Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) imposed new rules requiring crypto companies operating in the country to register with the watchdog and hold minimum regulatory capital.
The new rule will require any virtual assets service provider (VASP) operating in the country to inform the FSMA of their activities before July 1 and apply for registration before September 1.
The rule will apply to entities providing custodial wallets and crypto exchange services and crypto firms looking to begin operations in the European country.
Criteria for operating in Belgium
Per the announcement, VASPs that want to operate in the country need to have a minimum capital of €50,000 (approximately $52,718) and have a corporate structure.
The entity must also establish an administrative office in Belgium and will have to contribute to the operating cost of the FSMA in regulating it. The new rules are similar to regulations adopted by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
The regulator also stated that it might ask for additional information before making a final decision — each assessment could take as long as three months.
Belgium is one of the countries with a pro-crypto stance. Recently, a member of its parliament, Christophe De Beukelaer, became the first politician in Europe to convert his entire salary into crypto.
While speaking about his decision, De Beukelaer said:
We can no longer remain ignorant of this new world. It’s a bit like clinging to the carriage or the candle as cars and light bulbs appear.
Crypto regulation spreading
Several countries are paying closer attention to crypto regulations, with some beginning work on regulating the industry. With growth on the rise, authorities worldwide have faced new challenges regulating the crypto sector and protecting consumers from risks.
Crypto regulations and licensing are growing in tandem with the rising adoption worldwide. Authorities in the UK and Brazil, for instance, are mandating crypto service providers to register with them to protect crypto investors better.