The government of Malta has unveiled a consultation document on the establishment of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA), a regulatory authority which will “certify” blockchain platforms and “verify” crypto transactions.
Speaking at the launch of the public consultation, Digital Economy Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri said the new authority would not only act as a regulator and watchdog for the crypto sector, but also as a consultative body tasked with promoting government policy and protecting the jurisdiction’s reputation.
The objective is to promote the implementation of cutting edge technologies and incentivising operators to work out of Malta. The new regulatory body will be formally set up once the proposed laws governing it and the avant-garde sector are passed through parliament.
Schembri said that the government would be presenting the parliament with two more bills. The first one is the TAS bill, a framework applicable to technology arrangements and technology service providers. It will allow for the registration of auditors and administrators of distributed ledger technology (DLT) platforms and their certification.
Under the new legislation, three types of DLT platforms will be brought under regulation with the new law – private platforms designed for private consumption, private platforms that will be extended to third parties, and completely public platforms with a “share consensus mechanism”, such ethereum and bitcoin.
The second one is the VC bill which proposes a regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICO) and services related to cryptocurrencies. The bill will be subjected to cryptocurrency intermediaries including brokers, exchanges, wallet providers, asset managers, investment advisors and market makers dealing in cryptocurrency.
“The purpose of these laws will be to provide legal certainty to a space that is currently unregulated,” said Schembri. “It will provide an environment condusive to this technology, and it will make Malta the natural destination for businesses working in this field.”
Schembri added that the government would consult with all stakeholders before finalizing its policies, including relevant authorities like the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) and the police. Local and international representatives of the industry will also be involved in the process.
“The public is free to provide feedback in the next three weeks,” he said. “After that, the bills will be introduced in the Parliament of Malta.”
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