Category: E&S Group

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The Employee’s “Personal Data” Boundaries

Categories Employment, GDPR, E&S Group, Regulation, Data Protection

The Employee’s “Personal Data” Boundaries

The case of the former CEO of the European Union Programmes Agency, Doreen Camilleri, set a precedent that confirmed that a corporate email address with an individual’s name should be considered as “personal data”.

After her job was terminated, the agency requested a password change for her corporate email address, however Ms Camilleri was not informed of this and she was blocked out of her account. A few days later, Ms Camilleri found out that her e-mail address was still in use, but she could not access it herself. The concern that the emails could still be sent on her behalf was a reason to file a complaint.

In reaching this decision, the Court of Appeal held that the legal basis for processing personal data must be carefully determined (by data controllers) and it must adhere to the law and circumstances.

The password communicated to the user must be changed immediately upon receipt. In default of such action, the user assumes liability for all activity logged with the unchanged password once this notice is communicated, without prejudice to any other liability incurred by the user for activity logged on the account from the time the password is changed.

In the employment context, any computer hardware and access to any electronic communication and networking service, including but not limited to electronic mail, internet, internal servers and archive folders are considered to be the property of the employer who regulates their use for the ultimate legitimate interest of the business and administrative activity.

Even though the email account of the employee is his property, the IT manager might have access to it for a short period of time. This does not necessarily mean that every time the inbox is checked, processing of personal data of said employee had taken place.

If one must use some logic, the employee is to be cordially asked to give a handover, which in turn would initiate the process of archiving of emails that are on the former employee`s account.

While business continuity is a crucial aspect when dealing with handovers, employees’ rights should not be breached in the process.

 

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EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive implemented in Malta

Categories Tax, Malta, E&S Group

EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive implemented in Malta

On the 11th December 2018, Legal Notice 411 entitled ‘European Union Anti-Tax Avoidance Directives Implementation Regulations’ was published in the Malta Government Gazette.

These Regulations, which shall come into force on 1st January 2019, implement the provisions of Directive (EU) 2016/1164 of 12 July 2016 adopted by the Council of the European Union laying down rules against tax avoidance practices that directly affect the functioning of the internal market. They apply to all companies as well as other entities, trusts and similar arrangements that are subject to tax in Malta in the same manner as companies, including entities that are not resident in Malta but that have a permanent establishment in Malta provided that they are subject to tax in Malta as companies.

The Directive presents key tax policy changes to Maltese law which include an interest limitation rule where exceeding borrowing costs shall be deductible in the tax period in which they are incurred only up to 30% of the taxpayer’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). This rule is meant to deter artificial debt arrangements intended to minimise tax.

Also introduced is an exit tax on capital gains at an amount equal to the market value of the transferred assets, at the time of exit of the asset. This tax, as an exception to the other regulations, shall come into force on 1st January 2020, and is directed at preventing companies from avoiding tax when relocating assets.

The Directive also includes a general anti-abuse rule (GAAR rule) as a response to aggressive tax planning, and also a controlled foreign company rule (CFC rule) addressed at deterring profit shifting to a low or zero tax country, which requires that an entity, or a permanent establishment of which the profits are not subject to tax or are exempt from tax, shall be treated as a CFC when certain conditions are met.

Contact us on +356 20103020 or by mail at [email protected]. E&S can help you in ‘making things happen’.

Do you have a quick question? Chat with one of our professionals via the live chat!

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European Blockchain Convention to be hosted in Spain

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Malta, E&S Group, Technology

European Blockchain Convention to be hosted in Spain

Blockchain technology has formed a trend among many companies, many of which Fintech and ICOs aspiring to implement such innovative technology within their respective economic sectors. Many jurisdictions, however, have a different take to this disruptive technology – some are interested in regulating it such as Malta for instance, whilst others, such as China, are banning it.

In 2018, Malta has become a trailblazer to this new industry, passing 3 crypto-friendly bills which came to force in November. The aim the Maltese government was to keep this space competitive, regulated and thriving, attracting many foreign companies to set up shop within the widely dubbed “Blockchain Island”. Financial institutions established in Malta are providing legal advice and corporate services to prospective ICOs and STOs willing to conduct their crowdfunding campaigns from Malta. E&S Group is one of the most advanced legal and corporate firm to provide these tailor-made services to its clients, and the first legal company to tokenize its services back in March.

