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High failure rate at crypto agent exam in Malta

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Daily Times of Malta reports that almost two-thirds failed at the cryptocurrency agent certification of Malta even though the examiners attempted to ease the process.

After the Virtual Financial Assets Act came into effect last November, it became mandatory to pass a training course and an exam, for all those looking to work as “agents” in the crypto sector. The “agents” here refers to practitioners such as lawyers, accountants, and auditors.

Around 250 people took the exam which included a series of multiple-choice questions and was graded with a negative marking scheme. The percentage of successful candidates was extremely low, so the examiners made a last-minute change to ease the marking scheme. Still, the pass rate was no more than 39 percent.

The Virtual Financial Assets 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. The availability of VFA agents is crucial as they are required by all companies issuing initial coin offerings, a means of raising capital by selling virtual assets to investors and trading these assets on exchanges.

The exam’s coordinator, the Institute of Financial Service Practitioners, has reportedly declined to comment on the matter.

The financial services watchdog issued a consultation document saying it had “become evident that certain industry players are not sufficiently prepared to register as VFA agents” and that there was a “need to address an existing expectations gap, particularly in view of the inherent risks of this sector”. The Malta Financial Services Authority proposed a more competent assessment and increased the capital requirements and regulatory fees. They also introduced a mandatory requirement for continuous professional education.

In July, Cointelegraph reported hat the world-renowned Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) examination had added cryptocurrency and blockchain to the curriculum, as part of a new section called “Fintech in Investment Management” in its 2019 exam.

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