The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) set to be adopted by the European Union is slowly forcing out crypto firms operating in the region. Deribit, a digital currency derivatives exchange based in the Netherlands, is the latest to announce an exit from the EU. owing to the looming regulatory pressures.
According to a statement by Deribit on Jan. 9, the firm will move its Deribit.com exchange operations to Panama under its subsidiary, DRB Panama Inc. in February, 2020. This Dutch based firm further noted that they expect the Netherlands to adopt the strict 5AMLD which becomes effective as of Jan, 10. It therefore follows that their business will take a hit given the nature of personal data required as part of KYC. The statement reads,
“If Deribit falls under these new regulations, this would mean that we have to demand an extensive amount of information from our current and future customers.”
Deribit’s exit was however anticipated, rumors started circulating towards the end of 2019 after the firm’s CEO, John Jansen, appeared on a popular podcast dubbed ‘Flippening’. Other crypto firms operating in the Netherlands have also crossed paths with the Dutch regulators since the decision to implement a ‘stricter’ 5AMLD.
KYC is only mandatory for people that require to withdraw more than 1 BTC per 24 hours.
— Deribit (@DeribitExchange) January 9, 2020
The Changing EU Takes on Cryptocurrencies
The European Union has in the past shown an interest to create its own digital currency; could this be the path to ensure it sees the light? Only time can reveal the answer to this question but it is clear that the EU will be less accommodating to crypto projects in 2020.
Implementation of the 5AMLD is set to place the member states among the most difficult in carrying out crypto business. It is particularly notable that Malta, a hot crypto destination, will also be affected by these developments as it falls under the EU.
This new attitude towards crypto however has not been warmly received by crypto exchange firms like Deribit. The Dutch firm’s statement further noted that 5AMLD will not only introduce more regulatory barriers but also make crypto trading more costly.