1000 crypto businesses in Estonia have lost their licenses this year despite the many efforts from companies that sought regulatory approval. The law seems to be stricter than initially imagined as we can see in today’s crypto news.
Over 1000 crypto businesses lost their licenses in Estonia this year as the country’s Ministry of Finance decided to start warning as the sector was closely linked to a “high risk” of money laundering. Crypto scammers allegedly thrived under the separate Estonian legal program. During the meeting between members of the Anti-Money Laundering Commission, Veiko Tali who is the head of the Ministry of Finance noted that crypto businesses need a lot of attention from authorities now because of the illegal activities related to them and because in the past, licenses were easily handed out.
Tali added that the government’s means for intervention and scrutiny” for crypto businesses were limited initially but the new amendments to the law brought stricter measures:
“The connection of many of these companies to Estonia is minimal and the clientele of some of the companies is from remote countries.”
Crypto companies have suffered in the past as well because of the legal aspects of their businesses despite the industry’s growth. Most countries don’t recognize legally crypto assets and big-name banks which are notorious for blocking accounts found to be related to businesses which eventually created a hurdle for smooth operations. Countries like Estonia tried to close the gap as they rolled out a new license plan in 2019 which attracted talent and investments to the nation that was supposed to help the small economy of the country.
The plans didn’t play out unfortunately since the companies rushed to obtain licenses and the Intelligence Unit of the company said that the companies posed a huge risk of money laundering compared to other sectors of the economy and they said they will try to prevent any incidents in the future. It’s not all lost, however, as the new compliance rules struck down 1000 businesses and there are about 400 companies that are still active in the country that conduct businesses as usual and they follow the KYC and AML laws.
In the meantime, another report claimed that the new e-residency program that issues digital identities to individuals from other nationalities allowing them to open bank accounts and businesses saw their popularity rise among scammers.
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