What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money. Popular forms of Cryptocurrency include Bitcoin, Litecoin and Zcash. It is an internet-based medium of exchange which is very securely encrypted and uses a decentralised control method.

Cryptocurrencies are stored by means of distributed ledgers most notably Blockchain. Blockchain is in fact a form of a distributed ledger with a very specific technological underpinning. It creates an unchangeable ledger of records that is maintained by a decentralised network, where all records are approved by consensus. This system helps minimise the threat of hacking.

No one party owns the complete information of anything related to Cryptocurrencies (unlike banks). As explained by the reporter Paul Vigna, “At their core, cryptocurrencies are built around the principle of a universal, inviolable ledger, one that is made fully public and is constantly being verified by these high-powered computers, each essentially acting independently of the others.”

Cryptocurrency vs. Utility Tokens.

One particular factor which people might generally get confused is the fact that Blockchain also allows for other mediums apart from cryptocurrency. For instance, Ether is a utility token which is used to represent a particular asset or utility.

Cryptocurrency in Malta.

Before the 1st of November 2018, Cryptocurrency was recognised by the Maltese government as, "a medium of exchange, a unit of account or a store of value.” In 2018 however, Malta became the first country to introduce regulations relating specifically to Cryptocurrency. This new legislation is made of three different and separate bills, which include;

The Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA) which ensures the safe use and protection for users of cryptocurrency and the regulation and application of stipulated conditions which must be met by any new cryptocurrencies launched within the island. The Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) which is the foremost entity regarding regulations tied to Cryptocurrency. Any regulations or rules that cryptocurrency firms must abide by come from this authority.

Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services (ITAS) Act which categorises different Blockchain projects into different groupings, making it possible to decipher an appropriate way for blockchain firms to be recognised by the law.

The Job-Market in Malta.

In recent years Malta has continued to attract new businesses within the i-Gaming industry and technology sector. It’s financial services sector remains strong and with the emergence of Cryptocurrency and blockchain, Fintech is an area with significant growth potential.

This has had an impact on the recruitment market in Malta. For example, some advisory firms have brought in specialists in blockchain and cryptocurrency to assist their clients with regards to this emerging sector

Some examples of recent local opportunities with a blockchain and Cryptocurrency focus are outlined below:

1. Legal

Taking the law sector in Malta as an example, the boom of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain has required law firms to make room for new sectors within their companies in order to cater to such an industry. Lawyers are now required to be specifically trained in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain laws and regulations.

2. Software Development

Openings are also increasing within the I.T. Sector. Developers are being recruited to work within Crypto & Blockchain frameworks, particularly because of the technological nature of the industry.

3. Quantitative Analysis

Companies are also recruiting quantitative analysts specifically for Blockchain departments, in order to develop risk and pricing models for processes related to Blockchain and Cryptocurrency.

4. Marketing

Marketing specialists are also being recruited for Blockchain companies in order to market the right aspects of Blockchain & Cryptocurrency in the correct and most precise way.

As an industry, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency is surrounded by what seems to be a cloud of mist. Many believe that this is especially because of the abstract nature of the industry. For, as concepts, both are quite intangible. However, with regards to more economically underdeveloped countries such as Venezuela, India and Zimbabwe this “New” way of transacting is quickly developing into a preferred method to combat an unstable economic or political decline. There is little doubt that in the future, the norm will be to use Cryptocurrency rather than that of fiat currency due to peer to peer and low-cost cross-border payment methods becoming even more popular, putting the financial power back into the individuals' hands.