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FIN-FSA regulations and guidelines 4/2019 concerning virtual currency providers enter into force on 1 July 2019

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The FIN-FSA has issued regulations and guidelines concerning virtual currency providers, which enter into force on 1 July 2019. In addition, the scope of application of the FIN-FSA Standard 2.4 “Customer due diligence; Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing” is extended to cover virtual currency providers from 1 December 2019 onwards.

The regulations and guidelines present the FIN-FSA’s regulations, guidelines, recommendations and interpretations applicable to virtual currency providers concerning the holding of client money as well as compliance with legal provisions on customer due diligence and other anti-money laundering and counter terrorist-financing legislation.

The regulations and guidelines are provided by virtue of the authority to issue binding regulations provided in the Act on virtual currency providers (572/2019). The Act is part of the national implementation of the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Virtual currency providers active in the market prior to the entry into force of the Act must submit a registration application by 18 August 2019

According to the law, virtual currency issuers, operators of virtual currency exchange services (including marketplaces) and providers of virtual currency custodian wallet services are subject to a registration obligation as of 1 May. Virtual currency providers operating in the market prior to the entry into force of the Act must submit an application for registration with the FIN-FSA by 18 August 2019 in order that their qualification for registration can be assessed by 1 November. New providers considering the launch of activities after the entry into force of the Act may only provide services to customers after their applications for registration have been processed and approved.

Virtual currency providers are considered obliged entities under the Anti-Money Laundering Act as of 1 December 2019, which means that they must report suspicious transactions to the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Police. The FIN-FSA supervises the actions and measures of virtual currency providers related to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

International regulation on virtual currencies is evolving

Regulation of virtual currencies is subject to extensive international debate, and virtual currency providers are well advised to take into account the evolution of regulation in all business activities related to virtual currencies.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published its guidance concerning virtual currency providers on 21 June 2019. Measures in order to implement the guidance must be taken immediately, but their phase of implementation will be assessed and reviewed over a period of 12 months.

Appendices

For further information, please contact

  • Tytti Tanninen, Digitalisation Specialist, tel. +358 9 183 2239 or tytti.tanninen(at)fiva.fi
  • Hanna Heiskanen, Senior Digitalisation Specialist, tel. +358 9 183 5202 or hanna.heiskanen(at)fiva.fi

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Regulator Information

Abbreviation: FIN-FSA
Jurisdiction: Finland

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