Malta is the first country member of the European Union, and one of the first countries at a worldwide level to issue a legal framework fully focused on blockchain, which is a digital system for recording the transaction of assets and their details in multiple places at the same time, cryptocurrencies, ICO's and related service providers. This has led Malta to be known as "The Blockchain Island".
Past July 2018, several law drafts were approved by the Government of Malta, being effective as of November 1st and consisting of the "Malta Digital Innovation Act", "Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act", and the "Virtual Financial Assets Act" (VFAA).
The Malta Digital Innovation Act envisages the creation of the Digital Innovation Authority of Malta (MDIA), which will be responsible of everything related to technological innovation and its use, as well as the promotion and development of blockchain. Likewise, the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act provide the regulations required by MDIA for companies to operate with cryptocurrencies. Finally VFAA will regulate the initial coin offerings (ICO´s), by providing the rules to ensure compliance with financial regulations, and provide protection and security to investors and other participants.
On the other hand, Mexico is one of the first countries in Latin America and in the world to issue a legal framework to regulate Fintech, by approving past September 2018, the Law to Regulate Financial Technology Institutions ("Fintech Law"), with the purpose of promoting financial inclusion, competition and consumer protection, as well as financial stability; unlike Malta, whose main purpose is to provide legal framework for the use of blockchain technology, trade with cryptocurrencies and ICO's; topics that in Mexico (excluding cryptocurrencies) still remain unexplored. An interesting topic not yet explored by the Fintech Law is the combination of cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding, as in the case of the ICO's, that is expressly regulated by Malta.
Fintech Law seeks to provide a legal framework for companies that currently operate with activities such as crowfunding, P2P lendings, electronic payment funds and cryptocurrency operations (activities that were previously not regulated); On the other hand, Malta seeks to be a pioneer in blockchain technologies, attract Fintech and Regtech companies; which main purpose is to use new technologies to solve regulatory and compliance burdens. Also, Malta provides a regulation focused on gambling digital games, a strategy to attract investment through the creation of fiscal and financial incentives so that companies related to the sector may choose Malta for their businesses.
Therefore, we believe that both countries have issued an innovative legal framework focused on financial technology, although their approaches are different we must observe in the future how both countries react to the growth and behavior of this sector and possibly adopt models that may be compatible with each other respectively in order to expand its regulatory framework.
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