Blockchain and Crypto

It’s no wonder that many call Malta ‘the Blockchain Island’. The Maltese government has identified blockchain as the industry with the potential of becoming a new pillar in its economy. Over the past two years, the Maltese regulators, policy-makers and financial service providers have become increasingly interested in the blockchain space, and in particular, the regulation of cryptocurrencies and its related services.

Through three pieces of new national legislation promulgated in November of 2018, Malta became the first and only European Union (EU) country to look beyond simply publishing consumer/investor warnings, consultation documents and discussion papers on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and cryptos. The new Maltese laws target the DLT ecosystem as a whole, rather than merely focusing on regulating virtual currency associated business. The Maltese cryptocurrency framework, also to be referred to as the Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Framework, is composed of three Acts:

  1. The Virtual Financial Assets Act;
  2. The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act;
  3. The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act.

These laws provide a holistic regulatory framework within the blockchain and cryptocurrency sphere. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and the Malta Digital Innovative Authority (MDIA) were given the authority to receive and process applications for licensing for those interested in operating in Malta.

WH Partners has been on the forefront of fintech and blockchain developments, working closely with industry leaders, since the industry’s early days, gaining experience with assisting clients in blockchain based projects and cryptocurrency enquiries.

How can we help?

We provide tailor-made solutions and advice to very complex questions related to blockchain. The services that we offer in respect to blockchain include:

  • general advisory;
  • assistance with the registration of your whitepaper with the MFSA;
  • assistance with obtaining a VFA service provider’s license;
  • regulatory compliance;
  • drafting of internal policies and procedures;
  • legal opinions based on the MFSA’s Financial Instrument Test;
  • VFA Agency services through WH Innovation, part of WH group of companies;
  • tax advice;
  • corporate services and accounting.

WH Innovation (part of WH Group) was amongst the very first companies to be registered as a VFA Agent by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).

WH Partners is ranked amongst the leading law firms in Malta by the Chambers FinTech 2020 guide in the FinTech Legal practice area. The guide notes that “WH Partners is a highly regarded firm with a particularly strong technology practice. They are well versed in navigating the regulatory framework for virtual financial assets and also often advise clients on data protection, cybersecurity and tax matters.” 

Feedback to Chambers FinTech 2020 included that "They are highly skilled, knowledgeable and commercial. They come to the table to provide solutions from both a legal and a commercial perspective". 

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