Maltese Financial Regulator Issues Cybersecurity Consultation for Blockchain Industry

February 9, 2019
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The Malta Financial Services Authority has issued a consultation on cybersecurity guidelines for the blockchain industry.

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has issued a consultation on cybersecurity, associated with new technologies such as blockchain, the agency tweeted on Feb. 8.

In a consultation document called “Guidance Notes on Cybersecurity,” the MFSA suggested that the agency’s cybersecurity system should comply with international standards, including guidelines by the European Banking Authority (EBA).

The guidance notes are also based on a list of recognized cybersecurity policies such as CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) that was introduced in 2014 to provide guidance for the secure management of cryptocurrencies.

The guidance notes are targeting professional funds that invest in virtual currencies, issuers, as well as agents and service providers for Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA), with latter ones acting as an intermediaries between clients and the authority.

Claiming that the rise of cybersecurity initiatives has caused even more sophisticated cyber attacks, the MFSA outlined the need to ensure that the industry is using the necessary cybersecurity policies in terms of risk management, customer protection, as well as market integrity within ecosystems created by new technologies.

The MFSA is seeking feedback from the industry community before proceeding with the adoption of the guidance notes. A consultation period will be open to the public until March 8, 2019.

Malta has taken a supportive stance toward the blockchain and crypto industries, and even became known as a “blockchain island” due to its crypto-friendly politics. However, recently the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claimed that the increasing growth of blockchain in Malta has caused significant risks of money laundering and terrorism financing in the island’s economy.

Previously, Maltese politician and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Roberta Metsola claimed that decentralization powered by blockchain technology “provides more security,” and is “essentially about increasing trust,” delivering “more peace of mind.”

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