The bill also aims to clarify the grounds for refusal of authorization and to put an end to anonymous transactions in virtual currencies, said spokespersons for the Ministry of Finance.
The amendments to the law on money laundering and the prevention of terrorist financing are based on a national risk assessment that the risks of money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes linked to providers of virtual currency services have grown significantly.
Finance Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) said that the current regulations have allowed service providers who do not operate in Estonia, who have no connection with Estonia and whose oversight, such as the identification of beneficial owners, is not possible, to request an authorization of Estonian virtual currency. According to the Minister, the risks incurred are thus transferred to the Estonian economic environment.
“We therefore plan to regulate service providers in this sector in a manner more similar to that of other companies active in the field of finance. Estonia’s digital success and innovative spirit must serve an environment good and fair trade, âthe Minister said.
The changes will also strengthen the capabilities of the Financial Intelligence Unit to authorize and oversee virtual currency services and define requirements for virtual currency service providers that comply with the FATF international standard.