Cabinet gives crypto Bill a pass
Malta’s Cabinet came to a game-changing decision this Tuesday when they approved three cryptocurrency-related Bills. One of them, the Bill for Virtual Financial Assets, will provide an ICO and crypto regulatory framework, which will help stabilize the crypto market in Malta. Two additional Bills include the Bill for Malta’s Digital Innovation Authority, as well as a Bill regarding Technology Arrangements and Services.
The three Bills were brought to the country’s Parliament, with their first reading happening on Tuesday. According to Malta Independent, the next step before the Bills can officially become a part of the law is a debate involving both sides of the House.
A high-ranking government official, Silvio Schembri, who serves as a Parliament’s Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation stated that he believes 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 certainty it would provide.”
He also said to Malta Winds that the country’s government believes that regulating the market will bring protection to crypto investors. It will also make sure that the market has integrity and that it is financially sound.
Nature of the Bills
As mentioned previously, the Cabinet passed three different Bills. First of them is the Bill involving Digital Innovation Authority. Through this Bill, a special department will be established, with its responsibilities and duties already being planned out by the Bill itself. It will be called Malta Digital Innovation Authority, and its focus will be on government arrangments, as the law firm Mamo TCV Advocates explains. Another of the biggest duties that the department will have is to make sure that DLT platforms are certified. This is done so that legal certainty and credibility can be provided for the said platforms’ users.
Next Bill is dealing with Technology Arrangements and Services. This one will work on registration for tech service providers, and a part of the Bill also includes certification of technology arrangements. This will be done using a system of auditors and administrators.
Finally, there is a Bill regarding Virtual Financial Assets, which is the one that has attracted the most attention. According to the law firm, this bill will have the job of regulating ICOs, as well as all services providers whose activities relate to ICOs. Additionally, it also carries regulations that will be applied to crypto exchanges, once the Bill is included in the law.
The law firm also said 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 bill will further strengthen Malta’s position on the DLT front and solidify its reputation as a blockchain island.”
As yet another addition to this bill, the MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority) will receive investigatory and regulatory powers which would allow them to demand info, issue directives, as well as adopt or publish any rules that they deem necessary. Additionally, they will even be capable of suspending ICOs, as well as VC trading on any exchange.