April 3, 2019, | AtoZ Markets – 14 Virtual Financial Asset (VFA) agents have recently obtained the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) approval. In its announcement, published on Tuesday, the financial authority stated that they approved all 14 of the entities that applied for VFA agent status in November 2018.
The application process has not completed yet
14 blockchain companies which obtained MFSA approval have not yet fully completed the application process as they have only been granted in-principle approvals for agent status.
Commenting on the aforementioned authority statement, head of securities and markets supervision at the MFSA Dr. Christopher Buttigieg stated :
“The issuance of these in-principle approvals is an important milestone in the MFSA’s effort at becoming a regulator of excellence in the field of the regulation of crypto assets,”
VFA agents role in Malta’s legislation activity cannot be denied
One of the main reasons why the Maltese legislator decided to introduce a VFA agent with MFSA approval is the ability to have an “intermediary” in the transaction between potential customers and the “competent authority” (in this case, the Malta Financial Services Authority).
VFA agents are considered an important component of the emerging Malta cryptocurrency and blockchain regulation. Any Malta-based company that wants to sell its tokens to investors should receive legal and financial approval.
A VFA agent, in this case, provides token-selling companies with detailed guidance and consultation. In essence, the role of the VFA agent is to speed up the proceedings when applying for an ICO project or placing a token on the stock exchange, since “expert guidance” can be provided to entrepreneurs before contacting the “competent authority”. It should be noted that the “nature” of the VFA agent is limited to a limited group of people.
The law mentions that VFA agent is meant to be a person registered with the competent authority in accordance with the existing Law. In this case, VFA agent can be:
- Lawyer, accountant or auditor;
- Firm lawyers, accountants or auditors or corporate service providers;
- A legal organization that is wholly owned and controlled by the persons referred to in points (a) or (b).
VFA agent will guarantee the crypto companies activity to stay legal
According to Malta’s Virtual Financial Assets Bill, which was introduced in June 2018, any crypto company must cooperate with a VFA agent to ensure compliance with the rules of the cryptocurrency and to avoid violation of any financial services.
The intention of MFSA to establish such a requirement, according to the experts, is aimed at protecting all who are interested in investing in cryptocurrency.
Describing the Maltese lawmakers “regulatory journey in the crypto space”, head of securities and markets supervision at the MFSA Dr. Buttigieg stated:
“We have worked actively since November 2017, when we started our regulatory journey in the field of crypto assets, and today we have a complete framework that caters for all areas of risk, being inter alia the risks to consumers, market integrity, financial crime, and cybersecurity.”
Malta still remains one of the most popular crypto hubs
Malta, along with Gibraltar, a number of countries in Asia and Europe are actively developing in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. A small island state, which some people call just crypto, is one of the few countries that has introduced some form of regulation to manage the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries.
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