Malta to Become Crypto Island as Parliament Approves Bills

The Maltese parliament has approved three bills to among other things establish the Digital Innovation Authority. The three pieces of legislation now usher the way for more cryptocurrency businesses to set up in the country.

Silvio Schembri, who is the parliamentary secretary for digital innovation and who led the efforts tweeted about the development on Wednesday. Stephen McCarthy will now head the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.

One of the duties of the body is to certify distributed ledger platforms (DLTs) and provide some legal protection for users. One of the functions include ensuring that data entered into such platforms are accurate.

The Technology Arrangements and Service Bill deals with the registration of Technology Service Providers and the Certification of Technology Arrangements.

The Virtual Assets Finance Bill, on the other hand, provides a legal framework for initial coin offerings and the service providers in this space. It also includes regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Crypto-friendly nation

Malta is one of the most attractive locations for cryptocurrency businesses. Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange is among those with plans to move to the country. It’s CEO was invited to give his input during the drafting stages.

Others include Poland’s largest exchange BitBay and Hong Kong based OKEx

“We believe that the emergence of cryptocurrencies is here to stay and as a government, we are anticipating the changes that cryptocurrencies may bring about in our daily lives,” Schembri is quoted as saying at a conference.

The clarity provided by the legislation opens up the space for businesses like banks to deal with cryptocurrencies.

“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,” Silvio Schembri had said earlier in April when parliament was debating the bills.

The legal framework was meant to ensure market integrity as well as protect investors, Schembri said.

One of the bills empowers authorities to obtain certain information from operators, suspend ICO’s or the trading of certain coins in exchanges.