STA, 11 April 2018 - Slovenia was a leading country in the regulation of blockchain technology only a few months ago, but recently it has been overtaken by several countries, including Malta, Gibraltar and France, Peter Merc of the company Blocksquare told the press on Tuesday.
"The Slovenians are one of the more technologically advanced countries at least as far as blockchain is concerned," said Merc, a member of the Blocksquare team and CEO of Lemur Legal, a legal consulting firm for IT companies and start-ups.
According to Google Analytics, Slovenia is the second in the world in terms of the number of internet searches of the acronym ICO (Initial Coin Offering), preceded only by Singapore.
Merc attributes this to the fact that Slovenia is a small community where knowledge and information spreads quickly. He believes Slovenian projects can easily compete with global ones.
Blockchain technology will be most useful in smart contracts, which will "eat away a large part of work to lawyers", and in tokenisation of assets, Merc said.
Estonia for example already has smart wills and Sweden plans to support not only land registries but all registries of public assets, companies, cars etc. with blockchain technology.
"We're in the middle of a digital transformation process, which is very rapid. The Slovenians can be a part of this game or we can be out very quickly," warned Merc, believes Slovenia has been losing momentum recently.
He said Blockchain Think Tank Slovenija had been set up to connect the private sector with the government and regulators. "We've prepared a few proposals for legislative changes, ... talked to the regulators and the government, but there were no results," said Merch, who has until recently headed the think tank.
Only six months ago Slovenia was among the most advanced countries in blockchain regulation, but now other countries are faster. Malta issued guidelines for blockchain technology this week and attracted the biggest crypto currency stock exchange to move to the country from Hong Kong. "We've been overtaken by Gibraltar, by France."
According to Merc, with new technologies it is important to find the right balance between regulation and self-regulation of the industry and he fears that Slovenia has missed its chance to regulate the field, so he expects self-regulation to prevail in the future.