Malta Revises Crypto Rules to Align with EU's MiCA Regulation

by
Brihasi Dey
Reviewed by
min read
Last updated:

In recent years, the crypto industry has witnessed significant shifts, with countries around the world grappling to establish comprehensive regulatory frameworks. 

Malta, often dubbed the 'Blockchain Island', has been at the forefront of these changes. The latest development from the island nation is its move to align its crypto regulations with the European Union's Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations.

A Proactive Approach to Regulation

Malta's Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has initiated a public consultation on proposed changes to its crypto regulations. The primary objective of these changes is to align with the MiCA regulations of the European Union. 

This move is particularly noteworthy as the MiCA regulations are slated to take effect in December 2024. By initiating these changes well in advance, Malta is ensuring a seamless transition for its Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) license holders.

The proposed alterations in the VFA Rulebook are comprehensive. Some of the notable changes include:

  • Systems & IT Audit Requirements: The systems audit requirement has been removed entirely. Instead, the focus has shifted to the IT audit requirement, which now includes details about the letter of engagement and the specific roles and responsibilities of the auditor.
  • Initial Capital Requirement: There's a significant change in the initial capital requirements, especially for Class 3 and Class 4 Licence Holders. These requirements have been reduced to align with the MiCA.
  • Other Matters Requiring Notification: The reference to professional indemnity insurance has been removed, simplifying the notification process.
  • Insurance Requirement: The previous insurance requirement has been replaced with a new one within the prudential requirements section, reflecting the MiCA's guidelines.
  • Outsourcing Requirement: The outsourcing guidelines have been updated to mirror the MiCA requirements directly.
  • Orderly Wind-Down Plan: A new requirement has been introduced, mandating the creation of an orderly wind-down plan.
  • Supplementary Conditions: Service-specific requirements from Articles 75 to 81 of the MiCA have been incorporated. This includes new requirements for VFA Exchanges and updates to order execution and client suitability rules.
  • Prudential Requirements: This section has been updated to reflect the reduced initial requirement. Additionally, there's now an option for the prudential requirement to be fulfilled through an insurance policy, in line with the MiCA.
  • Conduct of Business: Several disclosures mandated by the MiCA have been added. Moreover, the rules related to client categorization have been removed.
  • Reporting Requirements: The Risk Management and the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Report (RMICAAP) requirement has been removed.

Why the Rush?

With the introduction of MiCA regulations, existing crypto regulations in EU member states will be replaced by universal MiCA laws. 

Malta, being an EU member, had two distinct choices: wait for the MiCA laws to be effective in 18 months or modify its existing crypto regulations to align with the EU's universal laws. 

By choosing the latter, Malta is not only ensuring a smooth transition for its VFA license holders but also facilitating the process of obtaining the EU license.

Also read: The EU Parliament Approves the DAC8 Tax Reporting Rule

Here’s the Historical Perspective

Malta's proactive stance on crypto regulations isn't new. The country's VFA framework, established in 2018, was based on principles from the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). 

Interestingly, MiCA also draws several principles from the MiFID rulebook. This alignment further underscores the importance of Malta's decision to revise its regulations in line with MiCA.

Moreover, Malta isn't the only EU nation making these shifts. France has also made amendments to its crypto regulatory guidelines to align with MiCA, which will be effective in early 2024.

Wrapping Up

The public consultation initiated by Malta's Financial Services Authority is the country's commitment to staying ahead in the crypto regulatory space. 

By aligning with the upcoming MiCA regulations, Malta aims to streamline regulations, reduce business burdens, and simplify the EU license acquisition process. Stakeholder input during this consultation period will be instrumental in shaping Malta's future in the crypto world.

FAQs

1. What is the main objective of Malta's crypto regulation changes?

The primary goal is to align with the European Union's Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations.

2. When will the MiCA regulations take effect?

The MiCA regulations are slated to be effective from December 2024.

3. What are some of the notable changes in the VFA Rulebook?

Changes include removing the systems audit requirement, eliminating professional indemnity insurance, and updating outsourcing requirements.

4. Why is Malta making these changes ahead of the MiCA regulation's effective date?

Malta aims to ensure a smooth transition for its Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) license holders and facilitate the EU license acquisition process.

5. Are other EU nations making similar regulatory changes?

Yes, countries like France have also amended their crypto regulatory guidelines to align with MiCA.

All content on Kryptos serves general informational purposes only. It's not intended to replace any professional advice from licensed accountants, attorneys, or certified financial and tax professionals. The information is completed to the best of our knowledge and we at Kryptos do not claim either correctness or accuracy of the same. Before taking any tax position / stance, you should always consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice from the professionals. Kryptos is not liable for any loss caused from the use of, or by placing reliance on, the information on this website. Kryptos disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of any positions taken by you in your tax returns. Thank you for being part of our community, and we're excited to continue guiding you on your crypto journey!

