In a bid to promote and attract blockchain and cryptocurrency linked start-ups and entrepreneurs, the Cabinet of Malta on Tuesday has approved three bills related cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Of the three bills, one bill, in particular, Virtual Financial Assets Bill creates legislation for regulating cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.
The other two bills are the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill and the Technology Arrangements and Services Bill. The bills were also presented in the Parliament of Malta for its first reading on the same day. None of the bills are law yet and needs to discussed and debated by the parliament before it is enacted as a law.
The proposed bills have got strong support from a powerful parliamentary figure, Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy, and Innovation, saying that: “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.”
He added: “As a government, we think that by regulating this market, it will ensure that the three main principles of financial regulation are adhered to and will be a market that protects the investor and provides market integrity and financial soundness.”
The bills once approved by the parliament will allow Malta to position itself as a crypto-friendly nation that will attract the interest of many cryptocurrency and Blockchain developers. The bill also empowers the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) “with the necessary regulatory and investigatory powers” such as the “powers to issue directives, to adopt and publish rules, to require information…[and] to suspend either an ICO or the trading of a VC on an exchange.”
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is also planning to shift its base to Malta due to its crypto-friendly ecosystem.
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