The Helsinki-based peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform, Localbitcoins, has stated that it is working with regulatory authorities in order to implement the European Union’s newly proposed anti-money laundering regulations.
Finland is upgrading its AML and KYC laws in line with the EU wide 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) legislation which came into effect last year, however, EU member states are given until January 2020 to implement the directive.
“Finland has already drafted new legislation concerning virtual currency services, amending its Anti-Money Laundering Act in accordance with 5AMLD,” a LocalBitcoins press release stated. “LocalBitcoins as a Finnish company has been a pioneer in advising the regulatory agencies in this process and adapting to the new standards of compliance for the cryptocurrency industry. It is LocalBitcoins’ mission to bring Bitcoin everywhere and by being a reference in compliance, we also aim to promote trust, legitimacy and maturity in the Bitcoin ecosystem, while paving the way for it to become a more viable and widespread currency and combating criminal use of Bitcoin and its network”.
Working To Make An Easy Transition
The 5AMLD stance on cryptocurrencies means that cryptocurrency exchanges are now considered “obliged entities” and must face the same requirements as financial institutions. These requirements include AML, customer due diligence, transaction monitoring and suspicious activity reports.
Whether this will impact on users in countries like Venezuela, who are facing political and economic turmoil, is unclear. The new identity requirements could indeed be a problem for many users.
LocalBitcoins say: “ The legal requirements are still being delineated but it is already clear that it will bring major changes into the functioning of virtual currency exchanges. The most important changes concerning LocalBitcoins’ users will be related to improving the registration of new accounts and the identity verification processes, introducing wallet withdrawal and trade volume based verification tiers”.
They are working to make the transition easy for all users who make legitimate use of their services and already comply with LocalBitcoins’ terms of service.
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