MGA launches second phase of cryptocurrency experiment

4 September 2019

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has commenced the second phase of its Sandbox Framework, the intitative designed to explore the use of cryptocurrency by licensed gaming operators.

Following the first phase, which launched in January and saw licensees permitted to carry out tests of blockchain assets in a controlled environment, phase two sees the regulator accept applications for Innovative Technology Arrangements (ITAs).

These comprise services and solutions such as smart contracts and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) platforms.

In order to gain approval for an ITA, operators must first undergo an audit carried out by an auditor registered with the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA). The MGA will then assess whether the operator will adhere to regulatory requirements before granting approval.

Meanwhile, in relation to the initiative, the MGA has confirmed it is to extend the duration of the Sandbox Regulatory Framework until December 31, 2021. The initial phase had been due to run for 10 months, and was only open to operators that already held a licence from the MGA.

After the success of phase one, which focused on the use of DLT technology such as blockchain, the regulator has also amended its guidance on ITAs and the acceptance of cryptocurrencies.

In addition, the MGA has updated its Licensee Relationship Management System (LRMS) so that both prospective and existing licence-holders are able to apply for approval to integrate ITAs within their operations.