Category: Regulatory

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VAT Grouping

Categories Business, Tax, Regulatory, VAT

VAT Grouping

Pursuant to the 2018 Government Budget Speech and the introduction of Subsidiary Legislation 406.21 Value Added Tax (Registration as a Single Taxable Person) Regulations, eligible entities are now able to register for VAT Grouping in Malta through the online application form issued by the Office of the Commissioner on 30th November 2018.

Any two or more legal persons established in Malta may apply to be registered as a single taxable person if the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. At least one group member is licensed under any of the Acts identified by the Regulations;
  2. Each of the applicants is bound to one another by financial, organisational and economic links; and
  3. All group members are fully compliant with their Income Tax and VAT obligations at the time of the application.

VAT Grouping generates several benefits for businesses, including a simplification of the administrative and compliance burdens, VAT cash flow advantages and potential VAT savings. Contact us for further information to know how your company can benefit from VAT Grouping!

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Blockchain Leadership Summit – Made for Industry Leaders

Categories Blockchain, Regulatory, DLT, Blockchain Leadership Summit, Event

Blockchain Leadership Summit – Made for Industry Leaders

 

The Blockchain Leadership Summit, organised by InnMind took place in the Congress Centre Basel, Switzerland on 23-24 November 2018. This large-scale event traditionally focuses on bringing the brightest minds within developing industries together with politicians, businessmen and large institutions.

The most promising projects are selected beforehand by the organising committee, and are offered the opportunity to meet and communicate directly with the investors and professional advisors, as well as to pitch their business models in front of a jury and a broad audience. The best startup team was selected by a professional panel of judges as well as summit participants, and won a roadshow experience around Switzerland. Voting was carried out on the blockchain in the real-time mode during the second day of the event.

Much attention was paid to academic programs regarding digital economy implementation and the keeping and verification of the academic records and personal documentation. One of the use-cases from the University of Basel was applied to the issuing of the attendance certificates on blockchain on the spot.

The attendees had a chance to learn from the actual cases of digital technology implementation currently in operation within large corporations, such as PwC, IBM, Bosch, Novartis and others. The representative of top enterprises shared their experiences regarding the increase of business process efficiency, money flow improvement and security costs reduction.

One of the distinctive features of the Leadership Summit was the presence of the state authorities at the event. This Summit edition was marked by the participation of the politicians from Malta, Liechtenstein, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Armenia, and Kazakhstan in the discussions.

The Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, was speaking at the panel discussion “Blockchain Adoption at Government Level”, as well as H.E. the Prince Michael of Liechtenstein, Chairman of Industrie-und Finanzkontor Ets. Vaduz, and Geo-political Intelligence Services; Esko Aho, former Prime Minister of Finland, visiting professor at Sciences Po, Paris; Sergey Gorkov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation; and Eric Jakob, Ambassador, Board Member, Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER in Switzerland.

The speech of the Prime Minister of Malta regarding the sustainable regulatory framework of the country towards DLT technology was welcomed with lots of enthusiasm. Crypto world influencers call Malta one of the best jurisdictions for serious long-term projects, leaving Estonia and Switzerland behind.

The E&S team experienced 2 days full of active networking and valuable experience sharing. The market is entering the period of stabilisation and Malta is securing its place in the industry. To find out more about launching an ICO in Malta, please contact E&S Group by sending us an email on [email protected].

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The Pharma Counterfeit Problem on a Global Scale

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, ICOs, Malta, Law, E&S Group, Conference, Blockchain Leadership Summit

The Pharma Counterfeit Problem on a Global Scale

The investments into blockchain technology in the healthcare industry are growing rapidly, reaching $200M according to a recent report of the major consortium R3. The implementation of the DLT technology in the healthcare industry is caused by the emerging problem of pharma counterfeit and ineffective supply chains.

Anything that makes money will be counterfeited. This affects patented medications as well as generics. Expensive, prescription drugs, such as those used in AIDS or cancer therapy, are especially lucrative for dubious businesses. Antibiotics are the most commonly counterfeited drugs, particularly in low-income nations where medicines are prohibitively expensive for many people. In high-income countries, there is a growing trend toward fake “lifestyle” medications.

