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The establishment of a Crypto Exchange, requires a Class 4 VFAA licence obtained from the Malta Financial Services Authority. CSB Fintech provides VFA Agency Services and assists clients with becoming an authorised licence holder.
Background on Crypto Exchanges in Malta
In July 2018, the Government of Malta enacted a legal framework regulating Crypto Exchanges, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and related technology service providers. Malta aims in becoming a prime Fintech hub christened as the Blockchain Island.
Some of the world’s largest crypto exchanges such as Binance & OKeX have relocated and opened new offices in Malta. Companies and individuals alike from all corners of the world are looking at Malta in order to have their regulated ICOs, which regulations has struck the right balance between innovation and consumer protection.
Malta’s legal framework is founded on three solid pillars: (1) consumer protection, (2) market integrity and (3) financial stability. Issuers seeking to attract the right type of investor, shall at the same time grant them peace of mind since their ICO will be thoroughly vetted by the VFA Agent on an ongoing basis and approved by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).
Crypto Exchanges established in Malta, are regulated in terms of the Virtual Financial Assets Act (the ‘VFAA’ or the ‘Act’) as well as the relevant rules and guidance notes issued by the MFSA.
Apart from the VFAA, one may also need to refer to Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act as well as the Malta Digital Investment Authority Act.
- Entity must be a Malta Legal Person;
- Board of Administration;
- Subject to Governance Requirements;
- Accountant & Auditor;
- Officer of sufficient skill & authority for compliance;
- Safeguarding of customer assets
The Crypto Exchange (VFA Exchange)
The establishment of a Crypto Exchange, will require a Class 4 VFAA licence. Such licence will allow the holder to operate a VFA Exchange and to hold or control clients’ money, virtual financial assets and/or private cryptographic keys as well as to provide custodian or nominee services solely in relation to the operation of a VFA Exchange.
The assets of a VFA Exchange and those of clients are to be adequately segregated and if assets are kept under a common pool, a client shall have an undivided share in the ownership of such assets. A VFA Exchange shall appoint an individual who shall be responsible for the safekeeping of client assets as well as carries out duties in terms of the Act, subsequent regulations, licence conditions as well as Terms & Conditions between the VFA Exchange and clients. The clients Virtual Financial Assets may be used by the VFA Exchange only if the client has given prior consent in writing and use is restricted to the clauses found in the Terms & Conditions. An external auditor is required to perform an annual audit and the VFA Exchange must be in a position to provide the competent authority with all necessary information in a timely manner.
Our Crypto Exchange Services
- Meetings with the MFSA and other regulatory bodies as necessary;
- Legal Opinions;
- Reviewing of & Assistance with Business Plan;
- Drafting of resolutions & other related documentation;
- Collation of all MFSA Due Diligence Documentation;
- Preparation of all MFSA Application Documents;
- Company Formation – including opening of Bank Accounts;
- Company Secretarial & annual MFSA & ROC Compliance;
- Directorship Services;
- Introduction to local service providers (auditors, banks etc.);
- Offices & Residential Accommodation.
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CSB Fintech is a fully registered VFA agent and can help you set up a successful Fintech operation in Malta.