Estonian financial officials seek to withdraw all crypto exchange licenses in order to restart the entire regulatory environment from scratch, although, About 400 crypto businesses still hold licenses presently in the country.
According to local state-run news source Eesti Ekspress, Matis Mäeker, head of the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the authorities should “set the regulation to zero and start licensing all over again.”
According to Mäeker, the general public is uninformed of the risks associated with the bitcoin sector. Formerly the chief of the Financial Supervision and Resolution Authority’s Anti-Money Laundering branch, the official raised a variety of related issues, including unlawful crypto activities, such as money laundering and terrorism funding, as well as the industry’s vulnerability to cyberattacks, saying:
“These risks are very, very high. We need to react cardinally and very quickly.”
According to Mäeker, almost 400 enterprises in Estonia now have a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license, which is greater than the total number of VASP licenses given throughout the European Union.
According to the official, such companies just use their permits to “transfer over very huge sums, while Estonia receives nothing.”
According to him, the Estonian crypto business does not create jobs for Estonians and does not pay “anything significant” to the country’s tax authorities in its current shape.
Mäeker advocated that the business be subjected to stronger capital regulations, such as requiring crypto enterprises to have at least 350,000 euros ($404,000) in cash or securities. According to reports, the current equity requirement for industrial startups is only 12,000 euros ($13,800).
To increase investor protection, the official also suggested requiring crypto companies to set up more secure IT systems and prohibiting them from accepting anything other than hard cash for investment instead of options like refinancing property.
According to previous reports, the Estonian FIU began a major crackdown on crypto companies in June 2020, robbing the licenses of roughly 70% of all VASPs in the country by December of last year. In 2020, Estonian Public Broadcasting reported that the regulator revoked a total of 1,808 VASP licenses.