Eastern Europe, Estonia, estonia crypto, estonia revokes licenses, Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), estonian licenses, Europe

The new administration in Estonia is still planning to pursue an agenda to tighten rules for companies dealing with cryptocurrencies. The Ministry of Finance is looking to strengthen anti-laundering measures within the context of a major money-laundering scandal that involved Danske Bank.

Estonia Revoked Over 1,000 Crypto Firms’ Licenses in 2020

Per a report by ERR News, the Ministry of Finance is not aiming to ride-off from the past administration’s agenda regarding the regulation of crypto assets, such as bitcoin (BTC). The current draft legislation is inherited from Jüri Ratas, the former country’s prime minister and head of the Centre Party.

Although Estonia was considered several years ago as a crypto-friendly hotspot in the region, especially during Taavi Rõivas’ mandate, the situation has changed recently. Before the ministry drafted legislation to make regulations stricter, Estonia issued over 1,300 licenses.

With the Ratas’ legislation, over 1,000 licenses of crypto firms were revoked, representing 70% of Estonia’s digital asset companies. However, the government didn’t enact the new rules to target specifically the crypto industry. In fact, they wanted to target a case of a larger illicit financial flow of over $220 billion laundered.

Existing Licensed Crypto Firms Should Reapply for Another License

The existing legislation also seeks to give powers to the Financial Supervisory Authority (Finantsinspektsioon) to oversee the national crypto industry. Previously, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) was the entity responsible for supervising and issuing licenses for the sector.

According to the local media outlet, the existing 381 licensed companies dealing with cryptos should reapply for another license with the Finantsinspektsioon. Citing the advisor at the finance ministry, Erki Peegel, ERR News says the measure doesn’t aim to shut down operators.

However, the advisor warns that the nation could sustain around 50 to 100 crypto firms. The media outlet also adds that the new cabinet does not believe the rules to acquire a license are enough stricter.

What do you think about current Estonia’s stance on cryptos? Let us know in the comments section below.

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