The Ministry of Economy and Industry will work on several projects including the digitisation of documents, labelling of Gozitan-made products, and on strengthening the Planning Authority through DLT
Three new projects with blockchain technology will be launched in the public sector. After the government launched its strategy in the sector of distributed ledger technology in 2019, today this strategy continues to be implemented, as three new projects using blockchain technology have been launched. This technology consists of a series of protected networks.
The industry and citizens will be enjoying enhanced service quality and security. This was announced by Minister for the Economy and Industry Silvio Schembri during a press conference organised by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA).
Minister Schembri said that the first project is spearheaded by the Department of Commerce within the Ministry for the Economy and Industry. This will ensure that the digitisation of official documents relating to industrial property rights (trademarks, designs, patents) is registered on protected digital networks. Therefore, new ideas, designs or patents need to be protected by trademark registration.
This way, the developer can rest assured that the ownership, title, and business value of that idea will belong to them. This system ensures that the original records are always in the owner’s possession, who can then control how they are used.
The Minister said that the second project concerns a proposal that is spearheaded by the Ministry for Gozo. He explained how Gozo is known for genuine products made on the island itself. Through this project, which is being carried out between the Ministry for Gozo and the MDIA, using DLT, Gozitan products will be digitally labelled during the manufacturing cycle and the process will be documented within the system. All information will be digitally certified by being linked to physical labels or stickers carried by the products themselves. When the consumer scans the QR Code of the product using a smartphone, he receives proof and assurance that the product was actually made in Gozo, and that there was no form of falsification.
The third project will see the strengthening of the Planning Authority through DLT. Here, Minister Schembri explained that the level of security on such sensitive documents will be bolstered. This will improve the transparency of the process, because if there is a change in the information in the Planning Authority’s data system, this change will be flagged due to a mismatch with what has been registered in the public blockchain system.
Minister Schembri explained how the blockchain, contrary to what one might think, goes beyond cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is a technology that can be used in many ways, as we are seeing in these three new services. Blockchain itself is a technology that, due to the way it is built, offers security, increased efficiency, visibility and immutability – which means that transactions recorded on blockchain cannot be tampered with.
These three projects, which are all built on blockchain, testify to the benefits that this technology brings in transparency and verification. He mentioned how Malta has also made great strides in the virtual currencies sector as, in a statement issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), it announced that, to date, there are already 40 licensed companies or service providers operating in the sector of virtual financial assets, while 306 other applications are being processed.
Minister Schembri mentioned how an international private sector fair will be held in our country next week. Around 600 companies will be participating, ranging from start-ups, gaming companies, blockchain, artificial intelligence and others. This shows that the private sector is welcoming the government’s policy on these sectors.
MDIA Chief Executive Kenneth Brincat said that, “Through this public call for the implementation of the proposals announced today, we are seeing a growing awareness of the benefits of these innovative and emerging technologies”.
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