In this year’s annual general meeting, the BOV chair confirmed that the bank is keenly monitoring developments in the cryptocurrency field in terms of how best to approach it- a second time. The Bank of Valletta (BOV) is the largest and the oldest bank in Malta. Although they are keen on cryptocurrencies, Deo Scerri, BOV chair, noted that their watch spans on the whole of the blockchain technology also known as the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) but with a special interest on cryptocurrencies.
To help them have a more intimate contact with digital assets, Deo noted that they, together with other banks have,
“Formed a strategic committee to deal with the crypto world; we are dealing with it. We know there might be problems with correspondent banks for us to trade these currencies on the open markets. We are taking all steps to speak to people in the cryptocurrency world and banks to see how to manage the situation. We are acting on it to see how to move forward. Obviously, we need to see the Bills and the regulations so that we will know how to take the matters forward.”
His comments come at a time when the Maltese parliament is in the process of debating 3 bills aimed at bringing regulations in the Maltese cryptocurrency market. On how much the laws, if passed, will affect the virtual money space and the DLT as a whole, the BOV chair said that they will have a very major impact “because these Bills will regulate how these companies will operate in Malta”
The cryptocurrency bills currently under the scrutiny of the Maltese parliament are the: virtual finance assets bill, Malta digital innovation authority bill, and the technology arrangements & services bill.
As the BOV is watching the developments in the cryptocurrency field, it must be noted that, in late last year, the bank abruptly changed its policy a move that made it impossible for the bank’s clients to buy cryptocurrencies. As Malta becomes a favorite ground for cryptocurrency exchanges, regulations will be of apt importance.
Whether Scerri’s recent remarks will lead to a change of heart from the bank is something we are yet to see.
If the cryptocurrency-related bills are passed into law, do you think the BOV will stop monitoring developments in the cryptocurrency field from a distance and re-open the bank to cryptocurrency related activities?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.