The bay near Valletta in Malta
The bay near Valletta in Malta. Shutterstock

Hong Kong-based has become one of the first crypto exchanges to receive approval for two financial licenses by the Maltese government, the company said in a blog post on 24 November.

According to the announcement, the firm was granted in-principle approval for a Financial Institution License and a Class 3 Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) License by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). While these licenses govern how payment companies operate and what services they can provide, they were granted “in-principle” only, meaning that the firm still needs to cover some MFSA conditions before it receives the full licenses. The CEO of, Kris Marszalek, said in a statement:

“We have a long-standing commitment to building a fully regulated business in every market we operate in. Being one of the first cryptocurrency platforms to receive in-principle approval for a Class 3 VFA License and a Financial Institution License is an important milestone and we look forward to securing licenses in more markets throughout 2021.”


Once it meets these conditions, the firm will be able to provide payment services, issue electronic money, and offer investment management services. Though it is one of the first crypto-related firms to receive these regulatory approvals from the Malta government, it currently operates under the transitory provisions of the VFA Act in Malta.

Known as the “Blockchain Island” amongst the crypto community, Malta is one of the few countries around the world with “clear regulations on crypto.” Back in 2018, its government established a crypto regulatory framework by introducing three laws, namely the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, and the Virtual Financial Asset Act.