• The authorities are concerned that digital assets are used in criminal activity.
  • Cryptocurrency community says the ban will do more ham than good.

The Netherlands authorities are actively looking for effective ways to ban anonymous cryptocurrency transactions. Namely, they want to force cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto wallet service providers to obtain licenses. 

The Authority for the  Financial Markets (AFM) and  De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) lodged a recommendation with the minister of finance Wopke Hoekstra to bring in a licensing system for cryptocurrency-related companies.

The Minister supported the idea and said that he would follow the recommendation right away, according to the local media outlet NOS.
It Is worth noting that in December 2017 Mr. Hoekstra openly called for obligatory licensing for cryptocurrency trading platforms and wallet services. However, the interest in digital assets subsided amid bearish market, making hash steps less urgent. 

Meanwhile, the authorities are still concerned that cryptocurrencies may be used to finance terrorism and launder money. Thus, the Financial Intelligence Unit of the police in the Netherlands reported that the number of suspicious cryptocurrency transactions skyrocketed from 300 to nearly 5,000 in 2018. 

The government believes that this is a real problem that needs to be tackled in accordance with the 4th Directive of the European Union. It requires that all trading platforms engaged in exchanging cryptocurrencies into fiat money complied with the general rules created for the financial services.

While the authorities believe that this step is necessary, Richard Kohl form Bitcoin Nederland Foundation believes that this decision will hit young and progressive companies and hamper innovations in the country.  

Earlier this month ESMA announced that certain digital assets might be classified as financial assets.

 

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