Cryptocurrency Bills Approved By The Maltese Parliament

Blockchain, ICO News, News, Regulation | July 2, 2018 By:

The Maltese Parliament has passed three cryptocurrency-related bills that are designed to make Malta one of the most desirable locations for setting up blockchain businesses.

The bills, which were passed unanimously on June 26, were introduced by Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation. The bills-turned-law will regulate the use of blockchain technology and each bill will prioritizes market regulation or registration, working to protect investors, blockchain firms, and financial transactions that occur in the country.

“The Maltese Parliament unanimously approved 3 bills on DLT/blockchain, a 1st in the World,” Schembri said in a tweet shortly after the vote. “Honored to have driven these bills.”

The three bills passed into law are “The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act,” “The Virtual Financial Assets Act,” and “The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act.”

The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act will give wide scope to the regulation of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain space. The bill establishes the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) and will focus on internal governance arrangements. The affairs and business of the authority will be carried out by a goard of governors. Stephen McCarthy will be the MDIA’s first chief executive.

The Virtual Financial Assets Act targets the financial transactions and sales within Malta’s cryptocurrency market. The bill will regulate all initial coin offerings (ICO) launched in the country, as well as any service-provider involved in activities related to ICOs. Additionally, the bill details a regulation outline that will strictly apply to all cryptocurrency trades and exchanges.

The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act details the registration and certification of technology service providers and technology arrangements, and it focuses on the registration of exchanges in Malta. The bill will implement the registration process through the use of administrators and auditors.

Even before these laws, Malta has been one of the most welcoming countries in the world when it comes to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The country has already attracted some of the largest crypto exchanges in world, such as Binance and OKEx.

In a statement, OKEx said it now is speeding up its global expansion into Malta by establishing an office and hiring local staff, following the bills recent approval.

“The country’s passage of The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act, The Virtual Financial Assets Act, and The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act creates a solid foundation for the blockchain industry, providing a regulatory framework that is balanced and comprehensive, thereby providing regulatory certainty to help the digital asset ecosystem to flourish,” said Tim Byun, Chief Risk Officer and Head of Government Relations of OKEx. “As a world-leading digital asset exchange, we will work together with the Maltese government and regulators to provide full support in fostering the establishment of a global blockchain hub.”