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Malta passes bills regulating DLTs and virtual currencies

The first of their kind in the world, three bills have come into force in Malta governing cryptocurrencies, blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Marking Malta as one of the first jurisdiction in the world to pass specific legislation around blockchain technology and virtual assets, the bills include the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act which will bring about the establishment of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority as a driving regulator of the industry, as well as the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act and the Virtual Financial Asset Act.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, the Malta government has worked closely with the local and international fintech industry to come up with a legal framework that satisfies the AML and KYC regulations, without stifling technology innovation in such a highly dynamic sector.

The resulting bills provide the necessary regulatory framework for DLT, whilst providing legal certainty to this space. Blockchain companies now have the necessary tools required to operate in a forward-looking, regulated, blockchain-friendly economy.

The introduction of the bills is a further step for Malta to become an early pioneer in economic innovation, blockchain and cryptocurrency. Dubbed as ‘the blockchain island’, Malta was also ranked as the third-best country in Europe to start a Blockchain company by BlockShow Europe 2018. Several international blockchain-based companies having already announced their decision to operate from Malta, including the likes of Binance, OKex, BitPay, Neufund, YOVO and Poseidon. Other global blockchain leaders expected to follow in the coming months.


How can Grant Thornton help?

Here at Grant Thornton, we operate a multi-disciplinary Fintech and Blockchain Advisory Team composed of specialists in different areas to assist in all other related matters. We are also a recognised Virtual Financial Asset (VFA) agent.

From tax advisory to choosing an appropriate company structure, legal advice for blockchain start-ups to the launch of DLT platforms, or even ancillary services for ICOs, Grant Thornton is able to guide you from start to finish.

As a member firm of Grant Thornton International, we offer clients a flexible, responsive service with the breadth and depth of skills to appeal to a variety of markets and with the experience, knowledge and expertise to undertake specialised, sector-specific work.

Our clients can access the knowledge and experience of more than 42,000 people in over 130 countries and consistently receive a distinctive, high quality and boutique service wherever they choose to do business.

Whether you are planning on setting up a cryptocurrency exchange, launching an Initial Coin Offering or considering relocating your payment platform to Malta, we are here to offer legal, financial, and corporate services-related advice that will make your transition or setup process as smooth as possible.

Contact us for more information.