In a study obtained by ICO Bazaar, it has been concluded that in 2018 alone, the average crowdfunding reached was that of $200,000 – $1,250,000, this total sum includes preparation costs, together with the one-month token sale. Over this period, E&S Group has advised over 90 ICOs.

The topics of the digital economy, growth, and the emerging number of ICO conducted within different legislations will be discussed during the European Blockchain Convention held in Barcelona, Spain, on the 29th November. The theme of this year’s conference is “Building the foundation of Blockchain and the Digital Economy”.

Karl Shranz, co-founder of Malta’s leading ICO and Crypto Advisory firm, E&S Group, will be participating in a panel discussion titled: “Overcoming Barriers to Institutional Acceptance of Digital Assets.” Karl will share his expertise on the Maltese legal framework experience and future prospectives. Besides Karl, the panel consists of two other people contributing to the discussion, namely Stephanie Ramezan, Co-Founder of Quince Capital, and Eneko Knorr, Founder of Pheiden Capital moderated by Pernille Enggaard, Finance and Business Journalist at Radio24syv.

The conference will host 50 speakers and is expected to host over 500 industry leaders, regulators, politicians, investors, developers, CTOs, lawyers and entrepreneurs building the foundation of the Blockchain and the Digital Economy who will attend this convention.

This convention will also discuss various topics in relation to regulations, economic impacts caused by Blockchain and the industries’ changes under the influence if this phenomenon. If you would like to know more about this convention, or would like to set a meeting in Barcelona, kindly contact E&S Group on  [email protected].

 

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E&S Group at this year’s SiGMA Expo Conference

Categories iGaming, Malta, E&S Group, SiGMA

E&S Group at this year’s SiGMA Expo Conference

This year, SiGMA Expo is marking its 5th edition of its annual iGaming convention at the MFCC in Ta’ Qali. Dubbed ‘The World’s iGaming Village’, today SiGMA represents Malta’s largest iGaming event, gaining popularity among many foreign gaming companies which have settled in Malta’s booming economy. In fact, the number of iGaming companies that choose Malta is increasing. In 2017, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) received 220 applications from remote gaming companies applying for a licence.

Malta is undoubtedly the iGaming hub of Europe with many companies selecting it over other jurisdictions. This is reflected in SiGMA’s attendance, with around 12,500 attendees flying in from 80+ countries around the world. The venue selected is MFCC, Malta’s biggest events and conferences building. It is expected that around 400 companies are set to showcase their services at the exhibitors stands, with 200 speakers in line to discuss the various issues and advancements that have been made within this space.

E&S Group is joining other leaders in the industry at SiGMA. A group of delegates will attend this year’s event happening between the 27th – 30th November.

Kindly get in touch on [email protected] should you wish to schedule a meeting.

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Nordics Blockchain Summit returns to Estonia

Categories iGaming, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, E&S Group, Regulation, Conference, Moontec18

Nordics Blockchain Summit returns to Estonia

Moontec is an internationally recognised Nordic event, devoted to blockchain technology and its implementation in various industries and is proudly hosted in Tallinn every year.

When Estonia started building its information society about two decades ago, there was no digital data being collected about its citizens. The general population did not have internet access or even devices with which to use it. For this reason, it took great courage to invest in IT solutions and take the information technology route within that scenario.

Since this decision was taken in 1997, the best step-by-step implemented e-solutions have made Estonia one of the world’s most developed digital societies. With the application of e-Governance, e-Tax, X-Road, Digital ID, I-Voting and e-Residence this Nordic country is moving towards real-time economy and industry 4.0.

At the end of October, ‘WePower’ the Estonia based energy company announced the successful delivery of a landmark; a nationwide pilot project in conjunction with transmission system operator, TSO Elering.

Representing a significant step forward in the digital energy sector, the initiate will convert energy consumption and production data onto the blockchain on a national scale. This is the first research and development project that aims to eventually enable consumers to purchase green energy directly from producers, with all relevant information stored on the blockchain.

Estonia benefits from 100% countrywide smart meter coverage and a data sharing platform called Estfeed, which allows customers to download and share their data with whoever they choose. This made the country the ideal location for such a pilot, as it already had much of the required infrastructure in place and fully functioning.

The interest towards blockchain in Estonia has never been higher. The momentum is shifting from a focus on learning and exploring the potential of the technology, to identifying and building practical business applications. Today, many tech companies started investing in blockchain Research and Development, yet they have no clear guidelines on its effectiveness.

