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Fintech Update: Regulatory Developments in Italy, Malta, and Mauritius

By Katelyn James | February 13, 2019
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Fintech Update: Regulatory Developments in Italy, Malta, and Mauritius

Cryptocurrency-related regulations have seen some significant updates in Italy, Malta, and Mauritius of late. While Italy has passed a definitions mandate, Malta is consulting the public on a cybersecurity guidance, and Mauritius has established a crypto custody licence. We bring you the quick roundup right here.

 

  • Italy

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Italian Parliament. Source: Shutterstock

The Italian Parliament has approved a bill defining distributed ledger technologies (DLT) such as blockchain, reported Cointelegraph Italy last week (Feb 7).

With 275 votes in favor, 206 against, and 27 abstentions, Italy’s crypto regulation bill known as “Decreto semplificazioni” has moved forward. Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale (AgID or Agency for Digital Italy) will now take over to define the technical criteria for smart contracts to comply with for legal validity.

The swift approval comes on the heels of the Senate’s passing of the bill just earlier on January 23.

 

  • Malta
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Malta Financial Services Authority. Source: Twitter

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has launched (Feb 8) public consultation on its proposed Guidance Notes on Cybersecurity for companies operating in the country’s crypto assets sector. The guidance is open to both industry participants and the public to send their feedback on it until March 8, 2019. If approved, the regulations will be applicable to companies legally defined as professional investor funds investing in virtual currencies, Virtual Financial Asset (VFA) agents, issuers and VFA service providers.

 

  • Mauritius
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Prime Minister’s Office. Source: Republic of Mautirus

On February 8, Mauritius’ Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced its noteworthy progress in making the country a digital technology assets hub both “in, and for, Africa”. After consultation in November last year, its proposed framework for a Custodian Services (Digital Asset) Licence will be effective from March 1, 2019. This will allow approved companies to provide crypto custody services.

License holders will have to comply with the applicable framework for AML/CFT (anti-money-laundering/combating the financing of terrorism) controls “in line with international best practices”, said FSC.

FSC also said the move will make Mauritius the “first jurisdiction globally to offer a regulated landscape for the custody of digital assets”.

Mauritius’ Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth said, “In revolutionizing the global fintech ecosystem through this regulatory framework for the custody of digital assets, my government reiterates its commitment to accelerating the country’s move to an age of digitally-enabled economic growth. As an African country, we look forward to fostering further innovation and bringing more prosperity to the region.”

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