Malta is constantly pushing to become the center of the blockchain universe and – as a result – it was one of the first countries to introduce crypto-friendly laws. The news of Malta’s attitude towards blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies has caused a number of high profile companies to flock to the island – including Binance, OKEx and – of course – BitStarz. This time around, the University of Malta (UoM) has partnered with the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) to create a €300,000 blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) scholarship fund. The scholarship is targeted at students studying IT, Law, Finance, and engineering at either Masters or PhD level. It will be released over a three-year period.
Malta Needs More Workers
The rise in popularity of blockchain and DLT has spurred more students to study these areas of industry. Due to this fact, Malta has created a handful of courses and set up institutions to help people achieve their blockchain goals. If Malta truly wants to become a blockchain hub, it knows that it needs to educate its citizens to the highest level on blockchain and DLT. The country would like to see more Maltese getting into the field and graduating in these technologically advanced fields.
Speeding up the Busses
Malta suffers heavily from congestion and poor public transport links, where busses can often be hours late. In an effort to reduce the tardiness of public transport, the Transport Minister announced a partnership with Omnitude to implement DLT in a bid to improve public transport. However, many people have criticized this partnership as busses are often late due to poor road infrastructure and a lack of courtesy on the road from other drivers.
Malta is Taking its Time
Similarly to the country’s bus timetable, the Malta Financial Service Authority (MFSA) is taking its time in rolling out the new crypto-friendly bills into law. The various official government news reports implied the laws became active as soon as the vote passed, however the MFSA has told companies to slow down as the laws aren’t fully in effect until late 2018. It appears as if the tiny island has bitten off more than it can chew as more companies and hopeful employees head to the congested island.
In addition to the MFSA slowness in making the new crypto-friendly laws active, Malta has one other hurdle in its path of becoming the undisputed blockchain capital. A large amount of shops and bars still only accept cash, but Jonathan Galea – a Maltese blockchain expert – hopes blockchain and cryptos will solve this problem. In an exclusive interview with BitStarz News he said, “Malta still has to make the transition from physical to digital. Hopefully, we’ll be able to leap-frog the transition to credit cards and proceed immediately to crypto.”
While Malta is pushing to become the blockchain capital of the world, it still has a lot of issues to overcome. By educating the next generation about blockchain and DLT, it will hopefully eradicate a number of its problems. This scholarship is incredible news for all budding crypto enthusiasts, as it should work to nurture the next generation of innovative minds.