Virtual Financial Assets
bringing regulatory certainty
Supporting the financial services industry to harness opportunities presented by technological innovation.
The MFSA’s FinTech Strategy aims to establish Malta as an international FinTech hub which supports and enables financial services providers to infuse technology in product and service offerings to drive innovation.
The MFSA aims to establish the foundations to enable FinTech start-ups and scale-ups, technology firms and established financial services providers to develop viable FinTech solutions which drive innovation and enhance access to financial products, increase competition, deliver better customer experiences, and ultimately, contribute to the long-term success of the Maltese financial services sector.
The MFSA FinTech Strategy had been published for industry consultation through a Consultation Document. The feedback received and the MFSA’s response and position thereto are summarised in this Feedback Statement.
The Six Strategic Pillars
The MFSA FinTech Strategy proposes to set out six pillars for the MFSA to create a holistic long-term approach to catalyse innovation, growth and competition in the financial services sector, whilst ensuring robust investor protection, market integrity and financial soundness.
Adopt regulatory and supervisory initiatives to support innovation and improve regulatory efficiency.
Foster community, demand and collaboration and enhance access to finance.
Encourage collaboration through the adoption of Open APIs and shared platforms.
Build international links across jurisdictions to foster collaboration and trust.
Cultivate deep talent pools and stimulate research and collaborative ideation.
Establish an environment that is resilient to cybersecurity threats.
Virtual Financial Assets
A framework that supports the innovation and new technologies for financial services in the area of crypto-assets whilst ensuring effective investor protection, financial market integrity and financial stability.
The MFSA devised the Virtual Financial Assets Framework to support the innovation and new technologies for financial services in the area of crypto-assets whilst ensuring effective investor protection, financial market integrity and financial stability.
The MFSA introduced a Financial Instrument Test with the objective to determine whether a DLT asset, based on its specific features, is encompassed under (i) the existing EU legislation and the corresponding national legislation, (ii) the Virtual Financial Assets Act or (iii) is otherwise exempt.
The Test is applicable to (i) issuers offering DLT assets to the public or wishing to admit such DLT assets on a DLT exchange in or from within Malta; and (ii) persons providing any service and/or performing any activity, within the context of either the Virtual Financial Assets Act or traditional financial services legislation, in relation to DLT assets whose classification has not been determined.
Requests for applications, authorisations and approvals under the Virtual Financial Assets Act will be accepted by the MFSA from 1 November 2018 onwards through the designated online portal.
Any queries can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislative & Regulatory Framework
Apply for Authorisation
The MFSA started considering authorisations under the Virtual Financial Assets (‘VFA’) Act as of 1 November 2018. The VFA Framework establishes three types of authorisations, being (i) registration of VFA Agents, (ii) registration of Whitepapers, and (iii) applications of VFA Services Providers.
Persons wishing to either register their Whitepaper or apply as a VFA Services Provider should submit their application through a registered VFA Agent. A list of registered VFA Agents is available on the MFSA’s Financial Services Register.
Persons wishing to provide and exercise the functions listed under Article 7 and/or Article 14 of the VFA Act shall be required to register as a VFA Agent, through the submission of the online VFA Agent Registration Form which may be accessed by clicking below.
Beneficial Owners, Qualifying Holders, Administrators, Senior Managers and Designated Persons of the Applicant are required to submit a PQ prior to the submission of the Registration Form.
Proposed Persons of the VFA Agent are required to undergo a competence assessment. A list of approved courses can be found here: Approved Courses for Proposed Persons.
Persons wishing to register a Whitepaper with the MFSA in accordance with the VFA Act are required to submit, through a registered VFA Agent, an online Whitepaper Registration Form which may be accessed by clicking below.
VFA Service Providers
Persons wishing to provided one or more services listed under the Second Schedule of the VFA Act in relation to such assets are required to apply for a licence through a registered VFA Agent, by submitting the online VFA Service Provider Application Form which may be accessed by clicking below.
Beneficial Owners, Qualifying Holders, Administrators and Senior Managers of the Applicant are required to submit a PQ prior to the submission of the Application Form.