Malta Cryptocurrency Bills Published

Dr. Priscilla Mifsud Parker | Published on 22 May 2018

Cryptocurrency

The Maltese Government has issued three cryptocurrency bills, namely the Virtual Financial Assets Act, the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act and the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act, thus reaffirming once again Malta’s leadership in the global race towards legalising virtual currencies.

Cryptocurrencies to be known as Virtual Financial Assets

To avoid possible negative connotations associated with the use of the word “cryptocurrencies” the laws are centred around the concept of virtual financial assets (VFA): ICOs are named initial VFA offerings, crypto-exchange become VFA exchange and crypto-services are defined as VFA services.

The newly introduced concept of VFA stands for "any form of digital medium recordation that is used as a digital medium of exchange, unit of account, or store of value", which is, however, "not electronic money, a financial instrument, or a virtual token". The use of virtual tokens is supposed to be limited to “the DLT platform on which it was issued” and the redemption for funds is to be available only “on such platform directly by the issuer of such DLT asset”.

Aim of Malta Cryptocurrency Bills

The new pieces of legislation establish a framework for conducting and licensing initial VFA offerings, preparing white papers and regulating the activities of service providers, including exchange and trading platforms. They also lay down investors’ rights and obligations, as well as the MFSA’s and the Financial Services Tribunal’s powers in terms of ensuring the proper execution of the crypto-related activities.

It is important to note that these bills have yet to undergo the parliamentary debate, scheduled for next week, and the rulebooks are to be issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority. However, as the texts went public and showcased in the flesh the first ever attempt to legalise virtual currencies, Malta is close like never before to becoming a global pioneer in cryptocurrency regulation.

 

 

Our Fintech Practice 

Our lawyers and financial services specialists at Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates provide bespoke solutions to clients by combining the traditional legal fabric with new technologies. Our Fintech Practice strives to assist clients in this burgeoning and evolving sector of law, which is set to reshape the financial services sector as we know it.

If you would like more information on why Malta can be the ideal place to set up your business or are interested in the setting up of a DLT company, an ICO, a cryptocurrency exchange, or alternatively would like to set up a Crypto Fund in Malta, we welcome you to get in touch with our specialists
 



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