Estonia is one of the first countries in the European Union to legalize crypto-related activities and granting license to companies with such business activities. Until now a bit below 500 licenses have already been issued to companies to operate as a cryptocurrency exchange wallet or platform.
Fastest License is given by the Estonian Cryptocurrency Regulatory Body
The Anti-Money Laundering regulations are the main requirements imposed by Estonia when it comes to licensing and supervising companies that operate as a cryptocurrency exchange wallet or platform. Since Estonia is a member of the European Union, it adheres to the European regulations as well as Directives such as the Fifth AML Directive which has included the cryptocurrency or virtual money into its scope. You can read more about in this article.
Acquiring the License in Estonia is quite fast since time frame for the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to approve or reject a license is 30 days from the date of submission. Based on our experience, it was identified that most companies receive approval within the first two weeks. Once a liense is received, a company will have a deadline of 6 month of offering its services and start operations otherwise the FIU can withdraw the license.
Leaders have initiative, followers follow…
The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act of Estonia entered into force in 27.11.2017 and updated several key sections during 2018 which came in force on 01.01.2019, re-enforcing the AML requirements making this law difficult to penetrate, ideal for sustaining such type of business activities. By adapting a strict AML position, Estonia was able to balance the strictness where it is indeed necessary with the elasticity required for obtaining a license. Estonia is the leader in the European Union in the crypto regulation and it has certainly served well both the country and the entities which operate cryptocurrency activities. They were able to see the real risks in the conducting such business activities and focused on those specific areas, removing from the middle unnecessary bureaucracy for the technologically advance century that we live in.
But, since good stuff don’t last long, it is just a matter of time until the EU institutions such as European Central Bank will press Tallinn, just like they pressed it to renounce the idea of issuing its own coin Estcoin, to increase control and perhaps make other modifications since it is close to becoming the “European capital of Crypto”, if not already.
Estonian AML Policy Template
Template manual-policy has been designed for Cryptocurrency Exchange Platform or Wallets which operate under the Estonian Laws and jurisdictions.