European cryptocurrency sector under regulatory changes in 2020

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Cryptocurrency industry regulation will go through major changes in Europe during 2020. We have already made required updates on Coinmotion, so these regulatory changes won’t cause further changes on our services. The same can’t be said about many other cryptocurrency service providers operating in Europe. Some companies have already announced closing down operations in Europe and others are busy updating their services to meet the new demands.

The deadline for the fifth anti money laundering directive (“AMLD5”) implementation across EU members states is 10th of January 2020. These unified standards oblige all Virtual Asset Service Providers (exchanges, brokers, custodians and wallet providers or “VASPs”) to register to relevant national supervisory authorities. The directive introduces the first common regulatory framework for cryptocurrency service providers in Europe and cuts out some of the regulatory arbitrage that have existed between members states in the past. 

Europe’s response for the call to action to regulate the cryptocurrency industry is originating from Financial Action Task Force’s (“FATF”) recommendations for inclusion of the cryptocurrency industry in the scope of anti-money laundering (“AML”), Know Your Customer (“KYC”) and counter-terrorism financing regulations. We have already witnessed some of the regions globally implementing similar standards like USA and Japan, where dedicated regulatory frameworks (for instance BitLicense in NY) have been in place for a while. Additionally, many global exchanges like Bitfinex and Coinbase have already implemented minimum level of standards based on FATF’s standards and some of the regional legislations. FATF’s reach with its recommendation is global covering the biggest countries and user bases in the cryptocurrency industry. Some of the service providers are still conducting domicile shopping, but the leeway for cross border service providing from offshore jurisdictions is diminishing as regional standards are gradually unifying within FATF members states. 

New regulations will affect all operators in Europe

All Virtual Asset Service Providers domiciled in EU or offering cross border services to EU member states are obliged to comply with the AML/KYC rules and apply for a national registration according to the rules and standards set by the national regulators and legislation. The phase of the national implementation vary across members states currently, but the deadline for the implementation is common for all members states. Most of the EU member states have already come up with the specific standards for registration and transformation periods to comply with the registration obligation (like Finland, Netherlands, Germany, France, Norway, Estonia and UK) or with a proposal for the national legislation changes. Nevertheless, during 2020 most of the changes will take place across Europe. The upcoming changes have already had some implications to the industry, as few of the Europe-domiciled services have announced shut down of their services. 

Coinmotion is well prepared for 5AMLD changes

Finland was among the first European countries to implement the 5AMLD into national cryptocurrency service providers legislation. From 1st November 2019 onwards, only VASPs who fulfill the requirements provided by the legislation may conduct activities in Finland. VASPs need to have among other things money laundering and terrorist financing prevention practices and policies in place, conduct KYC and continuous monitoring and safeguard customer funds in a reliable manner. VASPs are registered to and monitored by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA).

Coinmotion service has been prepared for the regulatory changes well in advance to ensure a smooth transition to the new European compliance standards. Already before the national legislation concerning cryptocurrency service providers, Prasos (the company operating Coinmotion service) obtained the Payment Institution License from the FIN-FSA and is now also included in the new VASP register.

As Coinmotion core service is to provide fiat to crypto exchange and custody for cryptos and fiat, the Payment Institution License enables us to create a cost effective way to deposit and withdraw fiat currency across EEA with our local and trustworthy financial service provider partners. We have also already launched new features like instant euro transfers between users and SEPA payments to third parties – similar functionalities that you experience with your standard banking or fintech services.

Prasos is now the only operator in Europe which has obtained both the payment institution license and a local VASP registration. This position allows us to provide trustworthy and transparent local cryptocurrency services for our clients in the future. 

Test new features on Coinmotion

You can create a free Coinmotion account here to test all the core features including:

  • Transparent and competitive pricing
  • Multiple payment options; cost free SEPA transfers, instant deposit schemes and credit cards
  • Euro to BTC,ETH, LTC, XRP and XLM exchange and vice versa
  • Cryptocurrency transfers
  • Cryptocurrency and fiat custody
  • Cryptocurrency savings plans
  • Payment services; instant euro transfers between users, bills payment, SEPA transfers to third party accounts
  • Private Cryptobanking and OTC trading
  • Commercial Collaboration
  • and more features to come in 2020!

Please check also our updated referral program! We have now the most rewarding referral program of all the cryptocurrency operators in Europe. With our new referral system every time that someone registers to our service with your referral link and buys or sells cryptocurrencies on our service, you receive 50% of charged trading fees during the first 12 months.

Coinmotion team wishes all of you a prosperous new trading and HODLing year 2020!

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