The inaugural edition of the Malta Blockchain Summit has been a resounding triumph. Held on the 1st to 2nd November, at the Intercontinental Hotel, St. Julian’s - the Summit saw intense interest, from both local and global quarters, with 8,500 attendees turning up for the event.
The success of the show means the Summit will likely move to a larger venue better equipped to handle the scale of a growing Summit.
The Summit marked its entry as a key player on the island’s blockchain calendar, with the official launch of Malta’s DLT regulation acts announced during the Regulatory Conference. The three pieces of legislation moved swiftly through parliament, with approval conferred in July and August, before officially coming into effect on the first day of the Summit.
The new DLT regulation bills to mark Malta’s induction to a global hall of fame as the Blockchain Island are: the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill, Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Bill, and the Virtual Financial Asset Bill.
The launch of the bills comes in tandem with relocation from major players in the crypto sphere, such as Binance, OKEx and ZBX, and government promise to make the aptly dubbed Blockchain Island a hub for blockchain excellence.
With notable denizens of the industry, such as cryptocurrency evangelist and business guru, John McAfee, blockchain father and co-founder, W. Scott Stornetta, Hanson Robotics creation, Sophia the humanoid robot, and the Honourable Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, addressing riveted audiences, the summit carried an aura of prestige and quality.
“I came to talk about the early work that we did, laying the foundations pre-Bitcoin for the blockchain. It is a little frenzied and very crowded. I think they succeeded a little too well in attracting people here.” said W. Scott Stornetta.
“I think it is an excellent summit. The quality of the attendees and the people presenting is excellent, it is well organised. Eman Pulis, the Founder of the Malta Blockchain Summit, is tremendous. But basically I came, so that I could talk, which I did. I want to tell the world, as I see it.” said John McAfee.
A competitive Hackathon for developers was overseen by a panel of some of the most influential movers and shakers in the industry. The judging table made place for esteemed individuals such as Scott Stornetta, Charles Hoskinson, Ilya Smagin, and Lucas Park.
Blockchain Charity Lottery took first place and a coveted prize of €25, 000, with TPass and Tensegrity coming in at second and third place and winning €15,000 and €10,000 respectively.
A heated ICO Pitch lit up the stage on both days of the Summit, as 35 ICO’s battled it out for invaluable mentorship from a line-up of savvy investors, industry exposure and a share of the $100,000 prize. Startups Rise and AEToken took first and second place on Day 1 and Tatau and GoMama grabbing the crown on the second day of the Pitch.
A new government AI strategy was announced during a press conference held at the Malta Blockchain Summit. The Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri launched a task force which will design a national strategy on AI and explore a citizenship test for robots – placing Malta amongst the top 10 nations in the world to do so. Malta.ai will work in collaboration with SingularityNet, the company behind Sophia, the humanoid robot’s AI.
An elegant Halloween-themed awards night launched the two-day summit with a slew of prizes being handed out to companies who have made their mark in the industry – with winners being recognised for a plethora of achievements, from ICO of the year to AI of the year.
The full list of winners included the ICO of the Year: ChiliZ; Affiliate of the Year: ICObench; Lawfirm of the Year: Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates; CSR of the Year: Binance; Careers program of the Year: DQR; Start-up of the Year: ICO Launch; Mining initiative of the Year: Genesis; Investor of the Year: Exante; Crypto Exchange of the year: OKEx; Media Agency of the year: Cointelegraph; Innovator of the year: Revolut; IoT of the year: Greenspider; AI of the year; SingularityNET, and Outstanding contribution to the Blockchain Island: Steve Tendon.
The Summit ended with a number of lavish dinners, a spectacular closing night event and a grand evening tour of Malta’s fortified harbour during the Crypto Cruise.
“I wish to thank everyone who attended the Malta Blockchain Summit for the overwhelming feedback! This week the Blockchain community accepted me and my team as part of the family. I look forward to contribute and help drive this technology forward by doing what I love the most – events!” said Eman Pulis commenting on the monumental success of the Malta Blockchain Summit.