Malta has been hard at work creating a blockchain island, with multiple well-known companies in the cryptosphere relocating their operations to Malta. The country created three crypto-friendly bills – which have all been enacted into law – but there is a lot of confusion surrounding the date these laws actually begin operating. In fact – in a press release – the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) had to clarify that these laws were not yet active and told companies to wait until they have been activated to apply for approvals and authorizations.
Preparing Regulations and Rulebooks
It has been almost three weeks since Malta passed three crypto-friendly bills into law, and it still isn’t clear as to when these will actually become live laws. One would presume that when these bills were passed into law that everything would be ready to go, but clearly not. This begs the question of whether or not Malta is capable of creating the first blockchain island like it intends. In a press release, the MFSA said, “The MFSA is currently devising the Virtual Financial Assets Framework (‘the Framework’) underlying and complementing the Act.” It was receiving advice from key stakeholders up until Friday July 20th, meaning that it could be some months more until they have sifted through this insight and drafted the final regulations and rulebook.
Silvio Schembri Hints at an End of Year Launch
In an exclusive interview with BitStarz, Silvio Schembri – Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy, and Innovation within the office of the Prime Minister of Malta – hinted that these bills might not all be fully functional until the end of 2018. When asked when the bills would take effect, he simply replied, “The Acts will have different effective dates, but we are envisaging them to be fully operational by end of this year.”
MFSA is Treading Carefully
The crypto world is still young and people are discovering new ways to use it with every passing week. The MFSA is treading carefully and taking things slowly, in order to ensure the new regulations and rules are fair and don’t leave room for loopholes that can be exploited. This should alleviate the public danger attached to potential scams and hacks. Over the years, multiple exchanges have been hacked – most recently Bancor was subjected to a hack – and it stands to reason that the MFSA wants to prevent these incidents from happening.
While there is still no solid launch date, Silvio Schembri gives us hope that there is at most five months remaining until these three laws come into action. The end goal is a regulated blockchain industry in Malta, with that not being too far from a reality.