Illegal trade takes place around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that counterfeit medicines worth 73 billion euros are traded annually. Dubious online pharmacies that conceal their true location deliver globally – reaching countries such as Germany, UK, Italy, Spain etc. or the USA. Supplies from illegal internet pharmacies – those without appropriate certification – are up to 50% counterfeits.

The extent of the problem varies greatly between regions and individual countries, and also depends largely on temporary supplies. The problem is highly dependent on how tight legal controls are. The WHO estimates that in some areas in Africa, Asia, and South America, more than 30% of medicines in circulation are fake. In some countries in Eastern Europe, the proportion of fake medicines can be more than 20%.

The current state of healthcare and pharma records is incoherent and irrational due to a lack of common architectures and standards that would allow the safe transfer of sensitive information among stakeholders in the system. Blockchain application in the healthcare industry, while still at the early stage of development, it presents various opportunities such as:- keeping track of patients’ health, new insights on population health; and supports the direction toward value-based care.

There are already several use-cases in the pharma industry: blockchain can help with verifying the authenticity of returned drugs and compliance in the pharma supply chain. Merck in partnership with SAP has developed the SAP Pharma Blockchain POC app for the use-case. Blockchain protocols in clinical trials can provide transparency and traceability of consent.

Another groundbreaking use-case in pharma is the prevention of counterfeit drugs and medical devices. One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world based in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis AG, has made a tremendous progress in this direction. They have been experimenting with blockchain since 2016 and have run various proofs of concept (PoCs). Today, their primary tech development is aimed to identify counterfeit medicines and track temperature with real-time visibility for all participants in the supply chain, using Blockchain and IoT.

They are also working on a public-private partnership between the European pharmaceutical industry and the EU – the IMI Blockchain Enabled Healthcare program. The program aims to partner the pharma industry with a consortia made up of SME blockchain companies, universities, clinical labs, hospitals, patient representatives and others. It’s a wide-ranging project that includes counterfeit drug detection, supply chain, patient data, and clinical trials.

The potential of the blockchain implementation in the healthcare industry will be discussed on Blockchain Leadership Summit in Basel. If you would like to attend one of the most significant events of the year with us, E&S Group will be happy to give you an exclusive 50% discount for any ticket. All you have to do is to use the promo code: BLS2018_exclusiveE&SGROUP. If you would like to get further information on this event please send us an email on [email protected].

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E&S Group is attending the Largest Swiss Blockchain Summit 

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, ICOs, Malta, Law, E&S Group, Conference, Blockchain Leadership Summit

E&S Group is attending the Largest Swiss Blockchain Summit 

Switzerland has set bars to remain at the forefront, maintaining its position as a world leader in this technology. Statistics released by the investment group Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CVVC) show that over 600 companies and institutions are now located in Switzerland and neighbouring Liechtenstein, with 3,000 people employed. The report of CVVC is mostly focused on the TOP 50 companies in the blockchain industry based in the ‘Crypto Valley’.

“Switzerland is extremely well located on the Blockchain map”, explains Vincent Pignon, Blockchain adviser to the State of Geneva. According to the earlier report from PwC, Switzerland used to be the second in ranking at a global scale in 2017, just right after the USA, in terms of attracting the funds with ICOs.

In 2018, Switzerland is still holding on to its leading position in the industry by cooperation with Lichtenstein, in addition, assisting the banking sector to reform their banking access rules. The country maintains one of the biggest entrepreneurs and blockchain developers’ communities in the world and hosts the DLT-related events on a regular basis.

The largest Swiss Blockchain Summit, Blockchain Leadership Summit takes place on the 23rd and 24th of November, 2018. This key industry event will welcome 2500+ attendees, opinion leaders and industry drivers including:- investors, politicians, start-ups, executives and over 70 top speakers and experts. The topics discussed during the 2-day event will focus on Governance and Leadership in Blockchain, Financial Regulation, Institutional and Corporate Investment Sector, Taxation, Legalization and Insurance of Crypto Assets.

