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Estonia to Tighten Grip on Crypto Companies

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The Estonian Ministry of Finance has proposed certain amendments to the recently passed financial bill that envisions to prevent money laundering. The amendments are sure to "tighten" crypto-related regulation, as reported by Estonian financial newspaper Aripaev, on November 29.

The article stated that a new version of the Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) and Terrorist Prevention Act came into force this week in Estonia, and it adheres to the rules outlined in the EU's "Fourth Money Laundering Prevention drive".

The new regulation introduces "virtual currency exchange service providers" and "virtual currency payment service providers," in contrast to the former containing only "alternative means of the payment service provider."

a new version of the Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) and Terrorist Prevention Act came into force this week in Estonia

The Financial Supervision Authority (FI) feels that crypto-related service provider companies introduce money laundering risks, which is the reason for the announcement of new amendments, according to Aripaev.

Estonia had earlier been planning to release their own digital asset, the government-owned Estcoin. However, the decision was later rolled back when it faced heavy criticism at the hands of the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi.

Canada, too is working on their own Anti-Money-Laundering regulations for cryptocurrency. The recommendation came earlier this month, during a review of Proceeds of Crime Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) by the Canadian House Finance Committee.

It is to be noted that Estonia is considered one of Europe's most crypto-friendly nations and was remarkably the one spearheading a licensing regime for the companies in the crypto sector. This had attracted multiple crypto businesses, which could now operate legally within a European jurisdiction.

The Estonian news outlet Err.ee has quoted that about 444 wallet providers and 526 cryptocurrency trading platforms are currently licensed to operate in the country.

Since the adoption of this framework last year, close to a 1000 entities have been regulated by the Financial Authority of Estonia. The regulator issues mainly two types of licenses. The Estonian news outlet Err.ee has quoted that about 444 wallet providers and 526 cryptocurrency trading platforms are currently licensed to operate in the country.

Home to a unique e-residency program and developed e-government infrastructure, Estonia is an efficient and fast provider of services. As news.Bitcoin.com reported earlier, the application process for a crypto license takes only about two weeks, of which conforming to several know-your-customer norms and Anti-Money-Laundering requirements constitute a relevant part.

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