This Tuesday, three bills related to cryptocurrency were approved by the Cabinet of Malta. Perhaps the most significant of all of these is the Virtual Financial Assets Bill, a piece of legislation that creates a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
The other two bills passed on Tuesday were the Malta Digital innovation Authority Bill and the Technology Arrangements and Services Bill.
None of the three bills are law yet–before they’re put on the books, each of them will need to be debated by the House of Parliament.
The bills have at least one powerful parliamentary figure rooting for them. Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy, and Innovation, said that “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.”
He added that placing regulations on the crypto market should “ensure that the three main principles of financial regulation are adhered to and will be a market that protects the investor and provides market integrity and financial soundness.”
“Exponential Worldwide Interest”
The bills are only the most recent steps toward positioning itself as a hotspot for crypto and blockchain. Morgan Stanley strategist Sheena Shah said in a report to clients released this Wednesday that “the majority of cryptocurrency trading volumes operate out of companies legally located in Malta.”
Indeed, Valletta-based Mamo TCV Advocates law firm, which specializes in civil, commercial, and corporate law, said that “Malta has witnessed an exponential worldwide interest from exchanges seeking to relocate to Malta and issuers of ICOs wishing to launch from Malta. The proposed bill will further strengthen Malta’s position on the DLT front and solidify its reputation as a blockchain island,” referring to the Virtual Financial Assets Bill.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is among those who have said that they are moving headquarters to the little island country.