Estonia may be friendly towards cryptocurrencies, but it’s still had to make a new legal change or two

Estonia isn’t just granting lots of licenses to cryptocurrency business, it’s granting them quickly too. But it’s also introduced new legislation on top of that…

Just a quick update on this. Following, but unrelated to, stories of Estonia’s friendly approach to cryptocurrencies that landed last month, it turns out that the country’s Ministry of Finance is now tightening up its cryptocurrency regulations.

The country’s Financial Supervision Authority has introduced new legislation aimed at combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and in the midst of it are “virtual currency payment service providers” and “virtual currency exchange service providers”.

The legislative changes are reportedly to bring Estonia in line with EU standards. Here’s the report in Estonia’s local press.

This is our story from November 19th 2018…

Just before the weekend, the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US – the SEC – passed down its latest judgement on a token offering, declaring Paragon a security. It’s the latest in a growing number of rulings that have increasingly made the United States a fairly unfriendly home for crypto businesses.

Countering that, though, there’s the nation of Estonia. It turns out that Estonia has been busy supporting businesses related to cryptocurrency and blockchain, to the point where some 900 licenses have been granted to the organisations concerned. That covers around 500 cryptocurrency exchanges for a starter, and a further few hundred cryptocurrency wallet services. The majority of these appear to be facing Estonian citizens, too.

It seems the government of the country is keen to be seen as digitally advanced and cryptocurrency friendly, and as per a report at Crypto Globe, the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has been taking just a week or two in some cases to make decisions on approvals for crypto business. Counter that again with the months it’s taking the SEC in the US to make a call on Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded funds, and the difference couldn’t be much more pronounced.

There are still problems in Estonia, with companies reportedly grumbling that getting a traditional fiat bank account is on the testing side, with the traditional banking system still reluctant to do business. But in many other areas, Estonia – just like Malta, for one – is welcoming crypto with pretty open arms.

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