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Malta approves three blockchain bills at second reading

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The Maltese Parliament has unanimously approved three blockchain bills as the island looks to establish itself as a cryptocurrency hub.

In addition Stephen McCarthy has been appointed as CEO of the newly established Malta Digital Innovation Authority.
Malta-based law firm Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates says the rapid development of the blockchain-based business has left many entrepreneurs and technical service providers at a loss as to how to regulate and licence their businesses. Malta has now become one of the first jurisdictions to regulate the blockchain sector.
The MDIA Bill establishes the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) and provides the necessary arrangements for the certification of technology and the registration of Technology Service Providers.
The ITAS Bill (The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act) will regulate the designated innovative technology arrangements. This will, therefore, include the necessary requirements for a person to register as a Technology Service Provider as well as what is required for the certification of Technology Arrangements.
The VFA Bill (The Virtual Financial Assets Bill) will be used as the framework necessary for ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges and the regulatory regime for services relating to virtual currencies. Under this bill, brokers, exchanges, assets managers, investment advisors, wallet providers and other market makers within the virtual currency field will be regulated.
An important feature of this bill is that it distinguishes between a DLT Asset and a Virtual Financial Asset, introducing the Financial Instruments Test that will be used to determine, under which category the asset in question will be recognised. This will control which platforms the asset would be able to be exchanged within.

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