Estonia’s Government Still Wants to Implement Stricter Rules for Licensing Crypto Firms
The new Estonian government plans to further tighten regulations on companies dealing in cryptocurrency. The Ministry of Finance plans to tighten anti-money laundering measures in connection with a major money laundering scandal involving Danske Bank.
Estonia has more than 1,000 crypto licenses revoked by 2020
According to a report by ERR News, the Ministry of Finance is not trying to evade the previous government’s program to regulate cryptographic assets such as Bitcoin (BTC). The current bill is a legacy of Yuri Ratas, the country’s former prime minister and leader of the Center Party.
Although Estonia was considered a hot spot in the region a few years ago, especially during Taavi Rõivas’ tenure, the situation has changed recently. Before the ministry drafted a bill to tighten regulations, Estonia issued more than 1,300 permits.
The Ratas legislation revoked more than 1,000 licenses of encryption companies, representing 70% of Estonia’s digital property companies. However, the government did not issue new regulations specifically targeting the cryptography industry. Instead, they wanted to focus on the larger illegal money flows of over $220 billion that have been laundered.
Cryptologic companies already licensed must apply for a new license.
The existing legislation also aims to give the Financial Supervisory Authority (Finantsinspektsioon) the power to supervise the national cryptocurrency industry. Previously, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) was responsible for supervising and licensing this industry.
According to local media reports, the 381 crypto companies already licensed will have to apply for a new license from Finantsinspektsioon. According to ERR news, which quotes Erki Pigel, advisor to the Minister of Finance, the measure is not intended to close down market participants.
However, the consultant warns that the country could maintain between 50 and 100 cryptology companies. The media added that the new company does not think the licensing rules are strict enough.
What do you think of Estonia’s current position on cryptography? Let us know in the comments section below.
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