The first summit in Zurich was organised in March by InnMind, the first Swiss-made global business ecosystem for the innovative community, start-up founders, experts, investors, mentors and service providers. The event got the status of a global Think Tank of decision and policy makers from blockchain and crypto world united 30 world’s top experts, 500 professionals, proactive investors, and startups.

E&S Group team is going to Basel, the cultural capital of Switzerland, its oldest university city and the centre of European science, to join the community of the leading digital economy influencers and represent the Blockchain Island.

To learn more, visit: https://innmind.com/about

If you would like to attend one of the most significant events of the year with us, E&S Group will be happy to give you an exclusive 50% discount for any ticket. All you have to do is to use the promo code: BLS2018_exclusiveE&SGROUP. If you would like to get further information on this event please send us an email on [email protected].

 

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Why our world needs tokenomics?

Categories Economy, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, ICOs, Technology, Trading, Tokenomics, Tokens, Market, Market Cap, Cryptoeconomics

Why our world needs tokenomics?

There is no doubt that blockchain technology is going to pay a pretty big part in our future. Blockchain has the capacity to unlock a previously untapped economy of trust and it also has the potential to completely revolutionise many sectors from finance to healthcare and everything in between. But before it can reach its full potential, there is one extremely important thing missing: an established and well thought out theory of tokenomics.

Moving forward with blockchain technology and its implementation will require a significant increase in the advancement of tokenomics analysis. We are currently in the midst of a truly unchartered territory – governments and regulatory authorities don’t have a clue what is happening and even those involved directly in the industry are lacking clarity and certainty. Whilst the concept of tokenomics has been around for centuries, there is not much knowledge on artificial economies such as the of crypto world. One way that token economies can be analysed more closely is through the use of agent-based modelling, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Why study token economics?

Firstly, because tokenomics is extremely important. With the advent of blockchain technology, we are seeing more and more startups move towards using market business models. These models facilitate the incentivisation of users to make them more proactive in their day to day life. For example, a government could incentivise users to pay their taxes over the blockchain network. A retail company could offer discounts if clients use the blockchain to make their payments. Knowing and understanding how best to create and promote rewards through a particular economy requires a proper understanding of tokenomics models.

Also, token economies can also fall foul of all the problems that traditional economies have. For example, inflation, volatility, and crashes are all issues that can affect the long-term viability of a blockchain based business. Token economies do make it possible, however, to automatically collect data on transactions which can then be used to calculate metrics such as the total traded volume or the velocity. The tokenomics research community has a lot of work to do when it comes to being able to utilize the unique opportunities that are offered by the blockchain. By doing this they will be able to better understand how to solve some of the presented challenges.

The issue of token pricing

Some of the other issues that are at the forefront of the challenges faced by the sector include understanding token pricing. There is no definitive answer on how tokens should be priced, or how many should be issued. There is also much work needed when it comes to the equation of exchange that is used to help derive valuations for cryptocurrencies, some of which can be used to provide a better understanding of token pricing for ICOs. The problem is that at the moment, there is no proper model around this topic and until there is, the sector will struggle to find its feet.

Long-term viability

Many ICOs that have been launched made use of a model where tokens are disposed of as they are used up. This means that as the number of tokens decreases, supply becomes limited and the price goes up. Whilst this is attractive to investors and speculators, it doesn’t give much information or hope for the long-term viability of the token.

Controlling speculation

Unfounded speculation has caused untold amounts of damage to the crypto-economy, but it can also be one of the driving force behind the popularity surge of cryptocurrencies. Speculating and trading are not bad things per se, rather it is when they get out of control and result in market crashes similar to the one that we saw in January. Control needs to be exerted so that speculation is allowed, but does not wield power that can see a market decimated in days.

The economics of the future

Blockchain is not going anywhere anytime soon and it is becoming clearer that it is set to become an integral part of our lives. ICOs have raised an astonishing $6.5bn to date, but without a proper tokenomics model, many are sadly destined to fail. As ICOs mature, the same is required by tokenomics and understanding topics such as the ones mentioned above is an integral part of blockchains long-term success.

