Malta’s New Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Rulebook Released by Regulators


Maltese Regulators Unveil Virtual Assets Rulebook, Stakeholders Believe There Needs “Fine-Tuning”

As reported by CCN, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) released what is known as the Virtual Assets Rulebook, which explores the different rules entailing how crypto and blockchain-based businesses are conducted. The VFA at large revolves around the Virtual Financial Assets Act, which emphasizes on Initial VFA Offerings, necessary licenses, obligatory action of license holders and ensuring the crypto market isn’t used at a disadvantage.

With the island gaining huge exposure for being friendly in terms of welcoming blockchain-based startups, many stakeholders believe that the rulebook does not completely reflect its original viewpoints. CCN reached out to stakeholders, some of which include the partner at WH Partners, Joseph Borg, partner at Ganado Advocates Corp Dept, Dr. Simon Schembri and others who wish to remain unnamed.

While it is evident that mixed opinions have surfaced, it comes of surprise that some of them might in fact be negative. Borg stressed the importance of having a “well balanced regulatory framework that is robust and attractive at the same time,” adding that some areas of the rulebook needs “to be polished, in some cases, toned down.”

He also noted that Maltese regulators are reasonable, and when expressed the need for re-evaluation, they will surely consider it.

Next, we have Schembri, who has shared his thoughts according to what he’s reviewed thus far, and he openly shared that “there are some issues, which merit further discussion with the regulator […] we have already provided our feedback for amendments and clarifications […] relative to the first chapter.”

As for the Virtual Assets Rulebook created specifically as a proposition as to what the rulebook can become. For the time being, there will be three chapters, which focus on the different players involved in the sending and receiving ends of VFA.

Chapter 1: VFA Rules for VFA Agents

Chapter 2: VFA Rules for Issuers of Virtual Financial Assets

Chapter 3: VFA Rules for VFA Service Providers.

The discussion period to assess what changes and improvements are needed for the first chapter have come to an end on July 31, with the remaining two, which recently ended on Monday, August 13.

It is interesting to see the steps Malta has taken to seek feedback on what’s being proposed at hand. Although many stakeholders still believe and since have expressed areas that require more work, ensuring that everyone involved gets a say in the rulebook is praiseworthy. Hopefully, Malta will reconsider the areas that require “fine-tuning” or even eliminate them to ensure that blockchain progress is not hindered in any way.

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