Crypto.com secures regulatory approvals from Maltese authorities

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Cryptocurrency exchange and debit card provider Crypto.com has scored major regulatory approvals from the Maltese government.

According to a Nov. 24 announcement, the Malta Financial Services Authority, or MFSA, has granted in-principle approval to Crypto.com for two financial licenses: a Financial Institution License and a Class 3 Virtual Financial Assets, or VFA, License.

Once Crypto.com meets the official conditions, the Financial Institution License will enable Crypto.com to provide payment services and issue electronic money. A Class 3 VFA License allows Crypto.com to offer investment management services, custody and trading to both professional and nonprofessional investors.

According to the announcement, Crypto.com is one of the first crypto firms to receive these regulatory approvals from the MFSA after the agency approved the first VFA Agents in May 2019. Prior to obtaining these licenses, Crypto.com had been operating under the transitory provisions of the VFA Act in Malta.

Crypto.com co-founder and CEO Kris Marszalek said that the firm hopes to obtain more regulatory approvals in different markets next year.

Widely referred to as the “blockchain island” in the crypto community, Malta has been actively working to introduce crypto-related regulations in the country.

In 2018, the Maltese government introduced three laws to establish a regulatory framework for crypto, reaffirming the country’s focus on the development of the blockchain and crypto industry. However, a number of industry startups reportedly had to leave the country amid an apparent lack of regulatory clarity, with the MFSA not issuing a single crypto license as of April 2020.

In July 2020, the Maltese government claimed that it was breaking away from its once-prominent blockchain agenda to take a more holistic approach to regulating the digital economy.