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The platform has been granted a difficult-to-obtain Electronic Money Institution (EMI) licence by Maltese regulators.
Crypto.com, a payments platform, has become the first cryptocurrency company to get Malta’s Electronic Money Institution (EMI) licence, allowing it to issue payment cards and provide clients with direct bank transactions.
The licence is in addition to the Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) licence granted to crypto.com by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) in May.
“Being the first global cryptocurrency platform to receive an EMI License from the MFSA is a major milestone for the industry as a whole,” said Kris Marszalek, crypto.com CEO and co-founder, in a statement on Thursday.
The payments platform and exchange is headquartered in Hong Kong. Marszalek added that crypto.com is currently in the process of obtaining licenses in every country in which it operates.
The crypto licensing carousel
Obtaining the necessary permits is critical for crypto companies to operate securely. Regulators have increased their scrutiny on cryptocurrency exchanges that operate without the necessary permits in recent months.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has recently received the short end of the stick from regulators all around the world.
The exchange originally hoped to get Malta’s EMI licence. Nonetheless, the MFSA made care to stress out in February 2020 that the exchange was not permitted to operate out of Malta, despite the very public nature of its relocation to the ostensibly crypto-friendly Mediterranean island in 2018.
When Malta’s crypto laws were revealed in 2018, they were hailed as the most creative in the world. However, despite the country’s crypto-friendly reputation and “Blockchain Island” hoopla, the application process is costly, and rules are overly rigors, according to industry insiders.
Approximately 70% of companies that passed the first stage of the MFSA application procedure failed to make the cut after Maltese authorities tightened their regulations in response to European Union worries about money laundering.
Despite the extra measures, evaluators from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June put Malta on a “grey list” of countries that are not doing enough to prevent financial crime.