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Malta: The Jurisdiction Of Choice For Blockchain Businesses?

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The Jurisdiction Of Choice For Blockchain Businesses?Reading Time: 5 minutes

The below interview has been conducted by Jo Caruana (MaltaChamber.org.mt) – View original source here.

Dr Joseph F. Borg, an advocate and partner at WH Partners, talks through the history of Blockchain and highlights its potential path for the future.

There is an absolute buzz about cryptocurrencies at the moment, as well as whether to invest in them, or to put them down to a scam. Either way, the business world is fascinated.

One expert on the subject is Dr Joseph F. Borg, an advocate and partner at WH Partners, who heads the Blockchain Advisory and the Gaming and Gambling Advisory sections of the firm. On top of that, he is the Vice-President and Co-Founder of BitMalta, which is a non-profit organisation that promotes and stimulates discussion about Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in Malta.

“Let’s begin by explaining what a cryptocurrency actually is,” Dr Borg says. “Essentially, it is a type of convertible virtual currency secured by cryptography that is built on top of the Blockchain – a type of distributed ledger technology which does away with the need for a third-party clearinghouse and central issuer. As a result of their underlying decentralised technology, cryptocurrencies have introduced much-needed competition in the digital payments industry and have the potential to contribute positively to citizens’ welfare and economic development, including in the financial sector. Some of the most popular touted benefits of cryptocurrencies are their ability to lower transaction and operational costs, to promote financial inclusion, to enhance the resilience and speed of payment systems, and to increase users’ security and privacy, among others.”

Nevertheless, the idea presented by cryptocurrencies – the first of which was Bitcoin – was not in fact new. A number of similar virtual currency systems including e-Cash, Bit Gold and RPOW, were introduced in the 1990s.

“The true innovation of cryptocurrencies following the ‘Bitcoin model’ is their innovative approach to addressing the ‘double spending problem’,” Dr Borg continues. “This refers to the inherent difficulty of sending money or anything valuable over the internet since a digital asset essentially comprises a digital file that can be duplicated or falsified.”

Pre-Bitcoin, existing virtual currency systems required the use of an intermediary or clearinghouse to manage and verify the transaction (and ensure that the same money was not spent twice). The Blockchain, which underlies cryptocurrencies, does away with the need for such an intermediary by keeping a record of every transaction on a time-stamped database that is dispersed among the different users of the network. “Blockchain’s solution to the ‘double spending problem’ has been described as its ‘revolutionary promise’ and the hype factor surrounding the technology has now led multiple companies to unveil a multitude of Blockchain initiatives,” the advocate continues.

“The hype is really about Blockchain and not cryptocurrencies per se. Cryptocurrencies are really the very first application of Blockchain technology, and which have the potential to disrupt the payments industry, once they have achieved the level of mainstream use.”

On the other hand, Blockchain has more widespread potential applications, in myriad industries, including but not limited to the spheres of finance, healthcare, energy and entertainment. “The buzz surrounding Blockchain technologies continues to grow, and this is most evidently illustrated by the rapid increase in the creation of not only new cryptocurrencies (the so-called ‘altcoins’), but also by the creation of self-executing digital contracts (smart contracts), intelligent assets which may be controlled over the Internet (smart property), and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) which can operate over a network of computers without human intervention, among many other applications,” Dr Borg says.

Locally, Government approved its National Blockchain Strategy in April 2017 and, just a few months later, launched a Blockchain Taskforce with a view to establish the Maltese legal system as the leading international hub for digital technology innovation.

“Currently, the only concrete step undertaken by Government towards achieving a comprehensive regulatory framework for operators wishing to provide services incorporating Blockchain technology is the Supplementary Rules for Collective Investment Schemes Investing in Virtual Currencies, issued by the local financial regulator, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA),” Dr Borg says.

Following on from this, a consultation document was published on 16th February 2018 proposing three legislative instruments: the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) Bill, the Technology Arrangements (TAs) Bill and the Virtual Currency (VC) Bill. The MDIA Act is envisaged to provide for the establishment of a national regulatory body that will oversee the voluntary certification of TAs such as smart contracts and cryptocurrency platforms, and the registration of Technology Service Providers (TSPs) including the auditors and administrators of TAs. The MDIA will be responsible, inter alia, for the protection of users and consumers which interface or use DLT, the harmonisation of practices and the adoption of standards in the Maltese sector, and the promotion of legal certainty in the application of laws to DLT businesses, in both a national and a cross-border context.

