Blockchain Regulations

MFSA Sets New Guidelines For Fintechs

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), along with the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU), recently published a set of guidelines for financial institutions creating accounts for financial technologies (fintechs). The aim is to encourage innovations within the fintech sector while protecting the integrity of the financial market.

The document will not be binding and it will not be providing any exemptions from the law or any obligations which a subject individual has to achieve regarding combating illegal and illicit activities associated with blockchain, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies – such as money laundering, fraud, drug trafficking, terrorism financing, and others. The document wants to offer extra assistance especially on matters of adherence, for instance, on how it can be done when a potential client does specific pursuits.

The country is becoming a blockchain and cryptocurrency hub with responsible authorities conducting a wider consultation to make sure that every user is well aware of the three digital assets and blockchain and the laws introduced by MFSA.

The public is advised to thoroughly read the guidance document, the Implementing Procedures plus any other important guidance-related information published by the FIAU, along with the general context furnished by the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations – PMLFTR.

The chief officer strategy, policy and innovation, Dr Christopher P. Buttigieg, MFSA said that banks in Malta have been working under some risk-based priorities, however, these institutions have to start following the existing regulatory standards. Malta wishes to create a favourable environment for all businesses and even attract new ones in large numbers, hence growing and boosting the country’s economy.
In July last year, Maltese legislators passed a Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Act to bring security into this emerging sector.

Malta is being known around the world for its crypto-friendly politics, whose efforts in the field have earned it the title of “blockchain island.”