Digital currencies gaining ground in Malta

The Malta Gaming Authority  is moving on the right direction to allow digital currencies, following UKGC steps.

Malta.- Joseph Cushieri, executive chairperson of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), said that these currencies are gaining ground in Malta because certain financial institutions are  risk-averse and they’re also adopting a conservative approach.

He agrees that the Gaming Industry is keen to embrace technological advances like Bitcoin, but there should be flexible regulatory frameworks that would innovate the industry to take advantage of the full developments that should also minimise risks to consumers.

Cushieri said that Crypto-currencies are an attempt to create a virtual currency, backed up by a technology blockchain that manages its transactions. “I still see it as a risk, and the authority’s position is that we still do not accept crypto-currencies. The authority has received very few requests to accept crypto-currencies, and we have always refused, we are looking to adopting a national approach and given it’s a financial instrument we shall be collaborating with the Central Bank, the FIAU and the MFSA,” he added.

MGA is moving on the right direction to allow digital currencies just like the UKGC announced earlier this month. The United Kingdom is now one of the first licensing bodies that has set and implemented conditions on the use of digital currencies.

The MGA is currently developing legislation to update its gaming regime. It plans to have a consultation period with stakeholders in September. The final draft will later be delivered to the parliament for the new system to take effect in March 2017.

The executive chairperson said that he sees a much larger gaming industry in ten years. “I expect a growing convergence between land-based and online products and the intersection between gambling product lines such as social gaming. My social vision is for Malta to become the Silicon Valley of the industry, and I think we are getting there,” he said.