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Consultation paper on Distributed Ledger Technology launched

Malta government launches consultation paper to govern the legislative frameworks relative to Distributed Ledger Technology.

Following the publication of an initial discussion paper on ICOs and virtual currencies in November 2017, the Maltese government has launched a consultation paper covering the framework relating to distributed ledger technology, ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet providers dealing in such assets.

Amongst other matters, the consultation paper makes reference to the setting up of a dedicated digital department – the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MIDA) - that will handle all that blockchain technology and DLT embodies. The proposed framework aims to offer legal certainty in a space that is currently unregulated and touches upon several issues including types of authorisations, legal personality, and the applicability of law on smart contracts. It also proposes the voluntary registration of service providers working within the technological sphere, as well as the certification of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Platforms.

MFSA also features in the framework, which calls for an MFSA developed regime whose role will be that of facilitating an approval process for ICOs as well as providing registration processes for service providers that deal in Virtual Currencies (VCs) such as exchanges, wallet providers, brokers, managers, investment advisors, and other stakeholders.

The Consultation period runs till 9 March 2018, and is aimed at a cross-section of industry players, expecting to encourage feedback and recommendations from promoters, developers, administrators of DLT platforms, as well as issuers of ICOs, brokers, exchanges, and other various intermediaries that deal in virtual currencies and other assets.

With Malta being one of the first countries set to map out a national strategy for blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology, the framework is set to generate considerable international interest, as well as from members of relevant national authorities and industry bodies.


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