Estonia to Beef Up Cryptocurrency Laws


Estonia will soon pass laws to make laundering money with cryptocurrency more difficult, according to local financial news source Äripäev.

The country will make the changes to conform to European Union law. According to the article, Estonian law had previously referred to all cryptocurrency-related entities as ‘alternative means of payment service provider,’ but the amendments add the terms ‘virtual currency exchange service providers’ and ‘virtual currency payment service providers.’

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The changes are due to come into force this week.

Birthplace of Skype

Estonia grants licenses to cryptocurrency companies, allowing them to trade between fiat currency and cryptocurrency in all combinations of the two.

Estonia granted a license to an American company called Ibinex, which sells cryptocurrency software to businesses, in June, and in September awarded another to IronX, the cryptocurrency exchange opened by foreign exchange broker IronFX. In November, it gave out another one, this time to a stablecoin exchange called B2BX Exchange.

The country is known for being open to new technology – it is, after all, the birthplace of Skype. The nation was the first to propose a national cryptocurrency, which at the time was considered insanity. In December 2017 the government signed a deal with an Ethereum-based recruitment company called Chronobank to this end, and intended to launch an ICO in January 2018. Alas, it was not to be. EU central bank head Mario Draghi shot down the idea, and eventually, the country’s media representative denied that it was ever a serious plan.

Interestingly, former Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas is now employed by a blockchain startup called Lympo.

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