Licensing, consulting and support services
The use of blockchain technology has seen a tremendous growth during the last few years and can be applied in a large variety of sectors (e.g. trade and commerce, healthcare, governance etc.). Potential applications of blockchain technology can include fund transfers, pledging of collateral, registration of shares, settling trades, voting, and many other issues. In its most widely used form nowadays, blockchain is the technology that forms the backbone of the crypto-market. It is the technology behind the large variety of cryptocurrencies currently in circulation (i.e. the technology that cryptocurrencies can run). Moreover, blockchain technology offers the possibility to tokenize assets. Tokenization is a method that converts rights to an asset into a digital token. It is effectively a means to represent ownership of assets on a blockchain. Virtually anything can be tokenized, ranging from physical goods to traditional financial instruments.
Our Blockchain expertise and services
We can provide you with advice and consultation in relation to the vast spectrum of the blockchain technology. We can assist and advise in any blockchain implementation (including the development of tokens) such as:
- Determine the best possible way to include and use blockchain technologies in your business.
- Assist in developing and incorporating the blockchain technology into your business.
- Due diligence audits that provide management with insights and guidance on their platform, technology development, use case, token economy, product roadmap and business model.
- Assistance and guidance on Asset Tokenization.
- Educational services tailored to your Blockchain needs in the form of online or onsite trainings
Cryptocurrencies or Cryptos has become a “buzzword” recently which refers to a form of virtual/digital currencies (i.e. a digital representation of value, issued by private developers and denominated in their own unit of account) that utilise a technological technique better known as cryptography.
Our Cryptocurrency expertise and services
Our team of experts is ready to assist you with your needs for:
- Listing of Tokens on Exchanges. Assistance with the process of conducting due diligence on tokens applying to be traded on an exchange as well as assisting with the relevant applications.
- Setup of Crypto Exchange. We can assist with the incorporation, jurisdiction guidance, legal support and regulatory licensing of Crypto Exchanges worldwide.
- Storing and exchanging of cryptocurrencies. We can guide you with the purchase, sale, conversion and storing of cryptocurrencies.
- Educational services. Offer crypto specific courses for your personnel from experts in the field with real world use case applications.
ICO (Initial Coin Offering)
An ICO is a new way of raising money from the public, using so-called coins or tokens. In an ICO, a business or individual issues coins or tokens and puts them for sale in exchange for fiat currencies, such as the Euro, or more often virtual currencies, e.g. Bitcoin or Ether.
ICOs are used to raise funds for a variety of projects, including but not limited to businesses leveraging on the Blockchain.
The features and purpose of the coins or tokens vary across ICOs:
- Some coins or tokens serve to access or purchase a service or product that the issuer develops using the proceeds of the ICO (usually called utility tokens);
- Others provide voting rights or a share in the future revenues of the issuing venture (usually called security or asset tokens);
- Some have no tangible value; and
- Some coins or tokens are traded and/or may be exchanged into fiat or virtual currencies at specialised coin exchanges after issuance.
Our ICO expertise and services
The MAP S.Platis team of experts is ready to present you with a comprehensive array of Initial Coin Offering services. They include:
- Assessing your needs. We will assist you assess your needs and ensure that your ICO meets your objectives.
- Legal and regulatory support and advice. Depending on the functionality of the chosen token model, an ICO may be subject to licensing or other regulatory requirements (e.g. AML). We will help you navigate through the complex legal requirements and obtain any regulatory approvals, when needed.
- Guidance. We will help you navigate complex accounting rules and reporting requirements, pressures on time and resources, and managing new stakeholders during the ICO process.
- Corporate setup. We will help you with respect to the implementation of an established, accepted and transparent structure to best fit your needs.
- Marketing and token launching support. We will assist you with the launching of your token as well as with all marketing/advertising needs to make your ICO successful.
- Whitepaper development. We will assist you develop an appealing whitepaper to the market to demonstrate your project’s concept, application, benefits, potential and opportunities.
- Educational services. Provide seminars or courses that cover among others types of ICOs, ICO process, regulation and strategy.
Crypto-asset service providers and AML
On 19 June, 2018, the European Parliament announced the adoption of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive 2018/843 (the “AMLD5 Directive”).
In an effort to prevent the exploitation of platforms that offer virtual currencies for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes, the AMLD5 Directive expands the scope of previous directives. Virtual currencies are now legally defined, while providers engaged in the exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, as well as custodian wallet providers, now fall under the scope of the AMLD5 Directive. The virtual market is now forced to implement adequate anti-money laundering control frameworks and comply with the standards imposed to the rest of the market. Anonymity offered through virtual currency networks becomes limited and the use of such networks is closely monitored.
