Malta: Financial Regulator approves first 14 Crypto Assets Agents

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has approved its first 14 crypto-asset agents who previously sought a license, according to an official statement published today on April 2.

The approval comes five months after the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA), which was approved by the Maltese government last year, came to power. According to the local newspaper The Times of Malta, more than 250 applications were initially filed by lawyers, accounts and auditors. However, nearly two thirds of them failed to pass the official assessment process.

Only 28 of them finally managed to apply for a permit, and 14 were approved with "small details" that needed to be resolved, the newspaper writes. The watchdog states that its representatives will now assist these crypto service providers under the VFA.

According to the MFSA, the agents are now required to evaluate their customers' business plans and ensure that they are well prepared before submitting an application to the MFSA. In addition, agents must carefully examine their clients and ensure that they comply with anti-money laundering legislation (AML) and anti-terrorist financing guidelines.

The regulator calls the decision itself "an important milestone in the MFSA's efforts to become a regulatory authority for excellence" for the crypto industry. The officials believe that the decision will promote market integrity and public interest in crypto.

However, as Cointelegraph reported earlier, the Maltese banks are still cautious when opening bank accounts for local crypto companies. When the Times of Malta contacted a number of law firms and financial companies earlier in March, they allegedly confirmed that banks renounced their requests to open accounts and said it was above their & # 39; risk appetite & # 39; rises.

Later, the country's parliamentary financial services secretary, Silvio Schembri, told the newspaper that the banks were finally waiting for the agents to obtain permission from the MFSA before offering them services.

As Maltese officials have publicly promised to build a & # 39; blockchain island & # 39; In the country, a number of high-profile blockchain and crypto companies have moved to Malta in search of a more crypto-friendly jurisdiction. Several important cryptocurrency exchanges, including OKEx, Binance and BitBay, have recently started their activities in Malta.

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