He was one of the first people to call on Malta to embrace blockchain technologies, was entrusted by the government to help draft its national blockchain strategy, and even coined the term ‘Blockchain Island’.
However, strategic consultant Steve Tendon has now become so disillusioned that he has pulled down the Blockchain Island Club online community forum he had founded for people interested in the technology and its associated LinkedIn group.
“Last week I came to the dire decision to take down the Blockchain Island Club community site and the LinkedIn Group,” Tendon wrote in a letter to members of the club.
“As you know, I literally coined the term ‘Blockchain Island’ in 2016 while drafting the National Blockchain Strategy for Malta. The term became a synonym for Malta and its drive for Blockchain Technologies. Or at least that was the intention.”
“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. And a never-ending ‘tragedy of errors’ followed.”
“Now, with all the grievous events, criminal acts and widespread 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.”
“I cannot bear to be even remotely associated with all of that – and therefore the decision to take down the BIC. I hope you understand.”
Tendon added that he has withdrawn from any future public roles in the Blockchain space as he doesn’t want to be associated with “that Blockchain Island”.
Malta’s ‘Blockchain Island’ drive reached its peak between 2018 and 2019, with major players such as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and the late John McAfee all travelling to the island to toast its aspirations.
Then-Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said his dream was for Malta to become the “Silicon Valley of Europe”.
However, former MFSA CEO Christopher Buttigieg recently criticised the strategy, warning potential risks weren’t addressed as much as they should have been from the get-go.
Cover photo: Steve Tendon interviewed by the Rehuman podcast in 2018
What do you make of Steve Tendon’s letter?