Netherlands Plans to Implement Crypto Licensing to Reduce Money Laundering Risks

Much of the debate with cryptocurrency regulations appears to involve two main questions – should cryptocurrency be allowed, and, if it is, how should it be regulated. The Netherlands has opted to permit cryptocurrency use and distribution within their country, but part of the stipulation for crypto firms will involve a licensing process.

Right now, even though there’s a report published in De Telegraaf about this decision, there are still very few details. Specifically, the article says, “Providers of so-called cryptocurrencies, bitcoin of which is the best known, will soon need a license. The measure should help prevent such virtual coins being used to launder criminal money or to fund terrorism.”

De Nederlandsche Bank seems to be the entity in charge of the licenses, and the only way they will be issued is if the firm is willing to identify customers and monitor/report any suspicious activity. The effort is primarily geared towards reducing money laundering in the area, considering that it is specifically linked to terrorism financing. Though not implemented yet, the bill is available for the public to voice their own opinions about it.

There’s a new European Law – the fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive – that is specifically trying to eliminate money laundering and terrorism financing from their nation. However, this is the first version of the law that specifically outlines the role that cryptocurrency can play. Considering the anonymity on the blockchain, it is increasingly difficult to gather information from it, which is why the licensing protocols specifically involve protocols that require the listing of customers.

Though the law for these regulatory measures was already passed in June this year, the time for public comments and opinions will be considered before it transitions into national law in 2020. When it is implemented, it will become a requirement for all EU member countries to follow.

Blockchain technology has been an area of interest for Nederlandsche Bank since 2016, though their stance on cryptocurrency was not publicized until January this year. They believe that the small reach of cryptocurrency is not enough to make a big impact of the financial stability in the country. However, even though they think that blockchain technology is unprepared for the scalability it would need to meet for a global impact, they have continued to work on projects involving t. They don’t believe that a ban should be put in place for cryptocurrency, but they still warn users to be cautious.

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