Malta Financial Services Authority launches cybersecurity consultation for the blockchain and crypto industry

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has launched a consultation document on cybersecurity that looks to address the challenges associated with new financial technology

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has launched a consultation document on cybersecurity focusing on the advancements of distributed ledger and blockchain technology.

In its consultation document, entitled “Guidance Notes on Cybersecurity,” the regulator has proposed that all cybersecurity architecture should be in compliance with internationally and nationally recognised cybersecurity standards. This includes various regulations and directives from the European Parliament and the European Banking Authority.

In the guidance, the MFSA said that the notes are also based on a number of recognised cybersecurity standards, including the Cryptocurrency Security Standard (CCSS). The CCSS is a security standard introduced in 2014 to provide guidance specific to the secure management of cryptocurrencies.

The document explains that a regulated decision-making body should establish and maintain a governance framework that contains provisions relating to cybersecurity. The framework should comply with nationally and internationally recognised cybersecurity standards and the decision-making body would be responsible for establishing and maintaining appropriate governance, good conduct, and policies relating to risk management.

Three bills already passed by parliament 

Last year, the Parliament of Malta passed three bills – the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Asset Act – to establish a regulatory framework for distributed ledger technology. Malta was also among the seven southern EU member states that signed a declaration in December 2018 to foster the use of distributed ledger technology beyond cryptocurrencies.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated: “The way the MFSA is looking ahead towards the future goes hand in hand with the changes taking place practically every day when it comes to technology and the way the financial sector utilizes these changes to make modifications on the way they operate.”

The consultation is open to the public until March 8th this year. The MFSA said that it is seeking feedback from the industry before proceeding with the implementation of another possible bill.

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