Source: Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates
On the 11th of September, Mr Joseph Cuschieri, CEO of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) announced that Malta’s three blockchain Acts will come into force as of the 1st November 2018.
The Acts have already been unanimously approved by Parliament, however, they will officially start regulating the industry on 1st November 2018. Over the summer, the MFSA has also published various consultation papers to provide further instruction to issuers of ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges, technology companies and other service providers in the industry.
What does this mean for operators?
As of the 1st November, prospective licensees and issuers will officially start operating under the new Virtual Financial Assets Act. Until then, VFA Service Providers (including cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as issuers of ICOs may commence offering their services in an unregulated manner which does not constitute a breach of law. VFA service providers will subsequently have a year from this date to comply with the laws and applicable regulations as issued by the MFSA. On the other hand, Issuers which have commenced their launch post 18th October, 2018 as well as those who have applied for admissibility to trade their VFAs will have three months to become compliant and register their whitepaper.
Malta establishing itself as the Blockchain Island
Malta has been pushing towards officially becoming the centre of excellence in blockchain, crypto and ICOs. In fact, as the Blockchain Island of the World, it was the first to regulate the area through the introduction of three acts: The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act and the Virtual Financial Assets Act.
Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates is establishing itself as a leading law firm within the Fintech industry, where senior partner Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker, as well as head of corporate and financial services, Mr Steve Muscat Azzopardi, have also begun actively advising and assisting clients who wish to set-up shop in Malta, with the hope that Malta will truly become the official Blockchain Island.