Finland’s crypto regulation is now in full effect. The first five crypto service providers have been approved to legally operate in the country, the Finnish financial regulator confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com. The grace period for operating without registration has expired.
Only Five Registrants
Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) announced on Nov. 1 that it has granted registration to five crypto service providers. The registrants are Localbitcoins, Northcrypto, Prasos, Prasos Cash Management, and Tesseract Group. A spokesperson for the FIN-FSA confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com Monday:
Starting from 1st of November these five virtual currency providers are the only ones allowed to operate in Finland.
Localbitcoins operates a global peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace. Northcrypto provides an exchange service for BTC and LTC for EUR. Tesseract Group, formerly Whalelend, provides asset management, OTC trading, and lending services.
Prasos offers crypto exchange and asset management services under four different brands. Coinmotion is an investment platform for BTC, LTC, ETH, XRP, and XLM, which also offers private crypto banking, white label solutions, and merchant services. The others are Bittiraha, a Bitcoin community and broker; Denarium, a physical bitcoin manufacturer; and Bittimaatti, a bitcoin ATM network.
“The registration process requires significant effort from the applicants, for example concerning customer due diligence and written documentation of activities,” the FIN-FSA explained.
During the registration process, the regulator assessed whether the applicants have adequate measures in areas such as preventing money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing (CFT), holding and safeguarding client assets, as well as having adequate management structure. The registrants have submitted written statements to the FIN-FSA describing how they are complying with the requirements. Going forward, the regulator will monitor them for compliance such as by requesting clarifications and performing inspections.
The FIN-FSA emphasized:
From 1 November 2019, only virtual currency providers who fulfill the requirements provided by legislation may practice activities in Finland.
Finland’s Crypto Regulation
The Act on virtual currency providers (572/2019) entered into force in Finland on May 1, installing the FIN-FSA as “the registration authority and supervisory authority for virtual currency providers,” the regulator’s website details. The law is based on the EU’s anti-money laundering legislation.
Crypto issuers, exchanges, marketplace operators, and wallet providers are required to register. The FIN-FSA defines a “wallet provider” as “a natural or legal person who holds virtual currency for the account of some other party or provides for the transfer or storage of virtual currency.” Traders who provides crypto services within a limited network or occasionally are exempt from registration, as are professional activities that require some other authorization by other authorities.
The regulator reiterated that “New providers of virtual currencies may not start the provision of services in Finland before their registration application has been approved,” adding:
If the virtual currency provider does not comply with the requirements, its activities will be prohibited and the FIN-FSA will impose a fine on the provider.