 

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A Half Year Report on virtual currencies in 2018

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, ICOs, Malta, ICO Legal Service, Law, The Blockchain Island, DLT Regulation, Smart Contracts, E&S Group, Technology, Trading, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Tokenomics, Regulation, Tokens, Binance, Utility Tokens, Security Tokens, DLT

A Half Year Report on virtual currencies in 2018

2018 has been an interesting year for crypto with colossal crashes, much-needed market adjustments, and of course, the emergence of a large number of new tokens and cryptocurrencies. Along with significant advances in regulation and legal frameworks that seek to understand, support, and protect those stakeholders operating within this new industry, there is no doubt that the rest of 2018 is going to be just as, if not more exciting as the previous six months.

Mid-January Market Crash

If you were holding Bitcoin in December 2017, you probably couldn’t believe your luck. As the value of a single Bitcoin headed towards $20k, a mad rush to invest ensued and predictions on where the price may head reached stratospheric new heights. Then on January 16th 2018, Bitcoin investors woke up to a nasty shock. The value of their coins had dropped by 15% and this news had a knock-on effect on the value of all other altcoins, causing a huge slump in the value of the market. The excitement and hype that had surrounded cryptocurrencies just a few days before, disappeared just like the profits of those who invested in it.

As prices continued to fall, investors started to panic. They started selling their coins in an effort to nip their losses in the bud and the moniker “Black Tuesday” was coined. Some crypto-coins saw losses of up to 40% and it seemed like many naysayers predictions were coming true and that the bubble had finally burst. Some voices remained steadfastly optimistic however and maintained that price slumps were common in all markets, not just the crypto one. After such an exponential increase in value, it was naturally expected that the market would correct itself because after every meteoric rise comes to a reverse-swing of the pendulum that needs to be ridden out – January was exactly that. As prices are now more stable it is hoped that they will increase at a steady rate, signalling a new era of market stability and maturity.

TRON Makes a Name for Itself

Since January of this year, TRON has experienced a steady increase in value. Despite a few issues, mainly caused by the crypto price-crash, it seemed to have found its niche which suggests a bright future for both the platform and its cryptocurrency.

TRON is a decentralised, blockchain-based, protocol project that functions as a content distribution platform for the digital entertainment industry. Whilst the platform itself is yet to go live the TRX coin is gaining significant traction.

Created by Justin Sun in 2017, the concept behind it is to establish a global network of free entertainment content which allows creators to publish, store and distribute their own content without the need for an intermediary. Whilst its value per coin was only $0.30 in January, it is expected to hit $1 by the end of 2018.

Its main selling point is that it is not just another cryptocurrency. It has a platform that solves a problem and offers functionality to a range of users and publishers. Over the last year, TRON has increased in value by 1.39% making it one of the top crypto coins in terms of growth, making it one to keep your eye on as we progress through 2018.

The Unexpected Rise of Litecoin

Many have dismissed Litecoin as “the poor man’s Bitcoin” but despite this, its popularity has increased drastically over the past few months. It was initially launched via an open-source client on GitHub in 2011, a sort of spin-off of the original Bitcoin Core client, but it offered much lower block generation times, a higher number of coins, a modified GUI, and a different hashing algorithm.

In 2013 it experienced a big surge in value and by May 2017 it had secured a spot as one of the Top 5 global cryptocurrencies in terms of its market cap. Now accepted by a wide range of online retailers, its adoption is increasing and many are seeing it as a better alternative to the rather bloated and over-inflated Bitcoin.

12 and even 6 months ago, blockchain was not something that was widely understood but as we progress to the end of 2018, it is expected that we will see a dramatic uptake of blockchain integration across a diverse range of sectors. Following in the footsteps of IBM, Microsoft, and Maersk, even smaller SMEs are likely to be interested in harnessing its potential.

Litecoin is predicted to peak at a value of over $600 per coin by the end of 2018 and there is no doubt that it has huge potential. Negating many of the issues that are faced by Bitcoin users, it presents a practical, simplified and completely viable alternative to the crypto-giant.

Malta Takes the Lead in Industry Regulation

In the last 12 months, it has seen cryptocurrency, blockchain and ICOs negate a minefield of regulatory and legal issues. Problems around its classification, AML and KYC regulations, and the reluctance of many banking institutions to support the burgeoning technology has resulted in many setbacks for the crypto world but that is all set to change.

