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Malta Stock Exchange in Preparatory Blockchain Rollout

The Malta Stock Exchange has become the latest major financial institution to unveil plans for new blockchain technologies, following on from the development of its blockchain committee in November.

The exchange, which has a market cap of $11 billion, said the move would draw on expertise from both government and outside partners, including a number of private-sector interests in the blockchain technology industry.

According to the statement released by the stock exchange, the move could underpin future development and implementation of a number of new applications for the blockchain.

“The Exchange will also soon unveil the Malta Stock Exchange Blockchain Consortium, a think-tank which will bring together experts from the Exchange’s stakeholders as well as from other organizations throughout Malta to share knowledge and perhaps joint venture on the design and implementation of blockchain applications.”

The announcement will be welcomed by proponents of the blockchain, the central technology underpinning decentralized currencies like bitcoin. In setting up this further exploration into possible applications for the blockchain, the Malta Stock Exchange joins a growing body of financial sector interests in this emerging technology.

The Australian Securities Exchange is perhaps one of the most notable names to already test the waters, while central banks from Sweden to Singapore have also been early adopters of potential blockchain applications. It comes at a time when even major professional services firms like Ernst & Young, and international commercial banks are increasingly turning their focus to future applications for the decentralized ledger.

The blockchain committee has been set up to investigate potential joint ventures, and opportunities for rolling out the blockchain for secure trading in the near future. Drawing on expertise from corporate finance, as well as from the startup blockchain sector, it is hoped that the committee will advise in due course on various mechanisms for wider implementation of the blockchain.

The news comes at a high-growth period for the blockchain, which is being developed in a number of different directions — from industries as diverse as finance, agriculture and shipping. Through providing a secure, decentralized platform for recording chains of transactional history, the technology looks set to continue to shape future developments in 2017.