The De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has given an ultimatum to crypto companies operating within the country to register with the central bank by May 18.
The move was made to comply with the latest Dutch anti-money laundering (AML) laws passed by the country’s parliament last month. The new laws are in compliance with the Financial Action Task Force-recommended AML directives and standards.
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To enforce the new framework, the Dutch lawmakers amended the already existing Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4) laws. It is, however, not clear why the regulator or the lawmakers are still highlighting them as AMLD4, instead of the recent AMLD5.
According to the new laws, crypto companies must register with the central bank or face immediate cease and desist of their operations and will also face fines and “enforcement action.”
The enhanced laws are only applicable to platforms offering conversion of digital currency to fiat and also to crypto custodians. Exchanges offering crypto-to-crypto trading services are kept outside the purview of this, meaning they need not have to register.
European laws are too harsh
The crypto companies operating in the country have been critical about the laws since the beginning and believe that FATF’s AMLD5 will become a barrier to their operation.
Deribit, a major cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, also moved its base from the Netherlands to Panama, citing the adaptability of the harsh FATF recommendations.
Notably, the Dutch regulator also issued such registration notices to the crypto companies last September, but they were not properly enforced then.
Meanwhile, the Dutch central bank published a report last month revealing its intent to lead Europe’s push to create a digital euro. This came when the Chinese central bank has already put its digital currency on trial.