The island of Malta has long been a hub for digital technologies and it is well known for its iGaming, Finserv and Fintech industries that when combined, account for around half of the country`s GDP. Then, in March 2018 the Government announced the drafting of three new bills that would seek to provide legal and regulatory clarification on DLT, crypto, and ICOs. These bills are the Virtual Financial Assets Bill which would provide a regulatory framework for ICOs and virtual currencies, the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill and the Technology Arrangements and Services Bill which will oversee companies that operate within the market, as well as providing a much-needed guidance and clarification.

This makes Malta the first jurisdiction in the EU, and the world to create a comprehensive legal framework that not only protects all stakeholders including operators and investors, but also supports the growth and development of the industry. By ensuring explicit legal clarification as well as adherence to AML and KYC regulations. This means that the industry will receive a much-needed confidence boost and will help to increase the  level of public trust in this new market sector.

Binance Relocates to Malta

As a result of Malta’s decision to support cryptocurrencies and related industries, an exciting announcement came just a few days later. Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world and commands 10% of the global trading volume as well as having a market capitalistion of $1.3billion at the time of writing. Its founder Changpeng Zhao started Binance in July 2017 and in just a couple of short months, it has grown to be the market leader.

Following the introduction of restrictive laws in Japan and China regarding cryptocurrencies and exchanges, Binance was on the look out for a more welcoming and flexible home. On March 23rd, Binance announced their move to Malta and the crypto community rejoiced. Such a vote of confidence is a big deal for the small EU country and it is expected that such a move will encourage many other companies and startups to follow suit.

The Blockchain Boom

This time last year, most people had heard of the blockchain but only in the context of it being intrinsically linked to Bitcoin. Now, the technology has broken away from just monetary uses and has earned a lot of attention for its potential. In the last few months, more and more use cases have come to prominence at blockchain has found uses in industries such as logistics, healthcare, politics, real estate, and even crypto-powered beer vending machines. It has also been tipped to completely revolutionize the way we vote, as well as provide microloans to SMEs in developing countries and to solve the energy crisis in third world countries.

 

E&S Group is a leading corporate & law firm offering various services with regards to ICOs. Feel free to contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out how E&S can help you in ‘making things happen’.

For more information click the link.

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Need for common EU online currency rules

Categories Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, European Commission, Technology

Need for Common EU Online Currency Rules

Report prepared for EU finance ministers has stated that European Member States should adopt common rules on cryptocurrencies and DLT technology. These rules should also apply to the process of creation, allocation, distribution and trading of the virtual assets.

Bruegel, a Brussels-based think tank has made the case for much clearer and more standardized rules on ICOs in order to mitigate risks and the possibility of exploitation. The document that is yet to be made officially public, will be presented to ministers at the end of the week.

Due to the size of the sector and the low percentage of trade in cryptocurrencies, the EU has so far not introduced or considered any comprehensive regulation. Fears over money laundering, fraud, and high volatility have so far discouraged them from making an official stance on the viability of the sector in terms of widespread regulation.

A volatile market

Since January this year, the market capitalisation of cryptocurrencies has fallen from $800 billion to just $200 billion, and Bitcoin has seen a drop of around 60% against the value of the dollar. But the expansion of crypto-related businesses into EU Member States such as Malta, as well as increased attention from international business and media means that regulators are being forced to reconsider.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is set to move to Malta, dubbed the “blockchain island” following a crackdown from the Chinese authorities.

Potential must be harnessed

Austria, the current holders of the EU rotating presidency has also asked questions about the lack of regulation, stating that “potential risks posed by crypt assets” need to be addressed whilst also allowing for the harnessing of their full potential.

Bruegel has however pointed out that blockchain regulating  is tough because of their digital nature, but the businesses facilitating their sale, trade, and exchange should have tougher rules imposed on them.

Whilst the EU has updated its Anti-Money Laundering directive, this is unlikely to be implemented any time before 2020, meaning that the sector will remain at the regulatory mercy of each individual member state.