Following recommendations by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a number of EU Member States decided to extend the scope of their AML laws beyond the provisions of the AMLD5 Directive in order to also include in the scope of the AML/CFT obligations activities such as the exchange between crypto assets and crypto assets, transfer of virtual assets and the participation and/or provision of financial services related to the distribution, offering and sale of crypto assets.
On the 23rd of February 2021 L.13(I)/2021 was published in the official Gazette of the Government of Cyprus, which revises the Cyprus AML Law bringing it in line with the EU’s AMLD5 Directive.
As regards crypto-asset service providers, the activity brought into scope of the revised Cyprus AML Law covers the following:
- Crypto-asset exchanges (crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto and vice versa).
- Management, administration, transmission, transfer, retention, custodianship and safekeeping of crypto-assets or cryptographic keys or means which allow for the exercise control in crypto-assets.
- Offering and/or sale of crypto-assets, including the initial offering.
- Participation and/or provision of financial services related to the distribution, offering and/or sale of crypto-assets, including the initial offering.
- Financial services related to the distribution, offering and/or sale of crypto-assets’ covers the following services and activities:
- Reception and transmission of orders.
- Execution of orders on behalf of clients.
- Dealing on own account.
- Portfolio management.
- Provision of investment advice.
- Underwriting and/or placing of crypto-assets on a firm commitment basis.
- Placing of crypto-assets without a firm commitment basis.
- Operation of a multilateral system where multiple third-party buying and selling trading interests in crypto-assets are able to interact in the system in a way that results in a transaction.
In Cyprus, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is the authority assigned to regulate Providers of Services related to crypto-assets as well as to maintain a register of such providers.
How can MAP S.Platis assist you with your ICO / Blockchain and Cryptocurrency licensing and other relevant services needs?
With a team of more than 100 multidisciplinary financial services consultants, MAP S.Platis is the leader in the field of CySEC and EU authorisation and licensing for a variety of financial institutions, including Crypto-asset providers.
All our licensing services include:
- Consulting on the form of a group’s presence in Cyprus and the rest of the EU;
- Advisory support towards the authorisation and registration of an EU financial institution (including Cryptocurrency providers);
- Preparation of the Application File in accordance with current regulatory requirements to include the following activities, among others:
- Design and build the corporate and organizational structure based on your needs (in a cost-efficient way);
- Prepare a custom-built Operations Manual in the most efficient manner and based on your needs;
- Prepare the Anti-Money Laundering Manual (AML) and the Know Your Client (KYC) policies and procedures in the most efficient manner and based on your needs;
- Prepare the business plan;
- Complete the application form to be submitted to the relevant EU regulatory authority;
- Review the questionnaires of the shareholders, directors and heads of departments of the proposed firm;
- Locate qualified executive and non-executive directors (if needed);
- Complete the relevant checklists;
- Prepare necessary justifications to be submitted to the relevant EU regulatory authority, as applicable;
- Prepare the letter(s) to accompany the application in the event that any exception may be requested;
- Guide you in providing all the necessary documentation and certificates;
- Answer any relevant questions concerning the application process, and;
- Respond on your behalf to the Authority’s queries and suggestions relating to the application.
In addition to the above, our clients trust us for:
- Day-to-day operational issues and support on various regulatory topics such as AML any many other;
- Changing shareholders and directors;
- Structuring and restructuring units and departments;
- Procedures, Manuals and policies drafting, updating and/or redrafting;
- Client Account Opening Questionnaires drafting and/or reviewing;
- Compliance Monitoring Programme drafting and/or review;
- Evaluation and analysis of systems and controls;
- Adjustments and changes to the organisational structure;
- Suitability assessment of prospective personnel;
- Reporting to and dealing with the Regulator;
- Assistance and guidance with the preparation of annual/quarterly/monthly reports;
- General strategic advice (related to regulatory matters);
- Onsite inspections;
- Assistance with clients’ complaints;
- Regulatory update notifications;
- Website and marketing material compliance reviews;
- Assistance with updating regulatory Electronic Records;
- Calculation of regulatory Annual Fees;
- Regulatory Gap compliance analysis and impact assessment;
- Security controls;
- Business continuity and disaster recovery;
- Compliance Health Checks; and
- Thematic assurance reviews.
For more information on our Blockchain and Crypto asset services, please complete the form below: