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The Maltese Government has over the past months been actively working on the development of a framework to oversee the uses of DLT and related service providers. A National Blockchain Strategy Taskforce was set up to advise government in this regard. Concurrently, on the 23rd October 2017, the MFSA issued its first consultation document on a Proposed Regulatory Framework for Collective Investment Schemes investing in VCs. This consultation was concluded and the MFSA proceeded with the issue of a Feedback Statement on the 22nd January 2018 summarising the response received from stakeholders and setting out MFSA’s position. MFSA published the supplementary conditions applicable to Professional Investor Funds investing in VCs on the 29th January 2018. The Authority is now
considering whether the published supplementary conditions should also be implemented within the context of regulated alternative investment funds and notified alternative investment funds. On the 30th November 2017, MFSA published a Discussion Paper on Initial Coin Offerings, Virtual Currencies and related Service Providers.
This document followed the general principles set out in a statement issued by ESMA on the 13th November 2017. As explained in the Discussion Paper, whilst certain ICOs, VCs and related activities could fall within the scope of existing financial services legislation, others are likely to fall outside scope and would hence be unregulated. The purpose of the Discussion Paper was to present to stakeholders a proposed policy which will be adopted by the MFSA for the creation of a framework relating to ICOs and the provision of certain services (namely intermediaries that act as brokers, exchanges, wallet providers, asset managers, investment advisors and market makers) in relation to VCs that currently fall outside of existing financial regulation. The consultation period for the Discussion Paper closed on the 18th January 2018 and the Government is pleased to be informed that the Authority is currently assessing the feedback received from over 40
industry participants and interested parties. The discussions between the Government and the MFSA on the proposed regulatory framework relating to the provision of certain services in relation to VCs, including ICOs, is on-going. This consultation document provides a high-level indication on the way forward determined by the MFSA and agreed with the Government, after taking into account the feedback received by the MFSA on the Discussion Paper.
This document presents a conceptual framework through which DLT Platforms can be subject to certification in Malta. This framework also takes into account the need to oversee the principal service providers to DLT Platforms. Separately through the MFSA, the framework extends to issuers of ICOs and certain service provides dealing in virtual currencies.