Are you looking for ICO Legal Advice? Click this link to know more.

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E&S Groups’ Director Christian Ellul Speaks at 1st day of Delta Summit

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, Malta, Delta Summit, Panel Discussion

E&S Groups’ Director Christian Ellul Speaks at 1st day of Delta Summit

The world’s first official blockchain event kicked off in Malta yesterday, with E&S Group Director, Dr Christian Ellul partaking in one of the first panels of the event.

Taking place over three days at the InterContinental, it is the first event of its type to be supported by government and regulatory authorities. The aim behind the event is to allow Malta to further cement its position as the ‘Blockchain Island” and to promote innovation, technology, and opportunities within the industry, and the country. It is hoped that the event will strengthen Malta’s status as a leading centre of excellence for crypto and ICOs, whilst attracting further businesses and entrepreneurs to the island.

Dr Christian Ellul took part in a panel entitled “Malta: A Small Island-Nation with Global Ambition” which focussed on Malta’s place in the world of blockchain and crypto technology, and its power to lead the industry, despite the small size of the country. He was joined by Grahame Salt, Director of Frank Salt Real Estate Group; Imogen Heap, Founder of Mycelia; Rachel Wolfson, Crypto Journalist at Bitcoin Magazine; Dr Abdalla Kablan, Entrepreneur and Fintech Expert; and Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary in Malta.

The event sold out of tickets weeks in advance and was attended by around 1500 attendees including 75 high-profile industry leaders and experts, and foreign government officials. Other speakers that will take to the podium during the even include Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat; Minister of Finance, Edward Scicluna; Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao; Wikipedia co-founder, Larry Sanger and many more.

 

The Delta Summit is a valuable opportunity for expert service providers such as E&S Group to mix with international stakeholders, business owners, and innovative entrepreneurs. If you are attending Delta Summit and you would like to meet one of our team, please contact us by sending an email on [email protected] or filling in the form here to arrange an appointment.

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The KYC Process for ICO Investors

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, ICOs, Malta, The Blockchain Island, Know Your Customer, Anti Money Laundering

The KYC Process for ICO Investors

As ICOs have gained popularity across the world, so are they coming under the watchful eyes of regulatory bodies and authorities now. Whilst many jurisdictions are not particularly clear on where they stand when it comes to ICOs, Know Your Customer (KYC) is a globally understood concept. Issuers of ICOs want to know who is investing in their project and investors want to know who they are dealing with – legitimate, trustworthy, and credible partnership.

But what is KYC and why do ICOs need it?

What is KYC?

KYC is an abbreviation for “Know Your Customer” and it refers to the process of a business or commercial entity, verifying the identity of its clients. It also helps to ascertain any risks of illegal intentions such as money laundering or the financing of terrorism.

By gathering KYC documents such as government-issued photographic ID, proof of address, and information on the source of any relevant funds, the company can establish the authenticity of an individual’s identity – something that is essential when dealing with money, assets, or other financial services. It is also important to know whether an investor or individual is a Politically Exposed person, a criminal, or someone that may pose a risk to the integrity of the business.

The undertaking of KYC is mandatory for many processes such as opening a bank account, forming a company, becoming a director in an enterprise, or even procuring the services of a lawyer or accountant. It is also becoming more prevalent in the world of cryptocurrency and ICOs as authorities and governments strive to regulate and legitimise the flourishing industry.

Why the world of finance needs KYC

The reason why KYC is needed in the world of finance is obvious – because many misbehaving actors attempt to use the financial system for nefarious activities. These can include setting up fraudulent structures, dodging tax, money laundering, proceeds of crime, facilitating bribery, or funding terrorist organisations.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that around 5% of the global GDP is laundered each year, which translates to billions of euros, just through the European Union member states alone. When reputable businesses get inadvertently involved in such activities, the outcome can be devastating. Not only can they lose money and incur hefty penalties, but they risk irreparable reputational damage and even the closure of their business. As bad actors become more and more sophisticated in the way in which they circumvent KYC and AML laws, businesses have to be more dedicated in the way that they adhere to applicable regulations.

