Malta: The Island of Innovation

· November 11, 2020 · 8:37 am

Malta has positioned itself as the leader in blockchain technology and DLT technology, where the government has launched even a strategy for Artificial Intelligence. With the assistance of the Space Task Force, this tiny nation in the Mediterranean is entering a new era of digital innovation.

A Pursue of Digital Future

If you look into the history of Malta, in the past four years, the country has enjoyed substantial economic growth. For the economy to be resilient to external shocks, the government has continued to diversify and explore new niches to sustain economic growth. For this very reason, the government has delved into niche economic areas. Two years ago they started with blockchain, and the country was able to attract investments, not only in terms of crypto but in other technological areas too.

Now, Malta sees new development in companies that are investing in technology and are coming to operate in the country. There was also seen a spill-over effect, especially from the iGaming industry which produces new products that support the blockchain technology. Malta is the first country that goes in this direction. Because of this, companies feel more comfortable to work in Malta and expand their operations since the country’s framework is aimed at providing legal certainty. For example, instead of having a company that operates just in the casino industry, these companies are also operating in ancillary activities, such as blockchain and AI.

Besides, the government also has a central vision for the island, and that vision is to make the island a central hub for video game development and eSports. For example, in May, the government has launched a strategy on video game development and eSports. Currently, the country has about 12 operating companies, including one AAA, which is the highest level a company can reach. The video game business model is different from the iGaming companies. Game developers need industry-led and specific sector expertise and support to grow.

Malta is also signed in MoU, which is one of the most prominent eSports organisers.

Innovation-Driven Growth

Because Malta’s population has increased significantly in a short time, the government has launched a program, two years ago, where they want to change the physical infrastructure. They want to implement several improvements, such as widening the road and looking for other ideas, like making deliveries through drones.

There is also an investment in a new telecom cable between Malta and Gozo. There is also a tender for a cable between Malta and Marseille. Besides, there is another possibility of investment in another cable between Lybia and Malta which means that Malta can act as a connectivity hub between Europe and Africa. Meanwhile, in terms of digital infrastructure, they still seek to continue strengthening it.

The country has also launched a cybersecurity campaign and a new scheme for the private sector called B secure. Here, private entities can apply to have their systems checked by a private company where they will do a report. The report will serve to show the loopholes and where it needs investment to protect against cyber attacks. Besides, there will also be a new set of registry of companies, called Malta Business Registry, where companies that are fully operational in AI and blockchain are available.

Using The IoT Technology

IoT is seen as a medium for bringing tech closer to the people. The country has launched an initiative together with Vodafone, and their first project is to implement intelligent bins, which will communicate with the constructor. The smart bins will alert when it is 70% full or if there are floodings or fire problems. These alerts will increase efficiency and reduce people traffic.

There is another project that will be implemented in Luqa for smart parking. There will be a free app that will let parkers know where is an empty parking space. This project will be expanded in other cities as well. The country firmly believes that Malta has earned the nickname of Blockchain Island. The name will be put in the forefront of this digital transformation that the country has embarked on. The government wants the country to be a hub for innovation and creativity. They are well aware that the future is an exciting one, and it is digital.


Image by M W from Pixabay

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