Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services Practitioners

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services Practitioners

Regulation

The pass rate for the exam developed by the Maltese government for financial services practitioners seeking to obtain cryptocurrency agent certification is reportedly only 39 percent. The exam is part of the requirements mandated by the country’s newly established Virtual Financial Assets Act.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Low Pass Rate

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services PractitionersUnder Malta’s Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) Act, practitioners who wish to act as agents in the field that includes cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) must successfully complete a short training course and pass an exam.

Noting that the first exam took place in September, the Times of Malta reported on Thursday:

Nearly two-thirds of those applying for cryptocurrency agent certification failed the official assessment process despite last-second changes intended to boost the pass rate.

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services PractitionersThe exam was set by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and administered by the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners.

The news outlet quoted sources revealing that about 250 lawyers, accountants, and auditors took the exam, which consisted of a series of multiple choice questions. “Once the exam papers were graded, it became clear the pass rate was extremely low,” the publication conveyed, adding that “Even after the changes the pass rate was just 39 percent.”

License Required

According to the MFSA’s consultation document for VFA service providers, “any person who is providing a VFA service … shall within twelve months apply for a license with the competent authority in terms of Article 14 to the Act,” the CBS Group described.

Only 39 Percent Pass Malta’s Cryptocurrency Exam for Financial Services PractitionersThe MFSA wrote, “It has also become evident that certain industry players are not sufficiently prepared to register as VFA agents.” The regulator, therefore, proposes a number of additional rules for them to comply. They include increasing the initial and ongoing capital requirements as well as regulatory fees. In addition, the MFSA proposes “introducing a rigorous competence assessment” and “a mandatory requirement for Continuous Professional Education.”

The Times of Malta elaborated, “The VFA Act is one of three new laws forming part of the government’s ‘Blockchain Island’ strategy and which seek to regulate the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector,” adding that “It will enter into force in November.” Other than trading cryptocurrencies and issuing ICOs, the publication explained:

Companies looking to provide other virtual financial asset services, such as portfolio management or investment advice, also need an agent to apply for a licence.

What do you think of the low pass rate for the Maltese cryptocurrency agent certification exam? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and MFSA.


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Marks Jewelers Now Accepting Bitcoin Cash for Payments

Marks Jewelers Now Accepting Bitcoin Cash for Payments

Services

U.S. jewelry retailer Marks Jewelers has started accepting payments in cryptocurrency, including bitcoin cash. Shoppers can now pay for luxury goods such as fine diamonds, watches and engagement rings using BCH and seven other digital currencies.

Also read: Report: Emerging Markets See Sharp Growth in Cashless Transactions

Retailer to Cut Costs with
Low BCH Transaction Fees

In addition to BCH, the company is now accepting payments in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. “This will allow us to make our fine jewelry available to the global market while paying lower fees and avoiding chargebacks,” Joshua Rubin, director of marketing at Marks Jewelers, said in an online statement. Marks Jewelers Now Accepting Bitcoin Cash for Payments

Marks Jewelers is already one of the biggest jewelry retailers in the U.S. market. But Rubin said that the new payment methods, established in partnership with e-commerce platform Shopping Cart Elite, will help to expand access to its jewelry range for buyers throughout the world. The Pennsylvania-based company, which has sold diamonds and jewelry for 35 years, said that the removal of currency conversion charges will help it cut costs. It wants to pass those savings over to jewelry shoppers in the form of lower retail prices.

Cheaper Than Credit Cards

Marks Jewelers joins a growing list of jewelry retailers, including Samer Halimeh New York and Reeds, that are starting to accept payments in cryptocurrencies such as BCH. Bitcoin cash offers fast, reliable and inexpensive transactions compared with traditional means of sending money. Marks Jewelers Now Accepting Bitcoin Cash for Payments For example, credit and debit card providers generally charge fees that are as much as 3.5 percent of every transaction. That compares with transaction fees of around $1 or less for cryptocurrency-based purchases, regardless of the amount of each transaction.

According to Coinline, which provides a directory of merchants that accept payments in bitcoin cash, more than 210 retailers throughout the world now handle transactions in the cryptocurrency. Australia is home to the greatest concentration of merchants that welcome BCH as a form of payment, with about 80 locations in total accepting it.

