Government sets up national blockchain strategy taskforce

Taskforce will advise government on roadmap towards implementing a national blockchain strategy which remains a top priority for the government

Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri
Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri

A taskforce has been set up to review proposals and make its recommendations for a clear roadmap to be taken by the Government to implement its National Blockchain Strategy, aimed at materialising the opportunities of distributed ledger technology, parliamentary secretary for financial services and the digital economy, Silvio Schembri, announced this afternoon.

The Cabinet of Ministers approved a National block-chain strategy back in April, which led the Secretariat to spearhead the process through a call for proposals, from the big seven financial services advisory companies.

Schembri said that his office had consulted with various stake-holders, interested in block-chain technology, over the past few months.

The taskforce will be chaired by Vincent Muscat, the permanent secretary within the parliamentary secretariat, together with blockchain experts Steve Tendon and Loui Mercieca, legal expert Ian Gauci, the Malta Gaming Authority executive chairman Joseph Cuschieri, MITA enterprise architect Wayne Grixti, finance expert Carlo Stivala and economist Mario Borg.

Apart from exploiting the opportunities that block-chain technology offers for added efficiency in public sector processes and services, the Government looked into the setting up of a new regulatory function, with the primary objective of harnessing the technology with a legal operational framework, serving as a bold initiative leading to the formation of an ideal ecosystem for those willing to invest in block-chain technology.

Schembri noted that “interest from local and international private investors was significant” and that the government would remain available to discuss innovative ideas “rendering this disruptive technology into a catalyst for the further growth of Malta’s digital economy”.

He said that the interest shown by the European Commission’s DG Connect to set up a Blockchain Observatory Forum, where opinions can be generated on the potential of this disruptive technology, whilst engaging stakeholders on DLT EU standardisation, was received positively within Malta’s ambition to govern new policy in blockchain, which “will not stifle innovation but create confidence in the technology”.