Distributed Ledgers and Virtual Financial Assets
New areas of business are always welcome, but bring with them new risks and concerns as well as bright opportunities. Fintech in general, cryptocurrencies and distributed ledgers technology is a case in point. The establishment of a regulated environment for virtual financial assets within the Maltese jurisdiction is a positive measure to contain and manage that risk.
The IFSP has been very busy over 2018 preparing comments and suggestions for the MFSA through its consultation documents on the regulations and rulebook for VFAs. A dedicated working committee on DLT and virtual assets was able to provide detailed suggestions on the best way to regulate VFAs.
This effort, during which the IFSP drew upon the technical expertise of people involved with the technology as well as relying on the financial and legal expertise of its members, led to the organisation of the first course for VFA Agents in collaboration with the MFSA; despite the teething problems, a substantial number of practitioners achieved certification in the three VFA examinations held between October and December last year.
A second Virtual Financial Assets course is now in preparation: in March, the IFSP is holding a course designed to introduce practitioners to the practice of AML in a digital, distributed ledger environment. Information is available from the IFSP website.
The MFSA has now published for consultation its strategy documents for FinTech, available for all who are interested from the MFSA’s website. This will be one of the issues discussed during the FinTech session of the IFSP Conference on 25 February.
Please send any comments or other feedback you may have on the strategy document to the IFSP secretariat; your feedback and concerns will form a substantial part of the IFSP’s final response.