News & Events

Malta News - 01/07/2019

A pivotal role for bitpod webinars

PKF Malta has succeeded in publishing and planning a series of webinars run by experts under the bitpod name. In essence, it is a quasi-lab that contributes to the start-up eco-system by offering an exclusively designated and readily available space to SME’s and by holding informal meet-up sessions for industry professionals, start-ups and investors. All this is done whilst working on the desired target to attract VCs to Malta by recreating what we saw work successfully abroad.

 

For the first bitpod webinars, experts discussed various topics surrounding the vast world of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) tactics in a tangible manner using real life examples and cases. Future webinars will also cover the provisions for Virtual Financial Assets (VFA), going about all of this in practice, what has changed, what is expected of subject persons today as different to a few years ago and what subject persons can do about it.

 

The important thing is that the webinars tackles topics from a practical view point, using case studies, real life examples, and tangible concepts / ideas. The optimal result is having participants who can understand and leave the webinar after they heard it in a new order / from a fresh perspective that is hopefully more conducive to day to day work.

 

This is very fitting seeing as Malta is known as the ‘Blockchain Island’ in international blockchain communities. A brief background to Malta’s heightened interest in Blockchain can better explain why the island has attracted so much attention in the short term. Last year, Malta was the first in Europe to regulate VFA by the promulgation of three acts. The first one is termed the MDIA Act, which will provide for the establishment of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority as a central regulator. One expects that the law will promote government policy towards the industry and set the foundation for the development of Malta as a hub for new and innovative technologies. Another piece of legislation called the ITAS Act, will set out the regime for the registration of Technology service providers and the certification of “technology arrangements”. This framework will allow for the registration of auditors and administrators of distributed ledger technology (DLT) platforms and their certification. This is complementary to the VFA Act which will set out a framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the regulatory regime on the provision of services related to virtual currencies. It goes without saying, that virtual currencies have become a phenomenon that has lately reached a mainstream audience.

 

On the topic of innovation, an application for funds has been recently submitted under one of the EU funding programmes for Innovation linking four countries in the Mediterranean rim. The idea is to team with partners from Jordan, Italy and Israel to facilitate exchange of talent and ideas in the tech sphere. The foundation will assist start-up companies with access to financing, and subject to direction from business experts and through our proposed centre new entrepreneurs will have even more access to the technical expertise and might benefit from the flow of ideas.

The bitpod concept will therefore be congruent to this idea and can work together with our partners to mentor businesses particularly within the Artifical Intelligence (AI) and blockchain context.

 

Our proposal involves the creation of an innovation hub, which will involve the introduction of a recognised thought leadership centre of excellence for innovation whereby large corporates, small start-ups, universities, private companies and other entities would gather for training, meetings and conferences and engage the connections in the Mediterranean.

It gives birth to an ambitious regional innovation ecosystem exclusively run by the private sector. The centre will also have a regional focus and would act as a catalyst in bringing together talents for meetings and conferences. In time, they will ameliorate the extent of research and development taking place within the Mediterranean. Additionally, the centre would provide training to start-ups in various fields to enable them to expand on their initial business idea. The vision includes office and lab facilities for start-ups to work from, at a subsidised cost. Needless to say, it will also offer cloud facilities. Moreover, it is hoping to introduce a weekly gathering session, (along the lines of a venture café which is hosted by the Cambridge Innovation Centre (CIC) in various cities across the world), during which innovators and already-established entrepreneurs can engage a conversation and work collaboratively to bring their dreams to reality. bitpod is expected to compliment this foundation and subject to the partners provide enough funding it will succeed to enable business accelerators, first time entrepreneurs, family offices and corporate spin-outs to garner strong synergies by doing what they do best as owner-managed businesses. In this context, it is expected to result in a number of training events and conferences for target groups, and hence will be congruent to help service and unite a fragile ecosystem that is an essential ingredient for nurturing new ideas.

In conclusion, PKF commends the good work and investment being done by Government agencies and encourages the private sector, to follow suit on this remarkable journey that promises to make its mark an indelible one.

 

At PKF, we believed in this space for years before it became a buzz-word and we are heavily invested in ensuring that our deliverables at all times exhibit our island as a centre for excellence brimming with potential.

 

Whether you are looking to connect, learn or share, bitpod offers a selection of opportunities to network with other start-ups.

 

You can find more about bitpod here

View our upcoming and past webinars/events here