IoD Malta launches Novem­ber event with Pro­fes­sor Robby Houben – au­thor of EP’s cryp­tocur­ren­cies and blockchain re­port

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

The In­sti­tute of Di­rec­tors Malta (IoD) will be hold­ing an af­ter­noon event at the Malta Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Au­thor­ity (MFSA) en­ti­tled “Crypto-cur­ren­cies and blockchain: Im­pli­ca­tions for fi­nan­cial crime, money laun­der­ing and tax eva­sion“. The event will fea­ture key­note speaker, Pro­fes­sor Robby Houben, chair of com­pany and fi­nan­cial law at the Univer­sity of An­twerp, who authored the Eu­ro­pean Par­lia­ment’s re­port on ‘Cryp­tocur­ren­cies and Blockchain’ for the TAX3 Com­mit­tee.

Pro­fes­sor Robby Houben spe­cialises in com­pany and fi­nan­cial law. Since 2017, he has been the chair of com­pany and fi­nan­cial law at the Univer­sity of An­twerp and be­came a coun­sel at Baker McKen­zie. Robby Houben teaches abroad reg­u­larly, in­clud­ing at Toulouse 1 Capi­tole in France, Univer­si­dad Au­tonoma de Madrid in Spain and at Upp­sala Univer­sitet in Swe­den. He acted as in­de­pen­dent ex­pert for the Panama In­quiry Com­mit­tee of the Eu­ro­pean Par­lia­ment. In that ca­pac­ity, he authored the study “The man­date of the Panama In­quiry Com­mit­tee. An As­sess­ment”. In Jan­uary 2018, Robby Houben joined the aca­demic board of the Eu­ro­pean Bank­ing In­sti­tute, a lead­ing in­ter­na­tional aca­demic in­sti­tute on bank­ing reg­u­la­tion lo­cated in Frank­furt.

Other speak­ers in­clude Jamy Ni­gri, CEO, BDXAl­liance and Dr Christo­pher P. But­tigieg, Head Se­cu­ri­ties and Mar­kets Su­per­vi­sion, MFSA. The event, which runs from 3pm to 6pm on Thurs­day, 22 Novem­ber, will be mod­er­ated by IoD Chair­man Ed­win Ward.

Hav­ing founded five com­pa­nies with four ex­its on three con­ti­nents, Jamy Ni­gri sees the enor­mous po­ten­tial blockchain pro­vides to ‘reimag­ine’ busi­ness. With an eye on the fu­ture con­sumer, Ni­gri wants to solve the prob­lems of ev­ery­day us­age for the ev­ery­day per­son. The BDXAl­liance uses blockchain to con­nect busi­nesses and con­sumers.

Ni­gri be­lieves that: “Blockchain con­tin­ues to rev­o­lu­tionise Fin­tech and tra­di­tional as­set classes to in­clude ev­ery­thing from to­kenised hedge funds to frac­tional real es­tate. Blockchain is prov­ing to be a game changer for any com­pany that wishes to broaden their base of in­vestors glob­ally with ex­cit­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties. In this ses­sion you can hear about real- world ex­am­ples of real com­pa­nies, with real cus­tomers, and im­pres­sive rev­enue, which are us­ing blockchain to reimag­ine busi­ness.”

A key is­sue to be ad­dressed dur­ing the IoD event is the anonymity sur­round­ing cryp­tocur­ren­cies. This anonymity, vary­ing from com­plete anonymity to pseu­doanonymity, pre­vents cryp­tocur­rency trans­ac­tions from be­ing ad­e­quately mon­i­tored, al­low­ing shady trans­ac­tions to oc­cur out­side the reg­u­la­tory perime­ter and crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions to use cryp­tocur­ren­cies to ob­tain easy ac­cess to “clean cash”. Anonymity is also the ma­jor is­sue when it comes to tax eva­sion. When a tax au­thor­ity does not know who en­ters into the tax­able trans­ac­tion be­cause of the anonymity in­volved, it can­not de­tect nor sanc­tion this tax eva­sion.

IoD Chair­man Ed­win Ward said: “With Malta be­ing po­si­tioned as ‘Blockchain Is­land’, it is vi­tal that fora such as th­ese run in par­al­lel with the growth of the sec­tor. We an­tic­i­pate that the au­di­ence will be com­posed of le­gal prac­ti­tion­ers, ac­count­ing pro­fes­sion­als, cor­po­rate ser­vice providers, aca­demics and some high­level in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives, all of whom are charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity for man­ag­ing Malta’s rep­u­ta­tion in this high-growth sec­tor.” For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion please con­tact IoD Hon­orary Sec­re­tary James A. Ar­rigo Fin­stD on (+356) 21 247 400 Ext 1 or send an email to jame­sar­rigo@mari­namilling.com

Robby Houben and Jamy Ni­gri

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