Malta’s Registry of Companies to Run on a Blockchain System

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Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri visits the ongoing works on the premises that will house the Registry of Companies, May 8, 2019, @SilvioSchembri, via Twitter
Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri visits the ongoing works on the premises that will house the Registry of Companies, May 8, 2019, @SilvioSchembri, via Twitter

The European island of Malta is looking to use blockchain technology to make its Registry of Companies agency more efficient, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri, said earlier this month.

According to Schembri, the new blockchain-based system will handle all of the processes performed by the Registry of Companies and “will make possible the provision of new services which with the present system are not being provided bringing the agency.” He said the registry will be “the first in the world to be run on a blockchain-based system.”

“Through an extensive investment in IT, the Registry of Companies will be more efficient and will lessen unnecessary bureaucratic procedures,” Schembri said.

Tweet SilvioSchembri blockchain Registry of Companies

The new blockchain-based system is part of a restructuration and modernization push for the Registry of Companies, which, at the end of last year, demerged from the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and established itself as a standalone agency.

The Registry of Companies is a public registry responsible for the registered information and documentation pertaining to new and existing companies.

Through the new Legal Act, the agency was given the responsibility for all assets, liabilities and obligations which were previously vested or entered by the MFSA and which emanate or arise from the functions of the agency.

Works are currently being done at the Registry of Companies’ new premises, which will be located in the South Eastern city of Żejtun.

Schembri said the need for the agency to move into new premises reflects Malta’s rapidly growing economy, and added that the new premises will form an integral part of Malta’s technological and innovative activity.

“In 2012, around 58,783 were registered in Malta which starkly contrasts with the 91,600 companies registered by May 2019, meaning an increase of 55% in a span of 6 years. In view of these results, it was only natural for the agency to look for better accommodated premises to work from,” Schembri said, adding that an autonomous holistic setup dedicated solely to Registry of Companies functions will be more effective in providing a better service.

Malta is striving to become a leading blockchain hub. Last year, the Parliament approved three cryptocurrency and blockchain bills designed to fulfill the country’s ambition to become the “Blockchain Island” by providing a clear and supportive regulatory framework. Since then, a horde of startups in the space have shown interest in settling their businesses on the island.