Steve Tendon, the man who coined the term Blockchain Island back in 2016 to encapsulate the island’s drive towards fostering the growth of the technology the island has distanced himself from the sector and the term, announcing “it’s time to set sail for the next island”.
In an email penned to members of the Blockchain Island Club (BIC), which he founded in 2018, Mr Tendon issued a searing rebuke against the Maltese Government and announced he would be disbanding the BIC community site and LinkedIn group.
“As you know”, he said, “I literally coined the term ‘Blockchain Island’ in 2016 while drafting the National Blockchain Strategy for Malta. The term became a synonym with Malta and its drive for Blockchain Technologies. Or, at least that was the intention”, he recounted.
However, in the years that followed, Mr Tendon became disillusioned with the way the Maltese Government was handling the industry, he wrote, precipitating the “tragedy of errors” that followed.
“The Maltese Government disregarded most of the recommendations in the strategy document, and paid only lip service to the development of Blockchain Technologies. Instead, the initiative turned into a wild crypto adventure for the entire country.”
For Mr Tendon, recent events have proved to be the final straw in destroying the foundling sector’s reputation and prospects, and as such, he revealed he would also be “withdrawing from any further public roles in the Blockchain space”.
“Now, with all the grievous events, criminal acts and wide-spread corruption of the Maltese Government, and the recent FATF grey-listing of the country, the very term ‘Blockchain Island’ has become a moniker of the most nefarious significance”, he wrote.
Mr Tendon’s email has come after the reputation of Malta’s blockchain space has been further beaten in recent months.
When Malta was greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), speculation in some spheres suggested that the country’s involvement in cryptocurrency and virtual asset platforms had been a contributing factor in the decision.
While this claim was later dismissed by the FATF, local reports just before the FATF vote, that €60 billion in cryptocurrencies have moved through the island since it announced itself as the Blockchain Island, have raised concerns about initially lax local controls on the cryptocurrencies and assets.
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