The Legal framework designed by the Maltese government for regulating virtual financial assets (VFAs) and virtual financial assets related services (VFA Services) including operating a crypto exchange, comprises of a series of three laws: the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA Act), the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act (ITAS Act) and the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA). With regards to the latter, here’s all that investors need to know about operating VFA crypto exchanges in Malta.
Malta introduced 4 types of licenses for companies intending to provide services related to VFAs. The licenses Class 1 – 4 comprise different types of rights and need different investment levels. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) grants these licenses. Upon application, a one-time application fee is payable and each license is subject to an annual supervisory fee.
The VFAA Class 1 license is particularly suitable for service providers or intermediaries offering investment advice for crypto investments. The license entitles its holders to receive and transmit orders pertaining to VFAs and to offer investment advice pertaining to the same.
The VFAA Class 2 license is not meant for VFA crypto exchange operators. This license is especially suitable for P2P exchanges, wallet providers and hot wallets and service providers offering portfolio management of crypto investments. The VFAA Class 2 license allows firms to offer any VFA service and to control or hold customers’ money, as stated in Dr. Werner & Partner blog.
The VFAA Class 3 license allows its holders to offer any VFA service and to control or hold the money of customers. The VFAA Class 4 is the most comprehensive license that entitles firms to operate a VFA exchange and to control or hold customers’ virtual financial assets, customers’ money, and/or private cryptographic keys and nomination or custodian services only in connection with the operation and activities of that particular VFA exchange.
The Bitstraq crypto exchange has become one of the first VFAA Class 4 service providers and licensed exchange in Malta. The platform has started with five trading pairs with major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin to be traded on the exchange. It intends to add more tokens and coins in the near future, as reported on PRNewswire.
The VFAA Class 4 license being the most comprehensive license is particularly intended for all VFA crypto exchanges. The government of Malta presumably intended to utilize this license to get involved in the attractive future business of these exchanges. This seems to have convinced the industry giants such as OKEx and Binance to settle there.[The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or the official policy of the website. ]