Malta is one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries. It has a population of 475,000 people. Also, Malta has become the worlds central hub for blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Two cryptocurrency exchange giants Binance and OKEx have announced that they are moving their offices to Malta. One of the main reasons why this is happening is because of Malta’s pro-crypto government, and especially Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. “These blockchain operating companies don’t care about our taxation system but are coming to Malta, because of our innovative regulatory structure that will certainly be the first, and I also think the best, in the world,” he once said in a political speech in Mqabba.
8,500 people attend the Malta Blockchain Summit
Last week was yet another giant step by Malta towards strengthening their Crypto Capital of the World title. Malta Blockchain Summit 2018 gathered more than 8500 people! People were waiting in long queues at the registration desk. More than 400 companies were exhibiting their products and services. The venue itself was two floored, and the exhibitions were everywhere. Almost half of them were juristic stands, where attendants could find out everything about Malta’s regulations on cryptocurrencies, ICOs, exchanges and crypto companies in general. Binance had a drone which was flying around the place. Cointelegraph, Bitfury, and Blackmoon were among the most popular exhibition stands.
Joseph Muscat, the Prime Minister, was a keynote speaker and emphasized that Malta is indeed an AI innovation hub. He referred to the island as “the island of opportunity,” and talked about the great opportunities that the Distributed Ledger Technology brings to Malta.
John McAfee, the leading crypto influencer, also was among the attendees and gave a short, but very substantial speech at the end of the conference. He spoke about poverty, wealth, wealth distribution, and the ways life has treated him. “We sit here, drinking, enjoying, and laughing. Wearing fine clothes, while 90% of the world lives in poverty. I know this because I have lived within it, and I have seen it. We live in a world where the “Haves” have everything, and the have-nots have nothing,” he said during his very influential speech.
The year of regulations
The overall feeling at the conference was pretty positive. A lot of crypto-enthusiasts were expecting this year to be the year of security tokens, but it turned out to be the year when crypto gets regulated from inside out. There were ideas that maybe we don’t need security tokens, that may be a more qualitative alternative would be utility tokens. Someone called security tokens an overhyped idea.
A lot of sarcastic talks about ICOs in general. People were expressing ideas that most of the ICOs haven’t yet delivered a working product, nor worked on developing their blockchain. Our friend Stefano Virgilli also did a presentation on the bizarre market of ICOs. He performed in a sarcastic and humorous way, in a result, the whole audience laughed for more than 10 minutes.
The positive feeling among the attendants also displayed the overall expectations for the crypto markets for the future. Everyone understands that significant investments are coming to crypto, but at the same time they are aware that the destination for these investments won’t be tokens or altcoins in general. Venture capitalists and new investors want to invest in regulated assets, so they “can sue them.” One venture capitalist said: “I’m going to invest only when I can sue you.”
Sophia – the AI citizen from SigularityNET
Yes, Sophia also was there and yet again showed off its communication skills. We were expecting much more. She (I’m not entirely sure you can refer to a robot as a “She”) answered a lot of basic questions and sounded like basically reading from Wikipedia. We had the impression that any built-in iOS or Android alternative is at the same level of knowledge. It is basically for raising awareness for the SingularityNET project. The conversations consisted of the moderator asking “her” questions like “Tell me something about” this or that, and the robot would answer monotonically. Then he went on asking “How do you know that?”, and the robot answered in a basic way – “Because you programmed it into my start package.” Kind of funny, but at the same time, didn’t show much progression.
Our friend and colleague Raitis Kaucis, the founder of Gagapay, Network.Guru and Dexopay also attended it, so we naturally asked him to share some of his insights from the conference. Raitis visits a lot of cryptocurrency and blockchain conferences almost daily, all around the world. This particular conference by his words was “one of the biggest” he has ever been in. The main topics coming out of the meeting was – you (your company) have to be regulated. The preconditions are to be governed. Otherwise, you no longer can operate in the crypto-ecosystem. Consequently, Raitis told us that his companies – Gagapay, Dexopay, and Network.Guru has handed in all the paperwork and started the process of registering within the legal borders of Malta.
Overall, a huge conference, with many industry professionals coming together, sharing ideas, experiences, meeting new business partners, registering their companies, and in general – making the future of cryptocurrencies.
Photos by Best Coin Investments and Blockchain Malta Summit 2018