Oct 11 / 2018

MGA introduces sandbox for cryptocurrencies

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has released a sandbox for cryptocurrencies and virtual financial assets (VFA).

The regulatory agency is looking to develop directives that will lead to the ultimate acceptance of cryptocurrencies, as well as Innovative Technology Arrangements (ITA) for Malta’s gaming industry. According to the MGA, “The framework shall be divided into two phases: as of 1 January 2019 the Authority will accept applications for the use of DLT [digital ledger technology] assets (VFAs and Virtual Tokens) as a method of payment.

malta blockchain summit MGA introduces sandbox for cryptocurrencies
Heathcliff Farrugia.

In a second phase, the sandbox framework will be extended to applications for the use of ITAs within the key technical equipment of licensees, to coincide with developments launched by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA).

Heathcliff Farrugia, CEO at the MGA, explained that the idea of the sandbox was to enable Malta to be a leader in gaming regulations while further embracing innovation. Farrugia added that there has been considerable interest from gaming operators to accept VFAs and DLTs – leading to the agency creating a testbed where companies can use the technologies under regulatory control before going live.

Farrugia added, “This Framework is intended as a live document and will therefore be subject to feedback and potential updates during its duration, whilst also keeping in consideration any technological or regulatory developments which may occur.”

Farrugia concluded, “The MGA envisages that this framework will run until end of October 2019, although its extension, both partially or wholly, could be a possibility.”

Malta is already a fundamental centre for both gaming and cryptocurrency activity, so the incorporation of both is logical. Malta’s parliament recently signed off on the VFA Act, which further cemented Malta’s position as a major blockchain and cryptocurrency hub.

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