Since March 2022, the requirements for crypto business have been tightened in Estonia. In this regard, the regulator has already begun work on bringing crypto companies in line with the new requirements, which must be implemented in the companies’ activity by June 15, 2022. Otherwise, the license will be revoked.
The following are the main of the new requirements:
- The authorized capital has to be at least EUR 100,000.00 (for companies that provide wallet, exchange, and cryptocurrency issuance services), or at least EUR 250,000.00 (for companies that provide cryptocurrency transfer services).
- A new concept is introduced into the law, namely the “cryptocurrency transfer”. Much more severe requirements are applied to this kind of crypto activity. Any movement of crypto to a wallet or account will be considered a transfer of cryptocurrency, even if such movement will be carried out by the company only partially, transferring the main functionality to a third party. At the same time, even the movement in which the initiator and recipient are the same persons will be considered a cryptocurrency transfer, even if the transfer is carried out within the same service provider.
- The requirements for the own funds of crypto companies have been strengthened.
- The requirements for internal audit and mandatory independent annual audit have been introduced.
- The board member of the company cannot occupy a similar position in more than two companies. This makes harder times for companies that use the services of a nominee board member, given that the board of a crypto company shall necessarily have an Estonian resident.
- An AML officer can now fulfill this role in one company only.
- In addition, the law now provides for a number of other requirements as part of the application of due diligence measures.