The Maltese Parliament has voted unanimously to approve three cryptocurrency and blockchain bills in another step to make the country one of the most desirable locations for crypto business. These bills should now facilitate the setting up of further companies in the blockchain sector.
Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Innovation Silvio Schembri tweeted after the vote and said that he was honored to have spearheaded the legislation through Parliament. He also expressed his thanks to all those who had collaborated on the project. He also announced that Stephen McCarthy would be the new CEO of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.
Here’s a brief description of each of the bills.
The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill: The Bill establishes the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (“the Authority”) and will focus on internal governance arrangements. The affairs and business of the Authority will be carried out by a Board of Governors. This Bill will also outline the duties and responsibilities of the Authority, one of the key roles being the certification of DLT platforms to ensure credibility and provide legal certainty to users wishing to make use of a DLT platform. The purpose of the surveyors and the certification of a DLT platform is to appraise the functioning of DLT platforms and ensure that the data being logged is accurate and genuine information. The Consultation Document issued on the 17th February 2018 proposed that the certification of a DLT platform will not be a mandatory requirement but will be made voluntary.
Technology Arrangements and Services Bill: This second Bill deals with the possibility for registration of Technology Service Providers and certification of Technology Arrangements (“TA”) with the possibility of having the TA being granted separate legal personality.
The Virtual Financial Assets Bill: The third and final Bill focuses on the regulatory regime applicable to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the regulation in respect of certain service providers which will be involved in activities related to ICOs. The Bill will also outline the regulatory regime which will apply to cryptocurrency exchanges.
Sources within the cryptocurrency sector said that the bills were a positive development although it could also mean that the ‘big guns’ were favored and small operators would find it difficult to establish their business in the field.
Jay is pretty interested in the crypto space. He’s written for several publications on the topic and has lots of ideas on how the world can be made a better place with blockchain technology. He’s also a fintech journalist with some years of experience and enjoys writing about new startups, ICO’s as well as any other intriguing news that catches his fancy.