Malta is fast becoming one of the world’s most prominent blockchain havens. The country is now moving forward with three legislative bills that could potentially develop a stronger regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and ICOs within the nation’s borders.
Malta’s Growing Reputation Brings More Business
The country has been the center of extensive cryptocurrency-related maneuvers over the past few months. The most recent was initiated by Neufund – a blockchain-based equity fundraising platform – which announced it had opened an office there.
Prior to that, the island nation found two new residents through Binance (citing the desire for “regulatory certainty”) and OKEx, the first and second-largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world based on daily trade volumes. Both were originally stationed in regions of China, but ultimately decided to relocate after the Chinese government became more stringent with ICOs and enacted strict regulatory policies for crypto trading platforms.
Malta’s enthusiasm for cryptocurrency is palpable and growing. Having lured high-profile companies to its jurisdiction, the Mediterranean archipelago is now enhancing its regulatory framework to entrench itself as the global center of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries.
The bills are as follows:
- Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill
This establishes the Malta Digital Innovation Authority to focus further on governance arrangements. The duties and responsibilities of the Authority are defined in this bill, with the most significant being the oversight of DLT platforms and certifications to ensure legality. The organization must also appraise future DLT platforms and ensure that all data stored is accurate, genuine, and safe.
- Technology Arrangements and Services Bill
This requires technology service providers to officially register with the nation of Malta. It also requires that technology arrangements (TAs) become certified, and undergo legal authorizations.
- Virtual Financial Assets Bill
This third and final bill focuses on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and their legal frameworks. It seeks to regulate all bodies contributing to or enforcing ICOs, as well as the tokens they distribute. The same legislative framework of this bill will also be applied to any future cryptocurrency exchanges on the island nation.
Regulatory Certainty to Ease Banking Industry Concerns
Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri reacted positively towards the bills, explaining that:
“Once new laws surrounding blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are enacted in Malta, banks would be less reluctant to welcome companies working in the industry, presumably due to the legal certainties they would provide.”
Law firm Mamo TCV Advocates – based in Malta’s capital of Valletta – specializes in commercial, civil, and corporate law. Representatives of the firm stated that:
“Malta has witnessed an exponential worldwide interest from exchanges seeking to relocate to Malta and issuers of ICOs wishing to launch from Malta. The proposed bills will further strengthen Malta’s position on the DLT front and solidify its reputation as a blockchain island.”
Malta has taken a bold approach toward the fledgling industry, enticing crypto entities with assurances of legality and legitimacy. If this approach to cryptocurrency continues, it is likely to become one of the most attractive jurisdictions in the world among crypto companies.
Will Malta’s approach to cryptocurrency continue to attract new companies to its shores? Post your comments below.
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