The Estonian government is not banning crypto, but is drafting legislation to tighten regulation.
Estonian Government Official Clarification Sparks speculation
According to the reply, the bill was written and submitted in order to tighten existing crypto service provider licensing, and will not affect individuals who hold and trade cryptocurrencies. It still needs to go through three parliament readings.
Aimed towards virtual asset management companies
The official rebuttal reads:
“The regulation is not applied to customers, but to virtual asset service providers (VASPs) who conduct activities for or on behalf of natural or legal person as a permanent business. This means that the legislation does not contain any measures to ban customers from owning and trading virtual assets and does not in any way require customers to share their private keys to wallets,”
Individuals who own crypto through a private wallet not offered by a VASP, according to the Ministry of Finance, will be unaffected by the proposed rule, which still needs to pass parliamentary hearings.
“However, accounts opened with Estonian VASPs cannot be anonymous, and Estonian VASPs cannot offer anonymous accounts or wallets,” the statement continued, adding that “identifying information must be preserved in a way that allows it to be linked to the transaction, similar to bank transfers.”
The most notable changes
Sten Tamkivi, who joined Skype as an early executive and helped the company grow into Estonia’s first unicorn, said: “As someone who actively invests, holds, stakes, and pools tokens in DeFi as a resident of Estonia, both privately and through my Estonian companies (for my own use, not for the benefit of others), I see no change or impact to my ability to do so.”
🇪🇪 Estonia is NOT banning crypto.
— Sten Tamkivi (@seikatsu) January 3, 2022
“Estonia is a country of a million people (so we can actually talk to our legislators!) that has created seven Web2 unicorns and has an annual early tech investment run rate of 1 billion EUR in over 1200 firms. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of Web3.