Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill, Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Bill and Virtual Financial Asset Bill to be tabled in Parliament

“Providing legal certainty to this new emergent industry. Malta the first jurisdiction in the world taking such approach” – Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri announced that on Tuesday the first reading of three different bills will be presented in Parliament. The bills, that put Malta as a leader in DLT regulation include; the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill, Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Bill and Virtual Financial Asset Bill.

The Malta Digital Innovation Bill will establish a new authority to be known as the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, MDIA. It will be focusing on latest innovative technology arrangements and their use cases. At its initial stage, the Authority will only regulate DLT and related Smart Contract. Schembri explained that the Authority will be autonomous and act independently. It will be promoting government policies, educate on such business technology solutions and to foster, promote and facilitate the advancement and utilisation of innovative technology and its design use cases.

The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Bill will set out the regulatory regime required by the MDIA to operate. The regime will include the registration of service providers including system administrators and systems auditors and certification of technology arrangements.

The auditors are the people who review and assess the technology arrangement against several pre-determined criteria issued by MDIA, while the administrator is a person who assumes responsibility to manage, or control the operation of the technology arrangement.

“At the initial stage, the regime will be on a voluntary basis. The way this is being proposed, it encourages a company to be certified by the Authority and we feel that those companies which are serious will opt to certify themselves voluntary,” said Schembri.

The Virtual Financial Asset Bill will establish the regulatory regime for the MFSA to regulate the Virtual Financial Assets Market. “As a Government, we think that by regulating this market, it will ensure that the three main principles of financial regulation are adhered to and will be a market that protects the investor and provides market integrity and financial soundness,” said Schembri.

During the press conference, Silvio Schembri expressed his satisfaction over the feedback from the local and international industry.

“This evening’s Parliamentary session is historical. Malta will expose to the world its determination in allowing this industry to grow within its ecosystem. The feedback so far has been tremendous -keeping in mind the companies that have already announced their decision of relocating and opening offices here. These Bills will provide them with the legal certainty these companies are looking for,” said Schembri.

“This regulatory framework is the first of its kind not just for Malta but also on an international level. The framework is looking into the regulation of DLT technology in such a way that it does not stifle innovation,” said Schembri.

He thanked all the stakeholders who took part in this process and invited the blockchain community to be part of the DELTA Summit organised by the Government which will take place between the 3rd and 5th of October in Malta.​