The Virtual Financial Assets Framework – Three Years On
DECEMBER 20, 2021


Three years ago, the MFSA launched its Virtual Financial Assets Framework – making Malta one of the first jurisdictions in the world to licence crypto operators. Since then, the Authority has registered 23 VFA agents, issued two White Papers, and authorised 15 VFA service providers.

In a panel session to mark this anniversary, experts from the Authority’s FinTech Supervision function spoke about the evolution of the Authority’s FinTech Strategy. What follows is a sneak peek of the speakers’ contribution to the discussion. For the full session, watch the video above.

CEO Joseph GavinJoseph Gavin: CEO, MFSA - “It is very clear to me that all of the problems related to AML/CFT occur in the unregulated environment and there is now a growing consensus among leading regulators for the urgent need of regulation for this space. Malta has been a pioneer, having taken the lead in regulating this class of assets, within the European Union.”

Herman Ciappara: Head, FinTech Supervision, MFSA - “One of the many changes COVID-19 brought about was in the way people pay. Before COVID, Malta was an intensely cash-based society. What we’ve seen over the past few months is an amazing take up of digital ways of paying: contactless, mobile and online payments. In the bigger scope of things, these new ‘habits’ will actually help make Maltese society more open to take on and accept innovative products which are more digitised in financial services.”

Luciano Brincat: Senior Manager, FinTech Supervision, MFSA - “The two main pillars of the MFSA FinTech Strategy are regulation and international links. On these two elements, last year we launched the FinTech Regulatory Sandbox and we have also become members of the Global Financial Innovation Network and the European Forum for Innovation Facilitators.”

Camille Pepos: Senior Manager, FinTech Supervision, MFSA - “The MFSA’s achievements were reached by following the highest standards in the industry and focusing on quality instead of quantity. These were crucial elements to guarantee sustainable growth of the sector.”


The Authority is currently geared towards the implementation of the Digital Finance Package launched in 2020 by the European Commission, aimed at creating a regulatory landscape which is conducive to sustainable, technology-enabled financial services.