Estonia’s Finance Ministry To Tighten Crypto Regulation

News, Regulation | December 3, 2018 By:

Estonia’s Ministry of Finance is planning to tighten its licensing policy for crypto-related companies.

Estonian financial newspaper Äripäev repoted last week that the ministry will be adding amendments to the recently-passed Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act to tighten the country’s crypto regulation. The amendments will reportedly be presented to the Council of Ministers for approval and then filed in the Estonian parliament for adoption.

Once adopted, the ammended law will require registered crypto firms in the country to keep their headquarters in Estonia, and companies registered in foreign jurisdictions will be obliged to establish domestic subsidiaries.

The Ministry of Finance said that they believe that the anti-money laundering bureau should be tasked with inspecting all crypto companies to ensure their activities are stable and are following the country’s rules and guidelines.

While not legal tender, Estonia’s government regards cryptocurrencies as “value represented in digital form.” In 2017, the Financial Intelligence Unit introduced regulations for crypto businesses operating in Estonia. At present, crypto companies can apply for 2 different activity licenses: providers of a service of exchanging a virtual currency against a fiat currency, and providers of a virtual currency wallet service. Currently, 526 crypto trading platforms and 444 wallet providers are licensed to operate in the country.