Malta’s Parliament passes fundamental Crypto Bills

The Maltese Parliament voted unanimously, June 26, to approve three cryptocurrency and blockchain bills. These bills that are designed to make Malta one of the most important and desirable locations in the blockchain space should now facilitate the setting up of further companies in this sector.

The three bills –numbered 43, 44, 45 – are titled “The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act,” “The Virtual Financial Assets Act,” and “The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act,” respectively.

With the bills now passed, they are expected to help guide the Maltese government on how to better embrace blockchain and achieve its aim of becoming an international crypto business hub.

The approved bills include the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Bill, the Virtual Financial Assets Bill, and the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill. The first two bills provide for the regulation of digital ledger technologies – of which blockchain is one type – and virtual financial assets in Malta under the supervision of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.

The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill establishes the organization with the goal to “promote consistent principles for the development of visions, skills, and other qualities relating to technology innovation” as well as support regulations of the sector.

In a tweet shortly after the vote, Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Innovation Silvio Schembri said that he was honored to have spearheaded the legislation through Parliament and also expressed thanks to all those who had collaborated on the project. He also announced that Mr Stephen McCarthy will be the new CEO of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority.

In addition to the passing of the three bills, local news outlet the Times of Malta confirmed Stephen McCarthy’s appointment as CEO of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority in an article published today, June 27. McCarthy had previously served as the CEO of Malta’s Housing Authority.

Several large cryptocurrency exchanges have recently moved their operations to Malta — OKEx, BitBay, Binance — as the country has actively developed crypto friendly legislation. Last week, the newly appointed chairperson of the Malta Bankers Association said that blockchain tech sounds like a “banker’s dream” and cryptocurrencies are “here to stay.”