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Central Bank of Netherlands Proceeds in Regulating Cryptocurrencies in a Swiss-like Fashion

September 3, 2019
Ross Peili

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Central Bank of Netherlands Proceeds in Regulating Cryptocurrencies in a Swiss-like Fashion

The central bank of the Netherlands announced earlier today that new, stricter regulations are on their way, subjecting legal entities operating in the distributed ledger field. 

According to the official announcement, the Dutch bank says that crypto-currency brokers, as well as wallet-provider companies, should contact the central bank and register as soon as possible, with a deadline of Jan. 10th 2020 , when companies who have not obliged to the new regulations will be simply left out of business.  

In addition, companies which operate in the financial sector, more specifically those directly or indirectly involved with digital currencies, are welcome to pay a visit at the Dutch central bank and discuss the upcoming supervisory protocols.






The bank says that fintech firms should start their preparations “well in advance”, and that they shouldn’t be relying on the deadline. From what we understand, the deadline is definitive and if you’ve spent some time in the Netherlands, you’ll know that the Dutch don’t often joke about this kind of stuff, as in they are not very tolerant with people who break deadlines.

Fines could start searching for targets as soon as January 10th, not a year later, as it would happen in Southern Europe in an analogous situation. So, if you’re a crypto company operating in the Netherlands, we highly suggest you comply before the given deadline.

The move reflects a broader act, more specifically the fifth European anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5), and it can be perceived as an implementation strategy in the local Dutch law. 

“Cryptos are vulnerable to financial crime, which is why it is important to set up integrity supervision now.”

Besides registering with De Nederlandsche Bank (The Bank of Netherlands), companies linked to the exchange of digital currencies, should also be ready to broaden their internal transparency, offering just enough space for the bank to access information regarding stakeholders, board members, and some external contractors, in order to eliminate suspicions of money-laundering, terrorist financing, and other illegal activities.   

We previously saw a similar stance coming from the central bank of Switzerland in association with FINMA, where again, transparency was required from blockchain-powered companies in order to fight “illegal activities”. 

Following, the Central Bank of England also stated that we should regulate cryptocurrencies as they’re practically an unavoidable part of the future of the global economy, emphasizing that we shouldn’t rely on Facebook or other tech titans to highlight the way for us. 

Finally China, one of the biggest players in the future global economy, is also taking huge leaps into regulating the local and international digital currency market, taking stakes as high as issuing its own government-backed cryptocurrency which is to be distributed by the local tech industry as soon as November 11th. 

Is this really a standard procedure that has nothing more in mind than complying with the fifth European anti-money laundering directive, effective since July this year? Or it is a legal way, for legal financial institutions, to enter the digital space blockchain offers to its respective users?