S Group was participating in the KSU Fresher’s Week organised at the University of Malta, 1-5 of October. There are around 11,500 students, including about 1,000 international students from 92 different countries and 450 visiting overseas students, following full-time or part-time degree and diploma courses in the Maltese University. on the 1st week of October fourteen Faculties, eighteen Institutes, thirteen Centers and three Schools of the campuses in Msida and Valletta opened their doors for the freshers.

The opening ceremony was followed by numerous workshops, quests, games and activities organised by the University’s students communities and partnering organizations, including E&S Group which had its tent welcoming students and graduates. During the 5 days of the event, the company representatives from legal, accounting, corporate and marketing departments were inviting students with a related background to complete the internship with E&S Group. As a result, we got 37 applications from law students, 45 – from economists and accountants, and 35 application forms were filled in by undergraduates studying education, communications, media and design.

Except for spreading the information about its services and career opportunities, the E&S team also organised the competition where the winner is to get the tablet as the main prize. The number of participants reached almost 100! We are comparing top 5 results now to get in touch with the lucky winner as soon as possible, so keep your cell phone on.

E&S Group is growing and will be happy to see young talents among its professionals. If you miss the opportunity to visit our stand, the information about our operating principles, services and the company development can be also found in our brochure left in the following departments: Faculty of Economics, Management & Accountancy (FEMA), Faculty of Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Faculty of Laws, Institute of Digital Games, ICT Building, IT Services, Library, DegreePlus, KSU noticeboard.

 

E&S Group provides a range of services including ICO Legal Services, Corporate Services, iGaming, International Tax Planning, Financial Planning, Tokenomics, and more. If you are a student willing to work in one of these fields in the future, be sure to get in contact!

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Real Estate Agents in Malta to Use Blockchain to Share Property Market Data

Categories Blockchain, Malta, The Blockchain Island, Data, Real Estate, Property

Real Estate Agents in Malta to Use Blockchain to Share Property Market Data

 

Some of the leading real estate agents in Malta have announced plans to use a blockchain-based platform to share information and data that related to the local property market.

Ledger Projects is a Maltese company that has also announced an application that will allow notaries to record promise-of-sale agreements on the blockchain, after they have been signed. This platform will allow local notaries to be informed in real-time when a property has been sold, thus removing any possibility of human error.

The new platform will be supported by Exonum and will be built by one of the world’s largest blockchain infrastructure providers, Bitfury.

“Our Distributed Ledger Technology platform will make it possible for stakeholders to have accurate real time information about the industry for the first time ever within a blockchain environment that is secure, distributed and immutable,” Ledger Projects’ directors Anthony Mamo and David Schranz said. “Eventually the data collected within the system may also assist other stakeholders to understand emerging trends and to enable these to pre-empt infrastructural requirements.”

One of the real estate agencies that has signed up to use the new platform believes that the ability to collect and share information will be of great use to the property industry on the island. “The blockchain technology and its applications are moving forward at a fast pace and we are very excited to be getting involved at this early stage,” he said.

As Malta’s property industry continues to boom, it is attracting a lot of international attention and investment. By implementing operational services over blockchain platforms, Malta becomes one of the first countries to do so, thus offering a significant competitive edge. Blockchain has offered many possible use cases to the real estate market – from the use of smart contracts in the purchasing process, to the storing of contracts and deeds in a secure and immutable manner.

 

To find out more about the implementation of DLT technology into your business operations, or how to create your own blockchain-based solution, contact us today on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected].

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E&S Groups’ Director Christian Ellul Speaks at 1st day of Delta Summit

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, Malta, Delta Summit, Panel Discussion

E&S Groups’ Director Christian Ellul Speaks at 1st day of Delta Summit

The world’s first official blockchain event kicked off in Malta yesterday, with E&S Group Director, Dr Christian Ellul partaking in one of the first panels of the event.

Taking place over three days at the InterContinental, it is the first event of its type to be supported by government and regulatory authorities. The aim behind the event is to allow Malta to further cement its position as the ‘Blockchain Island” and to promote innovation, technology, and opportunities within the industry, and the country. It is hoped that the event will strengthen Malta’s status as a leading centre of excellence for crypto and ICOs, whilst attracting further businesses and entrepreneurs to the island.

Dr Christian Ellul took part in a panel entitled “Malta: A Small Island-Nation with Global Ambition” which focussed on Malta’s place in the world of blockchain and crypto technology, and its power to lead the industry, despite the small size of the country. He was joined by Grahame Salt, Director of Frank Salt Real Estate Group; Imogen Heap, Founder of Mycelia; Rachel Wolfson, Crypto Journalist at Bitcoin Magazine; Dr Abdalla Kablan, Entrepreneur and Fintech Expert; and Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary in Malta.

The event sold out of tickets weeks in advance and was attended by around 1500 attendees including 75 high-profile industry leaders and experts, and foreign government officials. Other speakers that will take to the podium during the even include Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat; Minister of Finance, Edward Scicluna; Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao; Wikipedia co-founder, Larry Sanger and many more.

 

The Delta Summit is a valuable opportunity for expert service providers such as E&S Group to mix with international stakeholders, business owners, and innovative entrepreneurs. If you are attending Delta Summit and you would like to meet one of our team, please contact us by sending an email on [email protected] or filling in the form here to arrange an appointment.

