Malta Signs Crypto, Blockchain Bills into Law

The Maltese parliament has given final approval to three legislative proposals regulating cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Malta’s parliament announced on Wednesday it had approved three bills in a move creating a regulatory framework for virtual currencies and blockchain technology. Passed in a third and final reading, the new regulations solidify Malta’s position as a crypto and blockchain hub.

The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Asset Act were given the stamp of approval a week after they passed a second reading in parliament.

These three laws will allow the island country to provide companies with the necessary tools to be active in the digital coins and blockchain sector in a regulated environment, as noted by Silvio Schembri, Malta’s parliamentary secretary for digital economy. Investors and all other actors engaged in the blockchain space will, as a result, have the opportunity to operate “at rest,” he added.

In a press release, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation wrote that even prior to the enactment of the bills, a number of companies had decided to move their operations to Malta, among them being major players such as Binance and OKEx.

In a Twitter post, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat highlighted the fact that Malta is the first country to approve laws providing a legal framework for distributed ledger technologies (DLT).

Local law firm Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates noted that other jurisdictions, like the Isle of Man, have also passed acts looking to regulate the blockchain and crypto sphere, but Malta is the first to “delve in detail on the regulation of such disruptive technologies.” The lawyers also commented that the efforts Malta has made in recent years to create a favorable environment for blockchain-based businesses “are bearing tangible fruit.”