Lithuania yet again plans to update regulations for ICOs (Initial Coin Offering), virtual currency exchanges and depository wallet operators. Also, they plan to introduce requirements for them to ensure effective prevention of money-laundering and terrorism funding.
Transparent legal environment
Sigitas Mitkus, director of the Finance Ministry’s financial market policy department commented on the issue. “We want to create a transparent legal environment for virtual currency exchanges, depository wallet operators and ICO initiators. We also want to contribute to ensuring better consumer protection,” he said in an interview.
Under these amendments, only legal entities and their branches registered with the Center of Registers will be able to act as operators. They will also have to execute the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. Also, they will have to check the clients’ identity and inform the Financial Crime Investigation Service about large financial transactions, he said.
It will be a requirement for companies to identify their clients and check their identity before providing services. However, this applies only if the operation value exceeds 1,000 euros. Also, they need to provide information to the FCIS, if the operation value is now less than 15,000 euros.
Going even further than EU directive
“By introducing limits for financial operations, we are going further beyond the EU directive. We will probably become the first in the world to implement the FATF (The Financial Action Task Force) recommendations and apply the requirements not only to the conversion of virtual currency to traditional ones and vice
The amendments are aimed at transferring the fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5) and the FATF recommendations, adopted in October, into Lithuanian law.
Lithuania is very actively trying to find a proper regulation for crypto!
At the beginning of this year, the Bank of Lithuania issued an updated document on its official position on cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). Arguing that financial market participants are still allowed to receive payments only in the traditional fiat currency and it is forbidden to receive payments in the cryptographic currency.
At the beginning of March, the Financial Transactions Working Group issued preliminary guidance on cryptographic currency. Urging states to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Also, to provide licensing in the crypto sector and adapt the “Know Your Customer” principle.