December 5, 2021

Estonian Regulator Proposes to Revoke Licenses of Crypto Exchanges

Estonia is a Baltic country with a 1.3 million population that is located on the northern side of Eastern Europe. The country has been making a great leap in the field of cryptocurrencies for the last five years. However, the attitude of the financial regulators has started to change towards the localized digital asset markets recently.

The Council of Europe published an anti-money laundering charter last year. This new charter is serving as the guardrails for making major changes in its financial regulation policies. According to the reports, Estonia has managed to develop the reputation of a crypto trading hub during the last few years.

FIU has Decided to Take Action Against Illicit Crypto Trading

The small country of Estonia has been attracting a lot of cryptocurrency-related platforms. Due to the lack of regulatory clarity, a huge number of illicit and unlawful cryptocurrency projects have managed to go unnoticed through the years. Therefore, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Matis Meaker, recently issued a public service statement.

He told the media that the FIU is planning on creating a tighter rope for the cryptocurrency businesses. He further explained that shortly, the local crypto-related enterprises would have to comply with a higher degree of legal scrutiny. It is worth noting that FIU is an independent extension of the Financial Ministry in Estonia. The FIU has the power to revoke or grant a business license to any digital asset institution under government jurisdiction.

The Republic of Estonia that has roots in NATO and the EU, has been trying to rise above the financial crisis in 2018. The Estonian branch of Danske Bank was alleged to have processed 200 billion euros worth of illicit transactions in 2018. Since then, FIU has gone on to ban more than 2000 licenses.

This year, the financial watchdogs in Estonia found out about Shitcoin.club. This crypto venture that was registered under a company called Virtual Planet allowed the clients to turn their fiat currencies into crypto tokens via ATMs. FIA has revoked its license only recently. The main point of concern is that the trading volume of crypto enterprises makes up for 40% of the total centralized banks. The main consumers of these digital asset businesses are based in countries like Vietnam, India, the USA, Venezuela, Russia, Indonesia, and Brazil.