MGA Spills Details on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Sandbox Framework during Inaugural Delta Summit

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blockchain technology“The MGA’s strategic mission is to be at the forefront of gaming regulation whilst embracing innovation”, says newly appointed MGA Chief Executive Officer Heathcliff Farrugia

The Malta Gaming Authority released today information about its recently introduced Sandbox Framework for the acceptance and broader adoption of Virtual Financial Assets and Virtual Tokens (cryptocurrencies) and Innovative Technology Arrangements (ITAs) as part of the island nation’s strategy to become a leading blockchain and virtual currency hub.

The local gambling regulator shed new details about its updated approach toward cryptocurrencies and the technology powering those during the inaugural edition of Delta Summit. The brand-new conference is currently taking place at the Intercontinental Arena Conference Centre in St. Julian’s, Malta and aims to promote blockchain technology and other technology innovations that can be successfully implemented in the gambling and financial sectors.

The MGA said in a press release on its official website that its Sandbox Framework, which was approved by Maltese lawmakers earlier this year, will roll out in two phases. The first phase will begin on January 1, 2019 and will involve the regulatory body accepting applications for the use of DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) assets (that is Virtual Financial Assets and Virtual Tokens) as a payment method. The second phase will involve the extension of the Sandbox Framework so that it accepts applications for the use of ITAs within important technical equipment of MGA licensees.

Commenting on the latest developments within Malta’s Sandbox Framework initiative, MGA Chief Executive Heathcliff Farrugia said during the ongoing Delta Summit:

The MGA’s strategic mission is to be at the forefront of gaming regulation whilst embracing innovation. This, coupled with the rapid rise in interest from gaming operators to incorporate VFAs and DLT into their operations, were the main drivers behind the proactive approach taken by the Authority to issue a Sandbox Framework for the use of these technologies within a controlled regulatory environment.

What’s Next for the Sandbox Framework?

cementThe MGA said in its press release that the framework has been crafted as a live document which means that feedback from interested parties is welcome and that the framework will be subject to potential updates over its duration. The regulator further pointed out that the framework will run through the end of October 2019 and that it could be partially or wholly extended.

News about the MGA’s plans to run a sandbox test environment to determine the benefits and risks of the use of cryptocurrencies and the technology within Malta’s gambling industry behind those first emerged last September. The initiative will mostly focus on established virtual currencies but operator-generated tokens will, too, be evaluated, it has also become clear.

The launch of the sandbox test arrives shortly after Malta implemented its new Gaming Act. The legislative piece includes provisions that scrap and simplify the nation’s previous system for issuing licenses to interested gambling companies. Instead of multiple licenses, the MGA now grants two categories of licenses – for B2B operations and B2C operations. The enforcement of the updated Gaming Act is part of Malta’s strategy to further cement its reputation as a preferred online gambling and innovative technology destination.

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