Estonia Grants Crypto Service License for the First Time

Estonia’s Financial Intelligence office has given out its operating license for crypto service provision for the first time. This was under the country’s crypto regulatory framework that was rolled out in March.

Up With New Regulations

The Financial Intelligence office announced the new development last week that it issued the crypto operating permit to Striga Technology OU to run its business to customers in the country. The office’s stamen said that Striga Technology OU has become the first entrepreneur to be authorized to offer crypto services since the Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act came into effect in March this year.

The independent FOI unit that has the objective of combating money laundering and tracking sources of terrorism finance is under the Ministry of Finance. The company that got the crypto operating license is a subsidiary company of Lastbit Inc., a technology company based in the US.

The Estonian Financial Intelligent office said about 318 licenses were issued to crypto providers under the former framework since this year began. The Money Laundering Act that came into effect in March gave the regulation more strength against service providers in the digital assets space. 

The Finance Ministry gave its assurance to digital asset users, as well as traders, in the country that they will not be negatively affected. The Ministry said in its remarks that the new law does not contain any clause that restrains users from owning or trading digital assets. Importantly, it does not require users to share their access keys with any wallet.

The Tougher the Better?

However, the law requires virtual asset service providers to make the identity of their users available to authorities but not any information regarding their private keys. In case a virtual asset service provider is not able to provide the identity of users, they would then have to implement an analysis on real-time operations. 

The law goes ahead to review those who can get approval to run crypto services in the country. The Ministry added that the Financial Intelligence office can refuse a license application under the new law where the applicant does not have any business running in Estonia or any other connection to the country.

One of the most important requirements is that the service providers must have some capital, and this makes it difficult for small companies to get a license. They are required to have a minimum of 125,000 – 350,000 Euro depending on what type of services they deal with. 

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