The Netherland’s Finance Minister, Pete Hoekstar, has been officially advised by the country’s Authority for the Financial Markets, and the Dutch central bank De Nederlandsche Bank to consider instituting a licensing system for crypto services, reported Cointelegraph (Jan 20) off Dutch media.
Hoekstar said he began acting on the advice immediately after receiving it. With a decrease in crypto speculation of late, investor protection for such areas is now considered less crucial. Instead, the focus for now is on preventing terrorist financing and money laundering through cryptocurrency.
A proposed licensing system could require crypto exchanges and wallet providers to monitor customer transactions and report on suspicious activity. They will also have to collect and store customer information to be handed over to authorities in cases of investigation. Companies may also be tested before a license is issued.
Bitcoin Nederland Foundation board member Richard Kohn claims that such new measures are “dramatic for young innovative companies,” and a huge step back for innovation culture.
Kohn sees massive amounts of resulting paperwork and expenses to maintain compliance as major competitive disadvantages.
Unusual crypto-related transactions have skyrocketed in the Netherlands, according to its Financial Intelligence Unit – from an average of 300 a year to up to 5000.