Estonia passes legislation to regulate crypto service providers

The government of Estonia has enacted a bill that introduces stringent legal requirements for digital assets service providers, local media reported on March 21.

The legislation — approved on March 20 — is part of the country’s efforts to regulate the crypto industry and enhance its reliability.

Regulatory supervision on the horizon

Estonia has been a significant location for crypto service providers, with estimates in 2021 suggesting that nearly half of the world’s crypto service companies were registered in the country.

As of 2024, the number of these companies has since been reduced to around 50 by the Financial Intelligence Unit (Rahapesu Andmebüroo/ RAB) as part of regulatory efforts.

Matis Mäeker, the head of RAB, elaborated on the upcoming changes, indicating that the new regulation would subject crypto service providers to financial supervision for the first time. He emphasized the necessity for these companies to have systems in place to manage client assets securely, drawing a parallel with the functions of banks.

Under the new regime, crypto services providers will fall under the supervisory purview of Estonia’s Financial Supervision Authority (FSA) or the Finantsinspektsioon starting from 2026.

Stricter rules

The new legislation imposes stricter operational and reporting requirements on crypto businesses, with the possibility of fines reaching up to €5 million, a significant increase from the €40,000 limit under the previous Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Additionally, the new rules will mandate crypto service providers secure regulatory licenses, which will be issued from 2025 by the FSA. Meanwhile, entities already holding the current FIU license must apply for the new licenses by 2026.

The legislation arrives in response to several high-profile incidents of cyber thefts and business bankruptcies within Estonia’s crypto sector, leading to significant losses for investors. By subjecting companies to FSA supervision, the government aims to mitigate these risks and ensure greater security for digital asset holders.

The new regulatory framework reflects Estonia’s ongoing commitment to maintaining a balance between fostering financial innovation and ensuring market stability and investor protection.

The post Estonia passes legislation to regulate crypto service providers appeared first on CryptoSlate.

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