The Registry of Companies is a public registry holding official information and documentation pertaining to new and existing companies. The agency demerged from the Malta Financial Services Authority’s (MFSA) and established itself as a separate entity at the end of last year. According to the Malta Independent, the new agency will be run on a blockchain-based system.
The establishment of a standalone agency aims to strengthen the internal management structure of the Registry. Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri reportedly said:
“Through an extensive investment in IT, the Registry of Companies will be more efficient and will lessen unnecessary bureaucratic procedures. It will be run by a system which will handle all of the processes performed by the Registry of Companies. The new system will make possible the provision of new services which with the present system are not being provided bringing the agency the first in the world to be run on a blockchain based system.”
Last December, seven southern European Union member states, including Malta, released a declaration promoting the use of Distributed Ledger Technology’s (DLT) the region. Namely, the document cites “education, transport, mobility, shipping, Land Registry, customs, company registry, and healthcare” as services which can be improved with the technology.
Later in January, a mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) judged that the growth of blockchain in Malta had created significant risks of money laundering and terrorism financing in the island’s economy. Among its recommendations, the IMF said the authorities would need to apply more sanctions and sharpen their understanding of possible risks and regulatory breaches.
As previously reported, the Prime Minister of Malta argued that DLT will transform the gamut of political, civic, and corporate systems. Their potential to solve “decades-old problems” drove the country to “launch itself as a ‘Blockchain Island,’” he said, claiming the island was “the first jurisdiction worldwide to regulate [the] technology.”