Maltese ex-official Mark Camilleri released his own NFT, which contains information related to the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and corruption schemes in the highest political circles of the state.
In 2019, Malta's dream of becoming a “blockchain island” evaporated overnight after a series of public protests and accusations of senior officials’ involvement in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. This was followed by international sanctions the FATF put Malta on the “gray list”, and local divisions of cryptocurrency companies began to leave the country en masse.
Mark Camilleri, former head of Malta's National Book Council and concurrent writer, announced the publication of his book titled Rent Seekers' Paradise as non-fungible tokens. In it, he promised to shed light on the events that took place in the country from 2017 to 2019, as well as talk about the boom in corruption and rent in Malta during the reign of the Labor Party, led by Joseph Muscat. In addition, the author claims that he tried to describe in detail the oil smuggling, drug trafficking, and other illegal types of business organized by the local “elite”.
Camilleri said that he knows many things that are interesting to people and for which the local authorities have not yet incurred any responsibility. Many of those involved in large-scale corruption, he said, have not yet been brought to justice.
The printed version of the writer's book was published on October 15 a day before the anniversary of the death of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. It was released as 101 NFTs, available since September 15th on the OpenSea platform. All of them are presented not only in the form of a JPEG cover but also in a PDF file with a book, which can be shared with anyone. However, the ownership of the copy of the book remains with the owner of the NFT in any case.
When asked by journalists to comment on the writer's statement, Joseph Muscat called them "ridiculous", refuting the words of Camilleri. The latter, in turn, thanked Muscat for restructuring Malta's economy and legislation, which opened the island to foreign investment, but at the same time accused him of guilt for the Libyan oil scandal and hiding the government's involvement in it.
So far, the writer has managed to sell only 10 of 101 NFT books at a price of 0.1 ETH each (about $388 at the Huobi exchange rate). But Camilleri is convinced that the release of Rent-Seekers' Paradise in this format will expand the possibilities for publishing, and he intends to establish a publishing house with the funds received.
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