The much-awaited Chapter 3 (the “Chapter”) of the Rulebook pertaining to the Virtual Financial Assets (“VFA”) Rules for VFA Service Providers has been published by the Malta Financial Services Authority (“MFSA”). The publication of this final Chapter has brought to a close the legal framework regulating VFAs in Malta. This Chapter applies to service providers who seek to obtain a VFA service license under the VFA Act (the “Act”)) (CAP 590 of the Laws of Malta).
The contents of this Chapter are outlined as follows:
- Title 1 – provides the general scope of the Chapter and the high-level principles which apply thereto;
- Title 2 – delves into the authorisation requirements of VFA service providers. It explains the licensing procedure and considerations, as well as the process for approval and departure of appointed persons;
- Title 3 – discusses the organizational requirements of VFA service providers as well as the supplementary conditions, such as having a systems auditor in place; and
- Title 4 – states the enforcement and sanctions applicable to VFA service providers.
VFA service providers interested in applying for carrying out such VFA service, should submit their application to the MFSA through a registered VFA Agent. The VFA Agent is the intermediary authorised to advise on VFA related services as well as act as a liaison between the MFSA and the client. The MFSA is in the process of reviewing the VFA Agents applications. However, these have been granted permission to operate by virtue of the Act, until the MFSA grants or rejects the respective authorisation.