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Malta Revises Crypto Rules to Align with EU's MiCA Regulation

By
Brihasi Dey
On

In recent years, the crypto industry has witnessed significant shifts, with countries around the world grappling to establish comprehensive regulatory frameworks. 

Malta, often dubbed the 'Blockchain Island', has been at the forefront of these changes. The latest development from the island nation is its move to align its crypto regulations with the European Union's Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations.

A Proactive Approach to Regulation

Malta's Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has initiated a public consultation on proposed changes to its crypto regulations. The primary objective of these changes is to align with the MiCA regulations of the European Union. 

This move is particularly noteworthy as the MiCA regulations are slated to take effect in December 2024. By initiating these changes well in advance, Malta is ensuring a seamless transition for its Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) license holders.

The proposed alterations in the VFA Rulebook are comprehensive. Some of the notable changes include:

  • Systems & IT Audit Requirements: The systems audit requirement has been removed entirely. Instead, the focus has shifted to the IT audit requirement, which now includes details about the letter of engagement and the specific roles and responsibilities of the auditor.
  • Initial Capital Requirement: There's a significant change in the initial capital requirements, especially for Class 3 and Class 4 Licence Holders. These requirements have been reduced to align with the MiCA.
  • Other Matters Requiring Notification: The reference to professional indemnity insurance has been removed, simplifying the notification process.
  • Insurance Requirement: The previous insurance requirement has been replaced with a new one within the prudential requirements section, reflecting the MiCA's guidelines.
  • Outsourcing Requirement: The outsourcing guidelines have been updated to mirror the MiCA requirements directly.
  • Orderly Wind-Down Plan: A new requirement has been introduced, mandating the creation of an orderly wind-down plan.
  • Supplementary Conditions: Service-specific requirements from Articles 75 to 81 of the MiCA have been incorporated. This includes new requirements for VFA Exchanges and updates to order execution and client suitability rules.
  • Prudential Requirements: This section has been updated to reflect the reduced initial requirement. Additionally, there's now an option for the prudential requirement to be fulfilled through an insurance policy, in line with the MiCA.
  • Conduct of Business: Several disclosures mandated by the MiCA have been added. Moreover, the rules related to client categorization have been removed.
  • Reporting Requirements: The Risk Management and the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Report (RMICAAP) requirement has been removed.

Why the Rush?

With the introduction of MiCA regulations, existing crypto regulations in EU member states will be replaced by universal MiCA laws. 

Malta, being an EU member, had two distinct choices: wait for the MiCA laws to be effective in 18 months or modify its existing crypto regulations to align with the EU's universal laws. 

By choosing the latter, Malta is not only ensuring a smooth transition for its VFA license holders but also facilitating the process of obtaining the EU license.

Also read: The EU Parliament Approves the DAC8 Tax Reporting Rule

Here’s the Historical Perspective

Malta's proactive stance on crypto regulations isn't new. The country's VFA framework, established in 2018, was based on principles from the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). 

Interestingly, MiCA also draws several principles from the MiFID rulebook. This alignment further underscores the importance of Malta's decision to revise its regulations in line with MiCA.

Moreover, Malta isn't the only EU nation making these shifts. France has also made amendments to its crypto regulatory guidelines to align with MiCA, which will be effective in early 2024.

Wrapping Up

The public consultation initiated by Malta's Financial Services Authority is the country's commitment to staying ahead in the crypto regulatory space. 

By aligning with the upcoming MiCA regulations, Malta aims to streamline regulations, reduce business burdens, and simplify the EU license acquisition process. Stakeholder input during this consultation period will be instrumental in shaping Malta's future in the crypto world.

FAQs

1. What is the main objective of Malta's crypto regulation changes?

The primary goal is to align with the European Union's Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations.

2. When will the MiCA regulations take effect?

The MiCA regulations are slated to be effective from December 2024.

3. What are some of the notable changes in the VFA Rulebook?

Changes include removing the systems audit requirement, eliminating professional indemnity insurance, and updating outsourcing requirements.

4. Why is Malta making these changes ahead of the MiCA regulation's effective date?

Malta aims to ensure a smooth transition for its Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) license holders and facilitate the EU license acquisition process.

5. Are other EU nations making similar regulatory changes?

Yes, countries like France have also amended their crypto regulatory guidelines to align with MiCA.

All content on Kryptos serves general informational purposes only. It's not intended to replace any professional advice from licensed accountants, attorneys, or certified financial and tax professionals. The information is completed to the best of our knowledge and we at Kryptos do not claim either correctness or accuracy of the same. Before taking any tax position / stance, you should always consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice from the professionals. Kryptos is not liable for any loss caused from the use of, or by placing reliance on, the information on this website. Kryptos disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of any positions taken by you in your tax returns. Thank you for being part of our community, and we're excited to continue guiding you on your crypto journey!

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