34 prospective Virtual Financial Asset (VFA) Service Providers seek authorisation under VFA Act

34 prospective Virtual Financial Asset (VFA) Service Providers submit letter of intent to obtain authorisation under the VFA Act

The MFSA has received Letters of Intent from 34 prospective VFA Service Providers, 21 of which pertain to crypto-asset exchanges. These were operating under the transitory provisions set out in Article 62 of the Virtual Financial Assets Act.  After the expiry of this Transitory Period, which ended on 31 October 2019, entities wishing to continue their operations, in or from Malta, were required to apply for authorisation with the MFSA.

The Letters are the first step of the authorisation process for such applicants to obtain a VFA Services Licence.  The Authority shall shortly be contacting the applicants in order to set up a preliminary meeting. Once this meeting is held, applicants will have 60 days to submit a full application pack to the MFSA.

Further to the above, the Authority wishes to provide an update with respect to the registration of VFA Agents. To date, the Authority has received 30 applications for registration of VFA Agents, out of which 18 have been registered. The list of registered VFA Agents is available on the Authority’s  website. Similarly, once the first VFA Service Providers are authorised, a full list will be published on the Authority’s website.

In November 2018, the Virtual Financial Assets Act (‘the Act’) (Chapter 590 of the Laws of Malta) came into force. This Act sets out a comprehensive framework targeting operators within the crypto-asset industry and seeks to regulate entities providing services in relation to crypto-assets, an area which remains largely unregulated throughout the European Union. At the time of coming into force of the Act, all firms providing VFA Services, as set out within the Second Schedule of the Act, were required to notify the Malta Financial Service Authority of their intention to operate under the Transitory Provisions set out in Article 62 of the Act.