Confused About Blockchain? An Event This Week Might Be Able To Help

Vanessa Conneely - 25th March 2019

A charity talk aims to explain what’s behind this emerging technology.

Are you one of the many people who’ve heard the word blockchain, but don’t really know what it’s about? If so, an event in Valletta on 28th March might answer some of your questions.

“Blockchain for Beginners will help prepare the next generation of potential blockchain experts, just as Malta is becoming renowned worldwide as ‘The Blockchain Island’,” promises organiser James Wicker. “Since we understand that Government is considering a fourth bill regarding blockchain, there has never been a better time to learn about it.”

The arrival of blockchain has been described by some as being as big as the invention of the Internet itself. Described as the ultimate defence against hacking, blockchain was developed by a person or persons calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto, back in 2008.

It’s widely reported that almost 70 per cent of banks are experimenting with the technology, and the industry surrounding it is expected to grow to around €17 billion by 2024.

Thursday’s talk promises to explore what this new technological landscape will mean for Malta. As well as a panel and Q&A session, speakers will include Jasper de Trafford, Director of fintech advisory firm Zeta, and Matthew Sacco, Blockchain Developer at Ledger Projects.

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Chairman of TECH MT, Mark Bugeja

Also sharing his expertise is Chairman of TechMT, Mark Bugeja, who’s witnessed a huge amount of change in Malta’s understanding of new technology over the past number of decades. “I was among the first to study programming on the island and was taught by an American nun, since we had no knowledge about it domestically. After the internet, we had the revolution of the mobile phone industry and this evolved into the smart phones we have today. Now we are witnessing yet another huge change in our lives with the dawn of these new technologies like blockchain, AI and IoT just to name a few. I felt that I needed to explore what’s going on around us and what these technologies are all about.”

Mark says Thursday’s event will also focus on Malta’s technological future. “I think that we have a young Government that is totally geared for change. Malta was in fact the first country in the world to create legislation for these new technologies to operate in. There will be challenges along the way, but Malta is willing to listen to all stakeholders and adapt, change and adopt new laws as it seems fit. Therefore, this puts Malta on the map as being a technology-friendly hub for new businesses to grow and flourish.”

As well as cementing the future, the event will literally help cement the past, with money from ticket sales going towards the Save Valletta’s Skyline appeal. This worthy cause is trying to raise funds to restore St Paul's Pro-Cathedral in Valletta.

‘Blockchain for Beginners’ – a talk in aid of Save Valletta Skyline - will be held at Palazzo De la Salle, Valletta on 28th March 2019 at 6.15pm. Tickets (€25) may be booked in advance via email on petragd@guisthall.com 

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