After initial love – Estonia is pulling the reins on the crypto industry

After the licensing of many crypto companies has been withdrawn, the country’s regulation is becoming increasingly strict.

The Estonian Ministry of Finance wants to be stricter in the future when issuing permits for crypto companies.

This step comes after the ministry revoked almost two thirds of all crypto companies their license last year

According to ERR News , the Eesti Vabariigi Rahandusministeerium submitted a bill in January that tightened the reins of the crypto industry. Among other things, it proposes that the Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority should be responsible for the supervision of the industry in the future, and no longer the Special Commission on Financial Crime (FIU).

The crypto industry would then be under the supervision of an actual tax authority, because the Bitcoin System is just a department of the police authorities. The crypto regulation is therefore given a significantly higher priority.

Crypto companies that nonetheless want to set up in Estonia must pay an approval fee to the financial regulator.

All 381 companies that still have a corresponding license are also obliged to apply for it again

Erki Peegel, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, emphasizes in this context that these steps do not necessarily symbolize a negative attitude by the government towards cryptocurrencies. However, the ministry assumes that only 50 to 100 companies that still have a license meet the necessary requirements to continue to use it.

The planned changes to the law are in part driven by increased efforts to combat money laundering . In June 2020, for example, a massive money laundering scandal was uncovered, in which many crypto companies were also involved. In addition, over the past year crypto scammers have repeatedly caused problems with the country’s „e-residency“ program.

However, the corruption scandal and the subsequent resignation of the current Prime Minister, Jüri Ratas, has initially put the planned draft law on hold. The parliament actually only had time until today to pass the law, which is why the further course of events is unclear for the time being.