Cryptocurrency exchange and payment services provider Crypto.com has become one of the first platforms to receive in-principle approvals for a Class 3 Virtual Financial Assets License from the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). The company, which was operating under the transitory provisions of the VFA Act in Malta, announced this milestone on an official blog post.
The VFA Rulebook issued by the MFSA lists 4 classes of licenses that a prospective service provider can obtain. Class 3 license holders are authorized to provide any VFA service but not to operate a VFA exchange and are entitled to hold or control clients’ assets or money in conjunction with the provision of a VFA service.
What does “In-Principle” approval mean?
During the pre-licensing phase of the application process for VFA Service Providers, the Authority may provide an ‘in-principle approval’, which shall be valid for 3 months within which applicants may finalize outstanding issues raised, satisfy pre-licensing conditions and submit original copies of any outstanding documentation.
An important milestone for Malta
The in-principle approval granted to Crypto.com, which also received in-principle approval for a Financial Institution License, is an important milestone for Malta, one of the few jurisdictions in the EU with a comprehensive ad-hoc legal framework for crypto-asset service providers.
As highlighted in our comparative analysis of crypto regulatory frameworks in Europe, Malta has set a high standard for those wishing to be regulated on the island, with such framework serving as the basis for the upcoming European Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA).