The Virtual Financial Assets Act, 2018 highlights the importance of having a system of checks and balances to ensure that whoever is advising clients in the blockchain industry is qualified, diligent and competent.
The VFA (Virtual Financial Assets) Agent’s job is to provide detailed guidance and advice. In fact, the VFA Agent is restricted to a limited group of people. The Act mentions that an Agent means ‘a person registered with the Competent Authority under this Act and authorised to carry on the profession of:
- Advocate, Accountant or auditor; or
- A firm of advocates, accountants or auditors, or corporate service providers; or
- A legal organisation which is wholly owned and controlled by persons referred to in paragraphs (a) or (b).
The VFA Agent must be a ‘fit and proper’ person and must be resident in Malta. If the Agent will be a corporation, it must be either a Maltese company or if it is a non-Maltese company, must operate through a branch here in Malta.
One of the main jobs of the VFA Agent is to review all work and applications on a year-to-year basis whilst also ensuring the submission of the Compliance Report.
The VFA Agent will also be in charge of the Financial Instruments Test to ascertain whether the Asset being dealt with is primarily a financial instrument or electronic money
When it comes to the MFSA (Malta Financial Services Authority), it will certainly use the VFA Agent as the port-of-call and he/she will need to keep all information available because there will certainly be inspections conducted by different regulators.
When applying for an ICO Project, the role of the VFA Agent is to expedite proceedings. Furthermore, it is the VFA Agent’s duty to liaise with the MFSA accordingly.
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