On 7 November, the Institute of Legal Studies Malta organised a session about Blockchain and Smart Contracts attracting a large audience of professionals interested in learning about these new, disruptive technologies that will undoubtedly challenge many industries. Dr Max Ganado, Senior Partner at GANADO Advocates, opened the event together with Mr Steve Tendon, Director at TameFlow Consulting Limited, giving an historical introduction and reviewing the basic terms and concepts behind this phenomenon.
Their overview explained the historical background behind the emergence of Blockchain by giving the example of registries and notaries, whose functions may potentially be eliminated by this new technology, making a transformational impact on society. In relation to this and the concept of The Internet of Things, Dr Ganado highlighted the importance of preparing for the far-reaching implications of this innovation and adapting to the effects it will have on many professions. Mr Tendon also explained the technicalities of Blockchain, its hashing algorithms, digital keys and digital signatures. The first half of the session was closed off with Dr Abdalla Kablan’s sociological perspective on the concepts, addressing digital footprints as means of measuring positive social impact and growing personal social capital, paving the way for a new kind of digital identity management.
The second half of the seminar focused on two of the main real-world applications of blockchain technology. Dr Ian Gauci, Partner at GTG Advocates and Loui Mercieca, a Technical Blockchain Advisor, provided an introductory analysis on smart contracts which are self-executing, digital contracts that rely on the programming code of blockchain technology to ensure that the will of the parties is respected. Once executed, a smart contract is maintained on the blockchain as invariable proof that the agreement has been enforced and honoured by all parties. Ian Gauci highlighted the main differences between the traditional written contract and a smart contract and the various challenges inherent in the technology which will need to be addressed in the near future. Dr. Leonard Bonello, Senior Associate at GANADO Advocates, spoke about Initial Coin Offerings (‘ICOs’), one of the main emerging trends in the last few months. ICOs are an innovative means of financing of commercial enterprises which have also brought about a number of legal and regulatory challenges.
GANADO Advocates is actively engaged in following the developments surrounding Blockchain technology and its concepts in order to advise, guide and prepare clients for the innovations of the future. Upcoming conferences, seminars and information sessions related to this topic will be posted in the news section as well as on the GANADO Advocates LinkedIn profile.