Malta – The Blockchain Island

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Malta is the first jurisdiction worldwide to have introduced a clear legal and regulatory framework in relation to VFA, Blockchain and Fintech. Such regulations do not only provide certainty on the type of crypto-asset one is dealing with but also allow peace of mind for investors alike.

Regulatory framework for Blockchain technology in Malta

Malta has enacted three acts of law in relation to Blockchain, ICOs & Virtual Financial Asset Services including the crypto exchanges, advisors, portfolio managers and custodians. The main law in relation to ICOs and Virtual Financial Asset Services is the Virtual Financial Assets Act (“Act”), whereby within the Act a number of important definitions have been highlighted.

The main thrust of the Act is to ensure that the industry and investors at large are well protected, and it includes requirements for the prevention of market abuse activities such as insider dealing, market manipulation and unlawful disclosure of insider information by licence holders.

Virtual Financial Assets

The law defines a Virtual Financial Asset (VFA) as a digital medium of recordation which is a digital medium of exchange, unit of account or store of value. It also outlines what a VFA is not, namely:

  • electronic money;
  • financial instrument; or
  • a virtual token.

The Act puts into perspective the regulation of ICOs, Crypto Exchanges and also introduces a novel concept, that of the VFA Agent.

VFA Agent

A VFA Agent is an entity supervised by the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA” or “Competent Authority”) which is responsible among other things to ensure that the requirements under the Act are satisfied, but even more importantly to guide the issuer and prospective VFA service providers in respect of their obligations and responsibilities.

Why is Malta a Blockchain island?

Crypto, ICOs, and blockchain technology services are highly unregulated around the world. This leads to confusion and uncertainty, even resulting in cases of loss of investment. Malta is one of the first jurisdictions worldwide to have introduced a clear Legal and Regulatory Framework. This is how it acquired such a title.

The abovementioned regulation does not only provide certainty on the type of crypto-asset one is dealing with but it also allows peace of mind for investors alike.

The fact that as an issuer or promoter, being it in respect of an ICO, Crypto Exchange, Broker, Manager, or Advisor, you are now in a position to select an EU-based jurisdiction rather than an offshore one, reflects the credibility of your project and the importance placed on reputational risk. Another major advantage of doing business in Malta.

Working with a reputable jurisdiction allows you to have better access to banks and other institutions which would otherwise outright refuse to work with companies located in offshore jurisdictions. The fact that large crypto exchanges are setting up in Malta also shows that the country is providing the right Legal & Regulatory Framework within which to operate.

Who oversees the ITA sector?

The primary Authority responsible for promoting policies in Malta whilst also setting and enforcing standards that ensure compliance is the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA).

Founded in 2018, the MDIA has since strived to foster, promote and facilitate the advancement of Innovative Technologies in Malta, rendering them easy to access and preventing unethical exploitation.

The MDIA sets standards and legitimate criteria for ITA and any application, software, or derivative products, remaining in line with international norms, standards, rules and laws.

How can CSB Group help you?

CSB Group prides itself in offering a wide range of services where specialised consultants are able to guide you through the complexities of Blockchain Technology and Tax relating to it. It is always important to keep a Ledger well structured when dealing with Digital Currency, and an Audit can help with assessing your current standing. Our specialists will be able to support you in the fields of VFA Agency Services in Malta, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Crypto Exchange, Crypto Funds, exploring Cryptocurrency in Malta, Malta Company Formation, Tax Advisory, Risk & Compliance, Regulated Financial Services, and Malta iGaming Licence Application amongst many others.

Should you have any queries, feel free to contact us at [email protected] and we will be glad to assist you with your query.

Key Contacts

Franklin Cachia

Director - Tax & Regulated Industries

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Kyle Scerri

Manager - Gaming & Fintech

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VFA, Blockchain & Fintech

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