This year’s Moontec, held between the 26th and 27th November, is dedicated to finding answers to the biggest challenges faced by blockchain nowadays, such as regulation, application in real-world practice and market adoption.

E&S Group team is attending the event to talk about the use of blockchain technology in the legal, iGaming and logistics industries. In order to make the system work on a European scale, the representatives of the Blockchain Island community should connect with the specialists from the Digital Nation, allowing the blocks to build an effective network.

Meet us in Tallinn on between the 26th and the 28th November. Please send an email to [email protected] to arrange an appointment or contact our team members directly: Yuliya Khrenova and Rick Goddard.

 

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Manhattan property worth $30 million, tokenised with blockchain

Categories ICOs, E&S Group, Tokenomics, Ethereum, Real Estate, Property

Manhattan property worth $30 million, tokenised with blockchain

A new condo development in the heart of Manhattan is set to become the first to be tokenised via the Ethereum blockchain. The unit consists of 12 units, each at 1700sq ft, located in 436 & 442 13th St in the East Village, one of the most sought-after areas in the city.

Listed by Ryan Serhant, a celebrity real estate agent, he and the developer decided to turn to tokenisation as a new way of financing the project. This could pave the way for other projects to follow suit as well as offering a better alternative for both the project and the investors.

“The market in New York is always strong, but it can take some time to sell for the right price in a new construction building. With blockchain tokenization, we can remove the unruly pressure of traditional bank financing, which is much healthier for the project and all of the stakeholders. Tokenization is paving the way for a new forefront in real estate development,” Serhant said.

Tokenisation is a way of representing ownership of a product or asset in a digital way on the blockchain. This new way of financing is the result of a collaboration between Fluidity and Propellr, two businesses that have come together to offer fully compliant services that enable the creation, distribution, and transfer of digital securities.

Todd Lippiatt, CEO of Propellr stated;

“Traditional securities structures and issuance frameworks haven’t evolved in a long time. With blockchain technology, a transparent and trustless ecosystem can start to solve the information asymmetry that hinders the market’s potential for liquidity. This asset, structure, sponsor, and sales team showcase this evolution. With proper discipline and respect, the future is bright for tokenized securities.”

Propellr is a management, creation, and servicing platform for digitally held assets and it is also the parent company of a FINRA registered broker/dealer called Propellr Securities. Their aim is to use their financial and capital market experience to both offers and sell tokenised securities under the Reg D Rue 506 (C).

Fluidity is the company behind AirSwap which offers technology services to broker/dealers, financial institutions, and issuers for tokenised securities. The partnership between Fluidity and Propellr means that they can now accept fiat payments as well as both solicit and sell securities in line with the law.

Investors in the project are able to choose between receiving analogue or digital assets in the securities which means that all kinds of investor are covered. AirSwap technology will also be utilised the process, as well as tokenising securities and helping a fully compliant secondary market to emerge.

“Along with our flagship AirSwap, we’re building a system that brings local assets online using blockchain technology. This makes them available for trade on a global marketplace—directly among buyers and sellers. Fluidity is forming the foundation of a new system of tokenization and trade,” Don Mosites, co-founder of Fluidity, stated.

E&S Group recently became the first business of its type to tokenise its services– this is also something we can help you do. Whether you want to tokenise your products and offerings or tokenise an asset such as property, our team of experts can guide you through the process, so get in touch by sending us an email at [email protected]

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Crypto-friendly banks expected to open in Malta in the next 12 months

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Bank, DLT Regulation, E&S Group, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Tokens, Wallet, Delta Summit

Crypto-friendly banks expected to open in Malta in the next 12 months

Roderick Psaila, a Malta-based banking expert spoke about the future of crypto-banking at the Delta summit in Malta held between the 3rd and 5th of October. The three-day event was the world’s first official and government approved blockchain event of its type, and it attracted over 1500 delegates from all over the world.

Speaking as a part of a discussion panel, he was responding to criticism of traditional banks hesitancy to embrace blockchain, DLT, and cryptocurrencies despite the fact that the Maltese government has approved the DLT legislation in November.

“We are already seeing new, smaller banks show a willingness to adopt blockchain technology, but legacy banks will take longer to come round, because of their systems in place and because they tend to expect higher standards,” he said.

He also stated that he believes that two to three crypto friendly banks will open in Malta within the next year that will be amenable to blockchain and crypto, as well as being conducive to the industry’s growth.

