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Malta Regulator Opens Consultation

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), has opened a consultancy to make sure all the stakeholders in the blockchain community understand what its three blockchain and crypto laws passed recently mean. This is being interpreted as a stalling situation for the authority, but CCN supports this step, declaring it as “quite a normal procedure”.

Josep F Borg, a senior partner at WF Partners, explained that this was a usual manner in which laws in the financial services sector are enacted.

These laws were published last week, yet they are expected to be implemented this October. This would give the community time to make transitions and the players could adjust accordingly to their benefit, while the authorities would be able to cater the large amounts of incoming applications.

The MFSA has asked the blockchain community to wait, as although the laws have been passed, they are yet to come to force. The three laws were passed on Friday, 20th July, but consultations with MFSA are still going on for these bills to actually become laws. Moreover, the authority states that the framework for these laws is still in creation.

Malta is arguably the first country that has created a custom made regulatory system for blockchain-based ventures. The VFA Act introduced a new regulatory body that would look upon the sector, the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA), Innovation Technology Agreement and Services Act (ITAS). The country’s parliament has also introduced a financial instrument test, which classifies a DLT asset as electronic money, financial asset, a virtual financial instrument, or a virtual token.

The publication of these laws in the country’s gazette has to wait as the regulators are working on a framework to implement them. The MFSA, meanwhile, has been seeking stakeholder opinions on the same. These relate to the exemption of fees and administrative penalties under the VFA Act. This consultation period is set to end on 27th July. After that, the MFSA will be regulating the final rules and regulations for the VFA Act.