The Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) has published a list of registered cryptocurrency service providers to meet the European Union’s money laundering standards. From 1 November 2019, only virtual currency providers who fulfill the requirements provided by legislation may practice activities in Finland. In the future, all cryptocurrency operators that want to offer exchange services to European customers must get registered under the local FSA’s.
Finland is the first country to implement registration to meet the new 5AMLD directive’s requirements. The deadline for the directive implementation is in January 2020, so the other member states will implement the national registration processes soon. Based on the initial proposals set by regulators across other member states like Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and DNB in the Netherlands, the standards will follow closely the level that has been implemented in Finland.
Registration liability improves customer safety
The new directive improves customer safety in the industry as it demands companies to meet certain requirements for customer asset handling, anti-money laundering, and reliable management. In Finland, five operators met the requirements and got registered. Coinmotion (formerly Prasos), the leading cryptocurrency broker in the Nordics running the Coinmotion service, is the only operator which also has a payment institution license.
The directive against money laundering and terrorist financing has been expanded to apply to all cryptocurrency providers in the EU. Companies of the sector have generally reacted positively to the new regulation, as this would bring more pressure towards offshore providers operating outside the EU while serving European clients without any KYC/AML standards.
Chief Compliance Officer of Prasos Jukka Karhapää sees it as a positive change:
“For the end users, the registration brings transparency in the usage of cryptocurrency exchange services. Above all, the requirements of conducting customer due diligence and anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing requirements benefit consumers and businesses in the industry. It will also help to improve the general public trust and reputation of the growing cryptocurrency sector” Karhapää states.
You can read the announcement by FIN-FSA here.