March 4, 2024

The authorities of Malta have warned investors about the risks of working with unlicensed cryptocurrency companies

Dreams of creating a “blockchain island” in Malta risk remaining just dreams: six months afterafter the deadline for applying for licenses allowing cryptocurrency companies to operate in this jurisdiction, 70% of organizations have not done so.

This deadline expired on October 31, 2019, howeverOf the 83 companies that initially responded to the call by local authorities to conduct business in Malta, only 26 filed applications for a license in the field of financial virtual assets (VFA). These applications are in the process of consideration and no decisions have been made on them.

Concerned about this fact, the Maltese officeFinancial Services Authority (MFSA) issued an official statement listing companies that did not even send a letter of intent.

It says that many companiestook advantage of the transitional period during which they could conduct business in Malta, subject to subsequent license. If the company did not plan to continue the business, it was necessary to submit a notice of termination of business.

“A number of organizations have taken advantage of the transitionperiod, offering VFA services, but did not file a letter of intent or notice of termination. The Authority reminds the public in Malta and elsewhere that the entities listed herein are not licensed or authorized by the MFSA to provide VFA or other financial services, nor have they commenced the process of obtaining such a licence."— MFSA officials said.

The activities of such companies, respectively, are not regulated, and may carry risks for investors.

Note that there is no Binance exchange on the list,the lack of a license which the Maltese regulator announced earlier this year. Representatives of the exchange contacted by ForkLog declined to comment on this issue.

Recall loyal regulation of the digital marketAssets designed to create an enabling environment for industry development was adopted in Malta in 2018. Not everything, however, is going smoothly in this direction. Last year, it was reported that cryptocurrency companies had problems opening bank accounts, and at the beginning of this year, the non-custodian exchange KyberSwap announced a change of jurisdiction from Malta to the Virgin Islands, explaining this decision by the Fifth European Union Anti-Money Laundering Directive.