Romanian Ministry of Finance's New Cryptocurrency Electronic Money Law Drafted

Following the actions of India and the United States, Romania has decided to work on a regulatory process that focuses on restricting cryptocurrencies and other digital currencies. In a draft published by the Romanian Ministry, there are multiple conditions that the asset must meet to qualify for use in Romania.

The draft bill states that any shareholder must have 350,000 EUR worth of the capital. Furthermore, anyone who is a member of the issuing platform has to be vetted on their own by the National Bank of Romania before approval. The vetting process would require the user verify their tax payment history, along with personal legal records.

The draft is slightly elusive, avoiding the use of the term “cryptocurrencies.” Instead, they say “electronic money,” saying that the only ones that can even issue the assets are credit institutions, electronic money institutions, the European Central Banks (ECB), and other authorities in the area. The draft also states that the only companies that can operate as an institution for electronic money is with legal authorization via the new laws. Basically, they have to agree to be monitored by the BNR, which also regulates and authorizes these issuances to take place.

Anyone that receives approval under these new laws only has permission for the next 12 months after authorization. If they do not perform the requested functions for consumers in that time, their authorization will be withdrawn. Furthermore, authorization can be taken away if the electronic activity is not maintained within Romania or is untruthful in the application.

Maintaining Structure In The Marketplace

Much of the draft focuses on the restrictions on getting approval from the government authorities. Anyone that wants to have an electronic money license, the business has to be able to show a specific structure, a way of governing transactions, risk management policies, and other accounting protocols. Additionally, companies have to wait for three months to be checked by authorities and for the sake of due diligence.

With these requirements, it looks like the regulators want to keep the control of any kind of money-related transactions within the country. There are a lot of roadblocks for any potential platform, and there is a close association with the BNR and the Ministry of Finance, even if approved. If this draft is accepted as the new law, the BNR will basically be the sole owner of the entire electronic money industry.

Within the confines of the draft, electronic money is specifically defined as,

“monetary value stored electronically, including magnetic, representing a claim on the issuer issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of performing payment transactions and which is accepted by a person other than the issuer of electronic money.”

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