Malta, a European country, published its three-year strategic plan through the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) to cover the period from 2019 to 2021. In the report, the country’s watchdog explains its supervising priorities and critical areas to focus on the mentioned timeframe.
To the surprise of no one, the MFSA will be making the supervision of cryptocurrencies a priority for the next three years. Malta has quietly become a blockchain and crypto hub, hosting related projects and being generally friendly to the adoption of new, innovative technologies.
The Fight Against Financial Crime
Fighting financial crime is one of the regulator’s top priorities, as well. It is also focused on its combat against money laundering and the financing of terrorism and related activities. In the report, the MFSA observed that there would be active monitoring business-related risks regarding the licensing of digital assets and crypto platforms.
The report stated that while the nation has been open to bringing blockchain and cryptocurrencies into its regulations, it should be noted that those innovations present continuous challenges when it comes to preventing money laundering and terrorism financing.
The text also points out the need for modernizing regulatory approaches to be prepared and always a step ahead of any developments that can affect the industry and its rules. The MFSA will continue to work alongside the FIAU and other authorities at a local and international scale, including the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA).
The financial regulator is open to relying on technology to supervise the industry in the country, and that will be a handy resource that the authorities are going to rely on. The MFSA details that it expects other companies in the field to take a similar, pro-technology approach for compliance reasons.
RegTech and SupTech
The MFSA hopes that most companies involved in blockchain, crypto trading, and other related services implement RegTech, a resource that includes artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. The watchdog firmly believes that RegTech will become widespread in the not so distant future.
The report explained that the MFSA intends to use the RegTech to monitor and manage business risks that come in the equation when dealing with licensing digital assets and crypto platforms. The regulator has invested in the tool and is also in the process of including SupTech intelligence resources, as well.
The goal is, according to the MFSA strategic plan, to improve the institution’s ability to spot fraudulent activity, prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism to protect clients, investors, and shareholders. To that end, the SupTech intelligence tools will offer the watchdog oversight resources to automate the regulatory processes and audit the risk management of the digital assets business that are licensed in the nation.