This could be due to the fact that it is unlikely for the banking industry to fully adopt and embrace blockchain technology until matters around its compliance with anti-money laundering framework were finalised. Until this framework has been deemed acceptable to banks, it doesn’t matter how acceptable it is to operators, ultimately the banks have the final say.

Also on the panel was Michael Matthias who is the CEO of digital currency Dascoin and he stated the need for banks to catch up with modern technology instead of shying away from it.

“And yet, as blockchain technology becomes more mainstream, it is not farfetched to imagine a near future in which cryptocurrency is used as the coin of choice in everyday payments and transactions,” he said.

The Delta Summit, the first of its kind has been called a resounding success by all that attended. Dr Christian Ellul, Director of E&S Group also spoke on a panel discussing Malta’s bright future as the “blockchain island”. Other speakers at the event included the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, Changpeng Zhao the CEO and Founder of Binance, and other global stakeholders in the blockchain, crypto, DLT, and ICO sectors. If you have any questions in relation to ICOs, and Malta’s legislation regarding ICOs and blockchain please contact us on [email protected]

 

 

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The Pharma Counterfeit Problem on a Global Scale

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, ICOs, Malta, Law, E&S Group, Conference, Blockchain Leadership Summit

The Pharma Counterfeit Problem on a Global Scale

The investments into blockchain technology in the healthcare industry are growing rapidly, reaching $200M according to a recent report of the major consortium R3. The implementation of the DLT technology in the healthcare industry is caused by the emerging problem of pharma counterfeit and ineffective supply chains.

Anything that makes money will be counterfeited. This affects patented medications as well as generics. Expensive, prescription drugs, such as those used in AIDS or cancer therapy, are especially lucrative for dubious businesses. Antibiotics are the most commonly counterfeited drugs, particularly in low-income nations where medicines are prohibitively expensive for many people. In high-income countries, there is a growing trend toward fake “lifestyle” medications.

Illegal trade takes place around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that counterfeit medicines worth 73 billion euros are traded annually. Dubious online pharmacies that conceal their true location deliver globally – reaching countries such as Germany, UK, Italy, Spain etc. or the USA. Supplies from illegal internet pharmacies – those without appropriate certification – are up to 50% counterfeits.

The extent of the problem varies greatly between regions and individual countries, and also depends largely on temporary supplies. The problem is highly dependent on how tight legal controls are. The WHO estimates that in some areas in Africa, Asia, and South America, more than 30% of medicines in circulation are fake. In some countries in Eastern Europe, the proportion of fake medicines can be more than 20%.

The current state of healthcare and pharma records is incoherent and irrational due to a lack of common architectures and standards that would allow the safe transfer of sensitive information among stakeholders in the system. Blockchain application in the healthcare industry, while still at the early stage of development, it presents various opportunities such as:- keeping track of patients’ health, new insights on population health; and supports the direction toward value-based care.

There are already several use-cases in the pharma industry: blockchain can help with verifying the authenticity of returned drugs and compliance in the pharma supply chain. Merck in partnership with SAP has developed the SAP Pharma Blockchain POC app for the use-case. Blockchain protocols in clinical trials can provide transparency and traceability of consent.

Another groundbreaking use-case in pharma is the prevention of counterfeit drugs and medical devices. One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world based in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis AG, has made a tremendous progress in this direction. They have been experimenting with blockchain since 2016 and have run various proofs of concept (PoCs). Today, their primary tech development is aimed to identify counterfeit medicines and track temperature with real-time visibility for all participants in the supply chain, using Blockchain and IoT.

They are also working on a public-private partnership between the European pharmaceutical industry and the EU – the IMI Blockchain Enabled Healthcare program. The program aims to partner the pharma industry with a consortia made up of SME blockchain companies, universities, clinical labs, hospitals, patient representatives and others. It’s a wide-ranging project that includes counterfeit drug detection, supply chain, patient data, and clinical trials.

The potential of the blockchain implementation in the healthcare industry will be discussed on Blockchain Leadership Summit in Basel. If you would like to attend one of the most significant events of the year with us, E&S Group will be happy to give you an exclusive 50% discount for any ticket. All you have to do is to use the promo code: BLS2018_exclusiveE&SGROUP. If you would like to get further information on this event please send us an email on [email protected].

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Why is Malta a jurisdiction of choice for aircraft registration?

Categories Tax, Aviation, Malta, E&S Group, Jurisdiction, Aircraft Registration

Why is Malta a jurisdiction of choice for aircraft registration?

