The Money Laundering Data Bureau has started a thorough inspection among virtual currency service providers, and the first companies have already lost their licenses.
The Estonian Cryptographic Association calls on its members and offers consultations on bringing them into line with the provisions of the new law. For a consultation, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, Bit2Bit OÜ is not a member of the Estonian Cryptographic Association.
We will also publish a press release sent by the RAB.
Bit2Bit OÜ lost the right to provide virtual currency services
The Money Laundering Data Bureau identified deficiencies in the activities of Bit2Bit OÜ in the supervisory proceedings, on the basis of which the company’s activity license would have been revoked at the end of the proceedings. The company relinquished its license.
The basis for revoking the activity license was the fact that the undertaking repeatedly failed to comply with the precepts of the supervisory authority on the basis of the Money Laundering and Terrorism Prevention Act. The FIU initiated supervision proceedings 27. December 2021. The company relinquished its economic activities, including the license to provide virtual currency services 27. April 2022, being the second company to refuse authorization during the last two months.
“This case illustrates the general risk picture, where the company’s service provider has helped a company with an unknown background to the market, which is not familiar with the requirements in force in Estonia and is not available for supervisory activities,” said Matis Mäeker, head of the Financial Intelligence Unit.
“The company also stood out from the risk matrix compiled by the Money Laundering Data Bureau – among other things, it did not have a payment account with an Estonian payment or credit institution, the connection with Estonia was formal and the company had no employees or taxed euros in Estonia,” explained Matis Mäeker.
According to a risk assessment published by the Financial Intelligence Unit in January, almost 75% of the companies providing the virtual currency service are the company’s service provider, which increases the opacity of the sector.
As of the beginning of May, 369 activity licenses issued in Estonia are valid for providing the virtual currency service. 15. In March 2022, amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing entered into force, tightening the requirements for market entry and the provision of virtual currency services.
Study “Risks Related to Virtual Currency Service Providers in Estonia”.
Money Laundering Data Bureau, January 2022: https://fiu.ee/aastaraamatud-ja-uuringud/uuringud#virtuaalvringu-tee