Malta Partners With Blockchain Startup to Improve Public Transportation

Malta has partnered with middleware blockchain startup Omnitude to create a transport and logistics platform to improve transport reliability.

The Transport Minister of Malta has announced a partnership with UK middleware blockchain startup Omnitude to improve the Maltese Public Transport Service, local news outlet The Malta Independent reported May 17.

Malta has expressed the aim of becoming the “Blockchain island,” a goal helped by major crypto exchange Binance – the world’s second largest crypto exchange by trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap  – announcing plans this March to open an office in the country. In April, OKEx, currently the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume, also announced their intention of expanding to Malta.

Malta’s Transport Minister Ian Borg said that the partnership between Omnitude and the Maltese transport system to create a transport and logistics blockchain platform will “develop overall improvements in transport reliability.”

CEO and founder of Omnitude Chris Painter said that they “look forward to working with the Maltese Government to explore the capabilities of Omnitude’s broad based blockchain ecosystem:”

“Governments around the world are beginning to see the potential for blockchain to reduce costs and streamline services. Malta has an extremely progressive government and we’re excited about the potential this partnership brings.”

In mid-April, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) released a consultation paper on the possible introduction of a “Financial Instrument Test” that would legally define virtual tokens in another step towards regulatory clarity for blockchain and crypto projects.

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Bitcoin Price Declines To Nearly $8k Amidst Bing Crypto Ad Ban

Crypto markets see a sharp decline over 24 hours, almost all of top 100 altcoins on Coinmarketcap are in the red.

May 16: Crypto markets have seen a sharp decline over the past 24 hours with almost all of top 100 coins listed on Coinmarketcap (CMC) in the red.

COIN360

Market visualization from Coin360

After losing the $9,000 support on May 11, Bitcoin (BTC) continued its fall, now approaching the $8,000 level. Having lost almost 3 percent of its value in 24 hours to press time, the original cryptocurrency is currently trading at $8,288. Despite this most recent fall, Bitcoin has seen over 3 percent gains over the last 30 days, according to Cointelegraph Price Index.

Bitcoin price chart

Bitcoin price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Ethereum (ETH) has dipped below $700, now hovering around the mark with a 2.31 percent loss over 24 hours to press time.

Ethereum price chart

Ethereum price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

Total market cap has lost nearly $100 bln over the last 10 days, dropping to as low as $381 bln at press time.

Total market capitalization chart

Total market capitalization chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

EOS and Stellar (XLM) have seen some of the biggest declines over 24 hours at over 5 and six percent, respectively. The coins are currently trading at $12.31 and $0.329 respectively.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is down almost 7 percent over a one-day period, trading at $1,269 at press time. Yesterday, May 15, BCH implemented a hard fork that increased its block size from 8MB to 32MB and reactivated Bitcoin script operation codes (Op codes) – an upgrade, which has so far apparently failed to produce a positive effect on the price.

The decline in crypto markets coincided with the recent decision by Microsoft-owned search engine Bing to join the ranks of other internet giants in banning crypto-related ads from its network by July 2018.

Cryptocurrencies also came under criticism by European financial authorities. Monday, May 14, European Central Bank (ECB) board member Yves Mersch claimed that banks should “segregate” their dealings in cryptocurrencies from other activities, citing high volatility of crypto markets and stressing that digital tokens “do not qualify as money.”

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