What do you think about using cryptocurrencies such as BCH to pay for retail goods? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com

Report: Emerging Markets See Sharp Growth in Cashless Transactions

Report: Emerging Markets See Sharp Growth in Cashless Transactions

Economy & Regulation

South Africa is the most cryptocurrency-friendly country in Africa, according to the 2018 World Payments Report by French banking group BNB Paribas and IT company Capgemini. Compared to other major economies on the continent, South Africa has allowed digital currency-based payments, trades and investments to flourish almost unhindered.

Also read: African Cryptocurrency Exchanges Forced to Step-Up Security

  As Digital Payments Rise, Leading African Economies Trade Cautiously on Cryptocurrency

The report, released Oct.17, concluded that digital payments, including cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, have grown sharply all around the world, and “are experiencing a boom, driven by developing markets”, including Africa.

Report: Emerging Markets See Sharp Growth in Cashless Transactions

Ghana and Kenya, the 11th and 9th biggest economies in Africa, respectively, are still in the consultation phase. Nigeria, the continent’s biggest economy, with a GDP of $376 billion, is opposed to virtual currency, officials have said. The central banks of Kenya and Nigeria have both likened cryptocurrencies to a “pyramid scheme.”

“The central bank of Nigeria has also imposed a complete ban on bitcoin and the likes, while Brazil also has banned cryptocurrency,” said the report, which detailed that global cashless transactions rose 10.1 percent to 482.6 billion at the end of 2016. Non-cash transactions include checks, debit cards, credit card payments, credit transfers and direct debit transactions.

South Africa Leads in Crypto Regulation, Adoption and Development

Africa has steadily accelerated the switch to modern technologies. Cellphone-based payments have expanded particularly fast in countries like Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. But it is South Africa, the continent’s most sophisticated economy, that leads the pack where cryptocurrency regulation, adoption and development is concerned.

The economy is home to a number of bitcoin ATMs and digital currency exchanges – including Luno, which has two million customers throughout the world – allowing people to buy and sell digital coins in the local fiat currency, rand. Domestic financial companies, including banks, are starting to step into the space. On Monday, Standard Bank said it is looking to establish a number of events to help explain the benefits and risks of cryptocurrency and the blockchain.

South Africa Most Cryptocurrency Friendly Country in Africa: Report

This is all thanks to the open-mindedness of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). Although the regulator does not recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender, it has not prevented trade in such. In April, the bank announced plans to create guidelines for cryptocurrency markets in the country. SARB has also tested an inter-bank settlement system code named Project Kohka, which runs on the Ethereum blockchain, aiming to speed up payments.

Emerging Markets See Sharp Growth in Cashless Transactions

Meanwhile, the World Payments Report – based on data from the World Bank, the Bank for International Settlements and the European Central Bank’s statistical database – showed that developing markets are at the forefront of a global boom in digital payments, with Russia (annual growth of 36.5 percent), India (33.2 percent) and China (25.8 percent) as notable movers in the 2015-16 period.

Mature markets maintained steady growth of more than 7 percent in the period under review. Developing markets are seen growing 21.6 percent, led by Asia at 28.8 percent over the next five years. By 2021, developing markets are expected to account for around half of all non-cash transactions worldwide, overtaking the mature markets for the first time, whose current share stands at 66.3 percent.

Anirban Bose, CEO of Capgemini’s Financial Services, said it is critical for banks to find ways to tap into cryptocurrencies and other non-cash payment methods if they are to remain relevant.

South Africa Most Cryptocurrency Friendly Country in Africa: Report

“With their significant market share in the payments industry and implementation of new technologies, banks are in a unique position to shape the marketplace. They can also create new revenue streams through innovative, collaborative relationships with fintechs and active participation by the broader financial services community,” Bose said in a separate press release.

The report further indicated that high numbers of non-cash transactions can provide benefits to the society, addressing growing challenges of corruption – especially in Africa. This is because non-cash transactions share a positive linear correlation with corruption perception index.

This probably emanates from the fact that digital transactions from financial institutions and mobile money can be more easily traced than cash, hence can allow law enforcement agents to investigate and prosecute the suspicious transactions. The WPR report also noted that the more payments are shifted to cashless instruments, the more likely that huge cash transactions can be “flagged and investigated, reducing the possible means of accepting illicit or fraudulent payments.”

“Governments should create the necessary supply-side push for such transactions by creating the supporting infrastructure, bringing positive change with regulations, and promoting non-cash transations to create a conducive environment for digital transactions to grow,” the report warned.

What do you think about the cryptocurrency landscape in Africa? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com