In the digital world, one of the fastest growing sectors, the use of KYC is even more important. Using the internet and cryptocurrency allows users a degree of customers anonymity which means that it is open to abuse. By ensuring that KYC is upheld, those operating in the cryptocurrency, blockchain, and ICO sector can enjoy a greater level of security.

KYC in Malta

Malta has recently introduced three new Bills that will regulate cryptocurrency, blockchain, and ICOs within the country. As well as these Malta-specific laws, businesses operating in and from the country must adhere to the EU 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive. It is also worth noting that the EU 5th Anti Money Laundering Directive is due to be implemented not later than January 2020, and it will provide more depth requirements for issuers of ICOs to satisfy.

Provisions in the new laws have put in place strict requirements that both ICO providers and investors must adhere to. Complying with such requirements offers many advantages including legitimacy, confidence and transparency. It will also allow ICO issuers to reach a wider global audience as well as to increase the number of jurisdictions in which the ICO offering can take place. Furthermore, many cryptocurrency exchanges are starting to refuse to list tokens or coins that are not compliant with AML and KYC regulations.

At E&S Group, we have the knowledge and the experience to help you create the applicable KYC processes that your ICO or startup needs. We have a full understanding of both local, EU and international laws and requirements in these areas and we can assist in advising and creating policies that will ensure full compliance with the law. Do not risk the integrity of your business and reputation, make sure you know who you are dealing with and operate on the right side of the law, at all times. Contact us today by sending us an email on [email protected] to find out more.

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MFSA organised a seminar titled: Due Diligence and Cybersecurity in Relation to DLT

Categories Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, Malta, The Blockchain Island, DLT Regulation, Smart Contracts, Technology, Trading, Regulation, Artificial Intelligence, Tokens, Conference, MFSA, DLT, Privacy

MFSA organised a seminar titled: Due Diligence and Cybersecurity in Relation to DLT

 

Last Tuesday, 11th September, MFSA organised a day seminar for those who work in the field of DLT and Fintech which took place at Corinthia Palace Attard. The seminar titled ‘Due Diligence and Cybersecurity in Relation to DLT’, discussed many challenging issues that the DLT is facing. Many topics were discussed during this seminar, with a particular focus on cybersecurity, hacking and fraud.

E&S Group was represented by its team who gained a better insight into this ever-growing space.

Speakers from around the world, (most notably coming from France, Germany, England and the USA), attended the seminar. They spoke about their concern about hackers’ attacks which are made every day, and also covering the topic of frauds. In fact, in the past few years, many banks have experienced some kind of attack, with the consequence of losing their customers’ money. As a result, this has made the DLT space to look like a high-risk sector. However, everyone working in a network is subjected to an attack. The speakers all agreed that the blockchain technology needs to implement some sort of due diligence on the platform, preventing any hacks and tarnishing the sector further.

Moreover, it was discussed that crypto investors should conduct a due diligence procedure, helping banks and exchanges to identify who is fraudulent or not. Those institutions that do not follow any due diligence procedures are subjected to hackers accessing customers’ wallets, thus resulting in the bankruptcy of the company. In order to prevent such theft in the sector, cryptographers are creating complex algorithms to prevent such wrongdoings. This will help maintain the system to stay safe in combination with constant checks done to make sure no access is given to intruders. Mrs Maria Vello from Cyber Defence Alliance pointed out that that hackers are not anonymous and many criminals who stole money from banks have been caught by police.

VFA Agents in DLT

The event also highlighted the importance of VFA Agents. Accountants, auditors and lawyers who are applying to become a licenced VFA Agents have to go through a rigorous procedure, including, an exam, an interview and the applicable due diligence. The MFSA stated that this procedure is important to eliminate any “bad practises” within the industry. Moreover, the licenced VFA Agents need to conduct the Financial instrument test on their clients, thus presenting all the required information, one of which being the white paper, to the authority.

Malta has become the leading jurisdiction to have a friendly approach on DLT sector. At E&S Group we have helped over 80 ICOs to launch their project in Malta. If you would like to join these companies but require further advice, please contact us at [email protected] or by telephone on +356 2010 3020. We make things happen!

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