Business 28 September 2018Erik Gibbs
Malta to introduce crypto laws in November
While many countries are still deciding how to introduce laws to the cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces, Malta is already set to move forward. The country has announced that it will implement a range of laws this year to cover digital assets. Given Malta’s desire to be seen as the global crypto hub, it’s not too surprising that they are pushing forward faster than almost everyone else.
The country has established a range of statutes, included in the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA) and the Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act (ITAS), which are designed to offer a detailed framework for the crypto industry. Those statutes have already been ratified and will become effective as of November 1.
The VFA establishes guidelines and policies for initial coin offerings (ICO), including the obligation to include a complete financial history behind any project. The ITAS creates an in-depth foundation for regulations of both cryptocurrency and the blockchain. It specifies that it will over “innovative technology arrangements and innovative technology services,” as well as the issuance of certificates to technology providers.
The bills were initially approved by Malta’s government last July, making the Mediterranean island nation one of the first in the world to introduce specific legislation for the cryptocurrency industry. The move should also help the industry flourish more on the island, as regulations have the potential to garner much more support from mainstream investors.
What kind of impact the legislation has on the country’s crypto status could be seen soon after the laws become active. On November 1-2, Malta will host the Malta Blockchain Summit (MBS), a meeting of a number of cryptocurrency and blockchain experts from around the world.
Eman Pulis, the CEO of the MBS, said, “We’re delighted that the timing coincides so perfectly. We’ve always said that we’re here to support the conscious efforts being made at the national level to make Malta the primary jurisdiction for blockchain and [distributed ledger technology]. We’re hoping that the Malta Blockchain Summit will serve as a showcase for the ecosystem, and will justify the efforts made by the Maltese government on the legislative front.”
Malta is already home to a large number of crypto and blockchain industry players. BitBay and Binance are both headquartered there and the OKEx exchange has launched a partnership with the country to introduce a crypto exchange. Malta has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Binance to launch the Blockchain Charity Foundation, an organization that will create blockchain-powered solutions for local and regional issues.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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