The Maltese Parliament has approved three cryptocurrency and blockchain bills in its next efforts to make Malta one of the most desirable locations for setting up blockchain enterprises.
According to legislative records, the bills, which were introduced to the parliament by Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri, were approved unanimously on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.
The bills detail the regulation of ICOs and cryptocurrencies and the process for setting up crypto-based businesses in Malta. The news, which Schembri shared via a tweet, makes Malta one of the first countries to pursue such legislation.
“Today, Maltese Parliament unanimously approved three bills on DLT/blockchain, a 1st in the World. Honored to have driven these bills,” he said.
The three bills are “The Virtual Financial Assets Act,” “The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act,” and “The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act,” respectively.
The Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA)
The VFA will regulate initial coin offerings. The law would require new companies raising capital through ICOs to publish white papers that outline a detailed description for the entire project. Issuers are also expected to make their financial history public.
The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act
This bill formalizes regulatory procedures for the cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry. It also establishes the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA), which will serve as the regulatory body for the industry. The functions of the MDIA will be carried out by a Board of Governors, headed by a CEO. Local news outlet the Times of Malta confirmed the appointment of Stephen McCarthy as the first chief executive of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.
Technology Arrangements and Services Bill
This bill details the registration and certification of technology service providers and technology arrangements, and it focuses on the registration of exchanges in Malta. Industry insiders believe this bill was created to make Malta the destination of choice for cryptocurrency exchanges.
Malta, which is known as a friendly hub for blockchain businesses, has already attracted some crypto heavyweights such as OKEx and Binance.
The new bills are expected to guide the government on how to embrace the technology and achieve its aim of becoming a hotspot for crypto and blockchain businesses.
This article was updated to amended erroneous information. The bills were only approved by the Maltese Parliament, not passed, as voting them into approval requires another legislative process entirely.