Malta offers four licenses under the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA) for companies seeking to provide services related to cryptocurrencies. These VFAA crypto licenses entail varying rights and investment levels.

Benefits of Obtaining a Cryptocurrency License in Malta

  • Obtain a prestigious license for all cryptocurrency professionals.
  • Experience a clear and transparent licensing process.
  • Offer investment advice and consulting services in the cryptocurrency industry.
  • Establish your business in a reputable jurisdiction known for IT and FinTech expertise.
  • Earn the trust and promote your cryptocurrency business as a regulated entity.

Key Legislative Acts for Cryptocurrency Regulation in Malta

  • The Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFAA).
  • The Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act.
  • The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act.

Compliance with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) requirements allows service providers to become authorized companies for managing VFA exchanges and handling client money, virtual financial assets, and crypto keys.

The Maltese Cryptocurrency Licensing Framework consists of four classes of licenses:

  • VFA Class 1: for consulting services.
  • VFA Class 2: for holding and controlling customers’ money and assets, as well as for investment activities, P2P exchanges, and more.
  • VFA Class 3: for trading companies and funds, allowing them to trade on their account.
  • VFA Class 4: for exchange service providers and other cryptocurrency-related service providers.

VFAA Class 1

The VFAA Class 1 license grants holders the ability to receive and transmit orders for virtual financial assets and provide investment advice for the placement of virtual financial assets.

The application fee for this license is a one-time payment of 3,000 euros, and the minimum capital requirement is 50,000 euros.

The annual supervisory fee starts at 2,750 euros for a turnover of up to 50,000 euros, with an additional fee of 350 euros for each tranche of 50,000 euros of turnover (up to a maximum of 1,000,000 euros).

This type of cryptocurrency license in Malta is ideal for intermediaries or service providers who offer advice on cryptocurrency investments.

VFAA Class 2

A VFAA Class 2 license allows companies to provide various VFA services and handle customer funds but does not permit managing cryptocurrency exchanges or trading on their account.

The application fee for this license is a one-time payment of 5,000 euros, and the minimum capital requirement is 125,000 euros. For companies with a turnover of up to 250,000 euros, the annual supervisory fee is 4,500 euros, with an additional fee of 400 euros for each tranche of 250,000 euros (up to a maximum of 5,000,000 euros) exceeding this amount.

This type of cryptocurrency license in Malta is particularly suitable for wallet providers, P2P exchanges with «hot wallets,» and service providers offering cryptocurrency portfolio management.

VFAA Class 3

The VFAA Class 3 license allows its holders to provide various VFA services and manage customer funds but does not permit managing cryptocurrency exchanges. The application fee for this license is 7,000 euros, and the minimum capital requirement is 730,000 euros. The annual supervisory fee for companies with a turnover of up to 250,000 euros is 6,000 euros. An additional fee of 400 euros for each tranche of 250,000 euros (up to a maximum of 50,000,000 euros) exceeds this amount.

Due to the rights granted, this type of cryptocurrency license in Malta is well-suited for OTC traders and market makers.

VFAA Class 4

Companies seeking to manage cryptocurrency exchanges, provide custodian services, and hold or control customer money, virtual financial assets, and private crypto keys can now avail themselves of the most comprehensive VFAA Class 4 license.

Unique to Malta, this exclusive license requires a registration fee of €12,000 for eligibility. The capital amount for VFAA Class 4 is set at a minimum of €730,000, reflecting the robustness of the license and the commitment it entails.

In addition to the registration fee, an annual supervisory fee is applicable based on the company’s annual sales. For companies with annual sales up to €1,000,000, the fee is set at €25,000. For companies with sales exceeding €1,000,000, an additional fee of €2,500 per year is charged for each additional €1,000,000 in sales, up to a maximum of €100,000,000.

Designed to attract cryptocurrency exchanges of all sizes, the VFAA Class 4 license is already gaining traction among industry giants. Renowned exchanges like Binance and OkEx have chosen Malta as their base of operations, driven by the appeal and comprehensiveness of the VFAA Class 4 license, which sets a new benchmark for regulatory standards in the cryptocurrency industry.

Requirements for Starting a Business in Malta

If you’re considering establishing a business in Malta, there are specific unique requirements that you need to be aware of. These include:

  • Incorporating a legal structure in Malta.
  • Staying updated with fundamental changes to legal requirements.
  • Preparing an extensive business plan and/or a white paper.
  • Contracting financial insurance for your clients’ funds.
  • Employing local personnel to administer the company in Malta.
  • Obtaining a certificate of absence of criminal records for all participants.
  • Meeting the minimum share capital requirement.

Term of issuance of a crypto license in Malta

The process and timeline for obtaining a Malta cryptocurrency license typically takes 3 to 6 months.

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