Amongst all of the blockchain/iGaming and FinTech hype that is prevalent in Malta, people sometimes forget that the country is also a prime jurisdiction for various other types of business. Malta is well known for its long history with the maritime sector, but have you also known that it offers great incentives for those individuals or businesses that are looking to register an aircraft?

In 2010, The Aircraft Registration Malta Act came into force with the aim of regulating the aviation industry in Malta. The Act focused on the registration and enforcement of aircraft mortgages, the interface of aircraft protocol with Maltese law, as well as the implementation of the Cape Town Convention.

So what are the main advantages of registering an aircraft in Malta?

Fiscal

  • Malta offers an attractive corporate taxation regime including a full imputation system on the distribution of dividends meaning the rate of tax paid can be as low as 0% in certain circumstances.
  • Malta is part of an extensive network of double taxation treaties.
  • Malta encourages the development of both finance and operating aircraft leases as well as clarity on the tax treatment of final charges, tax deductions and capital allowances.
  • Malta does not charge withholding tax on lease payments as long as the lessor is not a Malta tax resident.
  • Malta does not consider that the use of aircraft by a person who is not resident in Malta and is not an employee of, or involved with a company which owns, leases, or operates aircraft, is a taxable fringe benefit.

Registration

  • Malta offers a broad range of registration possibilities for aircraft that are registered privately and not for commercial use.
  • Malta offers owners to register an aircraft whilst it is still under construction.

Ownership

  • Malta recognizes fractional ownership of aircraft so the title can be effectively divided between numerous co-owners into fractions or percentages which can each be financed by different creditors.
  • Malta offers a wide range of top-quality airline services such as maintenance, repair, overhaul, management, training and other ancillary services, all within the country.
  • In Malta, an owner operating an aircraft, an owner of an aircraft under construction, the owner of an aircraft currently not being operated, the owner of an aircraft under a temporary title, or a trustee is able to register an aircraft in Malta.

If you are interested in registering a commercial or private aircraft in Malta, contact us today by sending us an email on [email protected]

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The Blockchain Industry Needs 3 things: pioneers, mass adoption and E&S Group

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, E&S Group, Conference, ESTS Initiative, Malta Blockchain Summit, Event

The Blockchain Industry Needs 3 things: pioneers, mass adoption and E&S Group

The biggest event of the year, Malta Blockchain Summit, lived up to its expectations with an incredible 8,500 turnout. The Summit was full of highlights, with interviews from Sophia the robot, to entertaining discussions from blockchain evangelist, John McAfee.

Attendees had an opportunity to visit the vivid exhibition with more than 400 companies represented, enjoyed the keynotes of the conference, witnessed the hackathon and attended workshops on investment, marketing, business development and many other topics.

The presence of media and PR agencies representatives on the exhibition and during public speeches provided the companies and individuals with the decent level of publicity. E&S Group directors were interviewed several times during the event being asked numerous questions on the DLT industry development in Malta, legal framework of the country and the firm`s tokenized services.

E&S Group successfully conducted an ICO in February 2018 and issued ESTS utility tokens, that can be exchanged on the legal services and consultancy the company provides. ESTS tokens were also given out during the Malta Blockchain Summit. On Friday afternoon, there was a draw of 500,000 ESTS tokens for those people who had signed up to the services.

The networking opportunities at the Malta Blockchain Summit were second-to-none. Every night there were a lot of dinners, parties, meet-ups and meetings organised despite the evening events scheduled in an official program of the summit.

E&S Group hosted an exclusive after-party which occurred on the last day of The Malta Blockchain Summit, 2nd of November. More than 300 partners, clients and industry influencers got the invitation and joined us that night. The high level of the event organization and the hospitable atmosphere didn’t leave the guests indifferent. The company received numerous positive feedbacks from the attendees, such as:

“Thanks for a great evening! What a great way to round out the conference” – David Doepel, Media & Blockchain Entrepreneur and Researcher, said.

“Well done Christian and Karl for your party with a touch of class. Very impressed with the high calibre of global clients and contacts you have. Keep it up!” –  commented Ralph Liu, Investment Banker and Venture Investor.

According to the opinion of Martin Glettler, Executive Director PayMagnet Technologies Ltd, “the blockchain industry needs three things: pioneers, mass adoption and E&S”.

Living in a truly transformative age, companies need to act quickly and rationally to changes, with a special focus on the areas in which its competence will stand out against strong international competition.

E&S Group follows the industry trends and has already advised over 90+ ICOs. If you want to know more about our services please contact us at [email protected].

 

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