Malta green lights new cryptocurrency bill
Malta’s cabinet has given the go-ahead to three separate bills relating to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, including measures that would introduce a framework for regulating cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Amongst the three bills, the Virtual Financial Assets Bill sought to create a structure for regulating ICOs and cryptocurrency transactions in the country, as part of a wider drive to make Malta more amenable to the cryptocurrency sector. The bill was presented alongside the Technology Arrangements and Services Bill, and the new Digital Innovation Authority Bill, ahead of a debate in the Maltese Parliament.
Following the debate phase, the bills will likely be voted through into law, according to local media reports.
Silvio Schembri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, said he was confident the laws would provide legal certainty, with positive effects on the cryptocurrency sector in Malta.
“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,” Schembri said, according to the Malta Independent.
The parliamentary secretary was also quoted by Malta Winds saying that regulating the cryptocurrency and blockchain market ensures “that the three main principles of financial regulation are adhered to,” resulting in a sector “that protects the investor and provides market integrity and financial soundness.”
Leading Maltese law firm Mamo TCV Advocates said the proposed laws would strengthen Malta’s hand as a hub for blockchain and ICOs.
The bills vest regulatory power in the Malta Financial Services Authority, which includes the power to publish specific rules relating to listings, to suspend trading and to require information on demand. Should the bills eventually be signed into law, they could pave the way for the new growth in Malta as a destination for blockchain companies and initial coin offerings.