“Mindful that the disruptive nature of Blockchain technology renders it apt to have spill-over effects in an array of sectors, the MDIA Act is proposed to prescribe a Joint Coordination Board with the responsibility of fostering effective cooperation between National Competent Authorities like the MFSA and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA),” Dr Borg continues. “The consultation document also proposes a VC Act which will largely follow the principles laid down in the MFSA’s discussion paper on ICOs, virtual currencies and related service providers. It is projected that the VC Act will provide for a Financial Instruments Test which will determine whether a particular cryptocurrency, within the context of an ICO or on a stand-alone basis, constitutes a ‘financial instrument’ which must comply with applicable local and EU investment services legislation.

“With this in mind, Government evidently looks favourably upon Blockchain-based businesses and is actively seeking to create a workable regulatory framework to further promote this nascent industry and to become a pioneer in regulating DLT and Blockchain technology. While other jurisdictions have chosen to regulate Blockchain-related operations in a piecemeal fashion, focusing only on the areas that the respective governments/states consider to be of importance (such as issues of taxation or money laundering), the Maltese Government is considering a holistic, all-encompassing regulatory approach to creating the most attractive environment for Blockchain start-ups to choose Malta as their base. Evidently, the recent announcement by cryptocurrency exchange Binance (the largest cryptocurrency in the world in terms of volume) is proof that Malta is indeed becoming a melting pot for Blockchain businesses, start-ups and industry giants alike.”

Finally, Dr Borg assesses the main challenges that lie ahead of making Malta the jurisdiction of choice for companies engaged in Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

“While the debate surrounding the possibility for centralised rules to regulate decentralised technologies remains unsettled, there seems to be consensus by the stakeholders and market players of the Blockchain and cryptocurrency industry that some form of regulation (especially in the form of guidance) is important,” he says.

“The greatest challenge to make Malta the jurisdiction of choice for Blockchain-based businesses therefore rests in any proposed regulatory framework not falling prey to over-regulation. The test for local policymakers and regulators will be the development of a regulatory system which addresses the primary policy concerns of Blockchain technologies (such as money laundering and illicit activities), without smothering the benefits which the new technology and its various applications are poised to provide to legitimate users, including companies.”

 

Source:  MaltaChamber.org.mt

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50 flavors of Endorphina at London event in 2019

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When it comes to international exhibitions there are certain exhibiting companies that immediately catch attendee´s attention with their promo. As usually, Endorphina was one of these companies during the main igaming event of the year – ICE London.

What was Endorphina´s booth all about then?

This time, Endorphina wasn´t playing any games and brought in a guest star from the US – Erik Cavanaugh, who has already won the hearts of millions with his passion for dancing and challenging stereotypes of a dancer’s body. Erik’s been viewed over 90 million times worldwide and his fame is still rising. His videos and interviews were published by major publications like People Magazine, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Forbes, and more. During each performance there was a crowd watching Erik, cheering and admiring his graceful moves. Trust us, it was an impeccable performance!

We had a chance to ask Erik about his feelings regarding the event:

“I am so excited to be performing with Endorphina at ICE London and getting to show to the attendees that Dancers Come In All Sizes! This is my first time ever performing live in Europe and I couldn’t be more excited!”

Endorphina´s stand was buzzing all the time. Many people came to try their luck in Wheel of Fortune to win a huge collection of prizes – from witty branded cans, a very own Endorphina cookbook or custom Endorphina slides and branded socks. Provider´s slides and socks with designs of successful game titles were the most popular prizes and made more than one attendee of the show come back to their stand for a second chance to win it. And the rest was exploring provider´s latest games and business opportunities.

Did you witness the guy who impressed America with his charm and talent at the show? Or did you win some of the branded goods? Let us know!

 

Learn more about Endorphina: https://endorphina.com/about

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: 50 flavors of Endorphina at London event in 2019

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Battle for Humanity’s Survival in Pariplay’s New Zombies Gone Wild Video Slot

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iGaming software provider pits zombie hunters against the undead in this action-packed offering

 

Pariplay Ltd., a gaming technology company serving iGaming operators, land-based casinos and lotteries, has released Zombies Gone Wild, an original online video slot inspired by pop culture’s deep-rooted fascination with the living dead. Engaging characters, an atmospheric soundtrack and an array of exciting gameplay features, will have players of all experience players feeling like they are part of humanity’s last stand for survival.

