The “Sit, See, Wait, and Bear” Situation : Interview with Ian Gauci ③

We had the opportunity of having a mindblowing interview with Mr Ian Gauci who is one of the leading lawyers in Malta, and has contributed in creating the Malta Digital Innovation Authority. He also is a strategic advisor appointed by the Maltese Government established the Blockchain Task Force .

Ian Gauci (Lawyer)

Interview Date :19th February 2020    


I believe that, not only the banks in Malta, but all over the world are reluctant to address risks. Thus, most of them outright avoid risks instead of managing them. Let’s take a look at someone who would want a loan and the bank is backing the financial part, this would be considered an element of risk, but this is also the way banks make money. Banks are not there to keep money for certain individual’s safety or their goals. So, considering that crypto is also categorized to be a risk as well, the reason for why they are avoiding it is because it still is an unchartered territory. It is not regulated to the extent that banks would think it might be worth risking it, and it also captured by AML, similar to Financial Services or gaming, so the risk is much higher as everything is under the AML. I hope that with more knowledge, the industry will not only award licenses but also start stronger regulation.

The “Sit, See, Wait, and Bear” Situation

The crypto industry is not a “see and wait” kind of situation. “See and wait” would only apply if it is not affecting you. If it’s affecting you it would be a “sit, see, wait and bear”. Bear what? You will have to bear the consequences, and part of that would be that the reaction to a situation especially in such a market might be too late. You would like to go safe and wait to see if it’s affecting the country’s market, like for example the European commission is handling it by saying “It is true that blockchain and crypto are something which goes beyond Financial Services, but we rather harmonize legislation.” With such a statement however, if you would wait for year, you will lose on opportunities and you might as well lose on value. The same reasoning applies if you regulate too heavily, so there is no silver bullet.

Risk is bigger in Fiat than Crypto on AML side

We cannot deny that there is a risk in crypto, but many people do not think about the risk in fiat; the risk is even bigger there. Why it is bigger in fiat is due to the fact that crypto can be traced. With the technology, you can back it up and have the control and measures which created traceability. For a healthy industry, we cannot have people abusing or manipulating the market, or fraud and theft. Aside from the latter you also need to have trust in the underlying technology particularly when we have more decentralization and automation.

Advancing Technology letting down Younger Generation

In the future it might be that we might not call it blockchain anymore. I mean we already have blockchain 1.0 , 2.0 etc. More than blockchain, I think that we will think more about the elements and the functions which originate from software in the future. I can picture a more converged environment, and through this converged environment, things will hopefully move faster as the technology propelling this environment will develop and improve even more. We can expect more capacity, more bandwidth, more storage even though we already have the decentralized elements. I also hope that with all this advanced technology and innovation we keep our own identities, and that we still know what our rights are, how to protect and defend them.

Have to believe in Climate Change as much as we do in Crypto

If we believe in the fact that climate change is true as much as we believed in potential value in crypto and blockchain, they can take action and reverse it before it is too late. We need to contribute ecologically as well and I think that our younger generation has the will and they will find a solution for it as well. It is embedded in our DNA by nature to make sure we have a safe environment. And let’s save it; if we don’t have a safe environment that is an ecological friendly environment, there will be no blockchain or anything else as people will have to suffer from the consequences of nature. So we have to look at our intents and think again about what to prioritize.




Dr Ian Gauci is the Managing Partner at GTG Advocates, Afilexion Alliance and Caledo Group. He is engaged primarily in technology law, fintech, regtech, electronic communications, information society, data protection and gaming/gambling, while also focusing on consumer law, competition law, broadcasting law, cyber law, e-commerce, m-commerce, e-health, e-payment, information technology, unfair commercial practices and misleading advertising.

Ian Gauci

Interviewer , Editor : Lina Kamada



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