It’s Getting Harder to Get a Cryptocurrency License in Estonia!

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In a press release on May 15, the Estonian consulting firm Eesti Consulting OU states that it has become more difficult to obtain a cryptocurrency license in Estonia because of the new regulations.

Estonia Strengthens Their Cryptocurrency Laws

Recently we reported that on May 3, the Estonian Ministry of Finance introduced changes to the process of obtaining a cryptocurrency license. The new regulations provide a number of formal obligations. For example, extending the application processing period from 30 to 90 days. Also, requiring the company incorporation in Estonia or running a branch of a foreign company.

In addition, the registered office and the board of directors of the company must now be located in Estonia. Moreover, the state fee for licensing increased from EUR 345 ($386) to EUR 3,330 ($3,729). Estonia’s State Finance Minister Martin Helme explained the reasons for these changes:

“We have learned our lesson from the banking sector the hard way, and we must now deal with new international risks, with cryptocurrencies among the most urgent of these.”

Current License Holders Still Have Time To Comply

The representatives of the company Eesti Consulting OU claim that it will be more difficult to obtain a cryptocurrency trading license with the new rules. It is known that current license holders will have time to meet the new requirements by the end of the year. If not, the regulator will revoke their license. The Financial Intelligence Unit has a right to invite a potentially responsible person for an interview to check AML knowledge of the applicant.

In December last year, the Estonian Ministry of Finance announced its plans to amend the adopted financial bill to tighten the rules for cryptocurrency trading.

These current laws actually will strengthen the trust from regular traders, who just want to safely trade their cryptocurrencies. These new laws will squeeze out all the scammy exchanges. This is good for the ecosystem.


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Estonia Strengthens Their Cryptocurrency Laws

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On May 2, the Estonian government approved the Ministry of Finance’s new laws on the fight against money laundering, terrorism, and state fees. These include strengthening the cryptocurrency circulation laws. 

Priority Number One!

Financial Chief Executive Martins Helme believes that “one of the most important but not the last” step in this direction should be to tighten the conditions for virtual currency circulation and virtual wallet services.

The minister said: “The banking sector has learned a painful lesson and now we need to address new international risks, of which the risk of cryptocurrency is one of the most important.”

Moreover, he stressed that the fight against money laundering is one of the priorities of the new government. It started on Monday and will receive special attention.

Increasing fees and a background check

According to Helme, the licensing conditions will be changed for companies dealing with cryptocurrency exchange for cash and vice versa. Also, as well as for the license of a virtual wallet service provider. When issuing a license, the Money Laundering Data Bureau will check the biography and reputation of the company’s board members. To obtain the license, a foreign company will have to open a branch in Estonia. However, the license fee will increase from 345 to 3300 euros. Companies that already have a license will have to apply the requirements of the updated legislation.

Estonia – The Crypto Legislation Pioneer!

On April 24, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaida approved the new Estonian government with the head of the Center Party, Jiri Ratas.

In Europe, Estonia is a pioneer in the legislation development that favors the cryptocurrency sector. The small Baltic state was the first to issue operating licenses to cryptocurrency companies. Now the number of crypto-companies registered in Estonia is around 1000. The regulator issues two types of licenses. According to the Estonian news agency – in 2018, Estonia licensed 444 wallet providers and 526 cryptocurrency trading platforms.

Estonia is known for its advanced electronic government infrastructure. Also, the country has a unique electronic residence program that provides individuals and corporations with access to fast and cheap services. The License process takes only two weeks. Compliance with legislation is an important precondition for obtaining an operating license.


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Russia Adopted a Law on Internet Isolation

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On April 16, the Russian State Duma, in the third and final reading, adopted a law on Internet isolation. Initially, State Duma submitted the bill in December 2018. It was adopted at first reading on February 12, but the second reading was held last week. The law will become active in November 2019. except for The rules on cryptographic protection of information and the national domain name system will be an exception. These laws will become active on January 1, 2021.

A Technical Opportunity

The authors of the bill propose to create a technical opportunity for the Russian network segment to work autonomously from the rest of the Internet. The Federal Supervisory Authority (FSA) will coordinate the work of the system. The Russian government will approve the procedures for installing and operating protective equipment in the network of the communications operator.

However, critics of the bill believe that the law is based on the money that will be allocated to the budget for the development of Russian Internet autonomy programs. These features will later “kick off”, increasing the cost of Internet access for all users. In fact, the citizens themselves will have to pay for the prison, in which the state deliberately puts them.

Russia Attacked by Telephone Terrorists

Additionally, it is important to remember that in the past two years, unknown telephone terrorists were attacking Russia. Evacuation of shopping malls and universities were a regular thing. Needless to say that this costs a lot of money to track down these “attackers”. However, in the last two years, the Russian Spec Ops haven’t yet found a way on how to deal with this.

Moreover, it is unlikely that the absence of this law has hampered the effectiveness on fight terrorists. And we don’t know whether the law will help this issue as well. However, from the practicality point of view, the law looks very vague as regards of specific tasks. The only thing that is for sure – the law will cause problems for everyone else, except the terrorists, and will make everyone involved fabulously rich.


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