Pariplay’s Zombies Gone Wild features 50 lines that pay both ways for even bigger rewards as well as a collection of wilds, free spins and jackpots. Ratcheting up the adrenaline pumping action are the expanding Mega Wilds, which occur when one of the game’s three heroic zombie hunters are exposed to radiation and become Wild zombies. During the ensuing free spins, the hunter expands to increase the chances of winning.

The game also features three jackpots, each of which corresponds to one of the three zombie hunters. Players can contribute to the value of these respective jackpots with a winning line that includes a Wild zombie hunter symbol. The jackpot values are tracked with separate progress bars, which when full award multipliers of x25, x75 or x200 of the bet amount, respectively.

Other game highlights include the free spins feature, which awards up to 20 spins and can be retriggered up to three times with the initial number of spins awarded. Offered in over 20 languages, Zombies Gone Wild appeals to a broad audience with its thrilling combination of vile zombie hordes and formidable heroes, that latter of which wield a skateboard, katana and chainsaw as their respective weapons of choice.

Zombies Gone Wild also benefits players with an attractive 95.88% return-to-player (RTP) rate, while its development in HTML5 supports gameplay across mobile phones, desktops and other devices. The game also features a mobile portrait mode, allowing players to easily switch to one-handed gameplay.

Certified by gambling regulators in the UK, Isle of Man and Malta, the slot is the latest addition to Pariplay’s growing portfolio of over 100 online casino games. Alongside its original and branded slot titles, the company also provides a selection of online scratch cards, bingo games and instant win titles.

Richard Mintz, Commercial and Marketing Director at Pariplay, said: “When designing Zombies Gone Wild, we knew it was important to give players a game that not only looked great but was also true to the spirit of a genre that holds such an important place in modern pop culture. That combined with our commitment to maximum entertainment, engagement and unique gameplay features, ensures that players of all experience levels will be eager to return to a world packed with rewards and adventure.”

For more information about the Zombies Gone Wild slot launch, contact Pariplay.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Battle for Humanity’s Survival in Pariplay’s New Zombies Gone Wild Video Slot

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Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Reports January Fantasy Contests Revenue

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Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Reports January Fantasy Contests RevenueReading Time: 2 minutes

 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board posted on its web site the January Fantasy Contests Revenue Report. The report provides a breakdown on fees collected from the play of Pennsylvania participants, Fantasy Contests Operators’ adjusted revenue, and tax revenue due to the Commonwealth. The report can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.

Fantasy adjusted revenue for January was $2,116,499 compared to adjusted revenue of $2,860,503 in December 2018.

Tax revenue is derived through a 15% assessment on the adjusted revenue reported by the Fantasy Contest Operators and is deposited into the Commonwealth General Fund. This resulted in tax revenue generated during January of $317,475. Seven of the Fantasy Contest Operators reported tax revenue due.

Fantasy revenue and tax revenue for each of the providers for January 2019 is displayed in the following table:

Fantasy Contest Provider

January 2019

Fantasy Contest

Adjusted Revenue

January 2019

State Tax Due

DraftKings

$1,026,565.22

$153,984.78

FanDuel

$998,218.08

$149,732.71

Yahoo Fantasy Sports

$41,878.21

$6,281.73

DRAFT

$35,986.44

$5,397.97

Sportshub Technologies

$8,795.00

$1,319.00

Fantasy Draft

$4,201.20

$630.18

Boom Fantasy

$854.78

$128.22

Total

$2,116,498.93

$317,474.59

 

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry, including sports wagering offered currently at six locations. The oversight also includes other new gaming initiatives, expected to be launched in the coming months, which were created through Act 42 of 2017, an amendment to the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.

The Commonwealth’s casino industry currently consists of 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos in operation, along with the two smaller resort casinos.  These facilities collectively employ nearly 17,000 people and annually generate approximately $1.4 billion in tax revenue from slot machine and table games play. The largest portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to Pennsylvania homeowners.

Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.

Source: Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Reports January Fantasy Contests Revenue

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