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The KYC Process for ICO Investors

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, ICOs, Malta, The Blockchain Island, Know Your Customer, Anti Money Laundering

The KYC Process for ICO Investors

As ICOs have gained popularity across the world, so are they coming under the watchful eyes of regulatory bodies and authorities now. Whilst many jurisdictions are not particularly clear on where they stand when it comes to ICOs, Know Your Customer (KYC) is a globally understood concept. Issuers of ICOs want to know who is investing in their project and investors want to know who they are dealing with – legitimate, trustworthy, and credible partnership.

But what is KYC and why do ICOs need it?

What is KYC?

KYC is an abbreviation for “Know Your Customer” and it refers to the process of a business or commercial entity, verifying the identity of its clients. It also helps to ascertain any risks of illegal intentions such as money laundering or the financing of terrorism.

By gathering KYC documents such as government-issued photographic ID, proof of address, and information on the source of any relevant funds, the company can establish the authenticity of an individual’s identity – something that is essential when dealing with money, assets, or other financial services. It is also important to know whether an investor or individual is a Politically Exposed person, a criminal, or someone that may pose a risk to the integrity of the business.

The undertaking of KYC is mandatory for many processes such as opening a bank account, forming a company, becoming a director in an enterprise, or even procuring the services of a lawyer or accountant. It is also becoming more prevalent in the world of cryptocurrency and ICOs as authorities and governments strive to regulate and legitimise the flourishing industry.

Why the world of finance needs KYC

The reason why KYC is needed in the world of finance is obvious – because many misbehaving actors attempt to use the financial system for nefarious activities. These can include setting up fraudulent structures, dodging tax, money laundering, proceeds of crime, facilitating bribery, or funding terrorist organisations.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that around 5% of the global GDP is laundered each year, which translates to billions of euros, just through the European Union member states alone. When reputable businesses get inadvertently involved in such activities, the outcome can be devastating. Not only can they lose money and incur hefty penalties, but they risk irreparable reputational damage and even the closure of their business. As bad actors become more and more sophisticated in the way in which they circumvent KYC and AML laws, businesses have to be more dedicated in the way that they adhere to applicable regulations.

In the digital world, one of the fastest growing sectors, the use of KYC is even more important. Using the internet and cryptocurrency allows users a degree of customers anonymity which means that it is open to abuse. By ensuring that KYC is upheld, those operating in the cryptocurrency, blockchain, and ICO sector can enjoy a greater level of security.

KYC in Malta

Malta has recently introduced three new Bills that will regulate cryptocurrency, blockchain, and ICOs within the country. As well as these Malta-specific laws, businesses operating in and from the country must adhere to the EU 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive. It is also worth noting that the EU 5th Anti Money Laundering Directive is due to be implemented not later than January 2020, and it will provide more depth requirements for issuers of ICOs to satisfy.

Provisions in the new laws have put in place strict requirements that both ICO providers and investors must adhere to. Complying with such requirements offers many advantages including legitimacy, confidence and transparency. It will also allow ICO issuers to reach a wider global audience as well as to increase the number of jurisdictions in which the ICO offering can take place. Furthermore, many cryptocurrency exchanges are starting to refuse to list tokens or coins that are not compliant with AML and KYC regulations.

At E&S Group, we have the knowledge and the experience to help you create the applicable KYC processes that your ICO or startup needs. We have a full understanding of both local, EU and international laws and requirements in these areas and we can assist in advising and creating policies that will ensure full compliance with the law. Do not risk the integrity of your business and reputation, make sure you know who you are dealing with and operate on the right side of the law, at all times. Contact us today by sending us an email on [email protected] to find out more.

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Forbes quotes Muscat’s Bitcoin Prediction

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Malta, The Blockchain Island, DLT Regulation, E&S Group, Bitcoin, Tokenomics, Regulation

Forbes quotes Muscat’s Bitcoin Prediction

The Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat has recently gained the fame as one of the most often quoted politicians in the European space due to his statements on the development of the digital industry and its regulation.   He has already announced his positive attitude towards bitcoin and blockchain from the point of their ability to eliminate third party service providers, giving users more freedom over information and money.

Forbes writes about the “Massive Bitcoin Prediction” according to the statement of Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat in an address to the United Nations General Assembly, where he has expressed his belief that blockchain technology is the tool that will help digital currencies “inevitably” gain mass adoption and become the future of money.

“I passionately believe technology revolutionizes and improves systems,” said Muscat. “This is why in Malta, we have launched ourselves as the blockchain island.”

“By being the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate this new technology that previously existed in a legal vacuum. Blockchain makes cryptocurrencies inevitable future of money. More transparent, it helps filter good business from bad business.”

“Emissions trading systems can be taken to the next level. We can help verify that humanitarian assistance is reaching its intended destination. We can make sure that nobody is deprived of their legitimate property because of compromised data.”

E&S has already written about the progressive attitude of the Maltese authorities towards blockchain and the interpreters operating within this space, coming up with the regulation on the 1st of November.

Operating in Malta, E&S Group adheres to the Maltese laws with regards to ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges and tokenomics. If you require further information contact us by sending an email on [email protected]. We make things happen!

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