Without doing adequate inspections, Italy has provided regulatory clearance to over 70 crypto companies.
Italy seems to be scrutinizing cryptocurrency companies seeking permission to operate on its soil with less rigor than other nations, despite the fact that many governments and regulators are taking an extremely cautious and even skeptical approach to the sector, earning them criticism in the industry.
Since May 2022, 73 cryptocurrency firms, including Coinbase, Crypto.com, and Binance, have received regulatory permission in Italy, according to a report on October 5 by CoinDesk’s Sandali Handagama.
This indicates that the businesses are in compliance with Italian anti-money laundering (AML) rules because they are now listed in the nation’s register. The Organismo Agenti e Mediatori (OAM), the regulatory agency that also keeps a registry of financial agents and credit brokers, is in charge of managing the Moneychangers Registry, which was introduced on May 18.
Approval without investigation
Although the authority acknowledged to CoinDesk that it was still unclear of how to get the necessary data from the crypto businesses being added to the registry, it might not begin doing so until 2023.
In other words, despite the legal obligation to register with the OAM in order to continue their operations in Italy, the crypto firms listed in the registration are not currently being examined or their capital flows supervised.
Francesco Dagnino, a lawyer with the Lexia Avvocati legal firm, who handled several of these applications:
“As far as I’m aware, Italy has the method that is most straightforward. Just a registration, really.”
The sole criteria now in place for businesses wishing to be included to the list is that they provide 10 pieces of data, which can include the company name, tax or fiscal code, website address, email address, and any physical locations the business may have, such crypto ATMs.
Furthermore, the OAM informed CoinDesk that the applicants must present a “registered office and, if different from the registered office, the administrative office, or a “permanent establishment” in Italy if their office is in another EU member state.
Position on cryptocurrencies in the EU and other countries
However, due to its volatility and lack of regulation, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) recently said that cryptocurrency poses a possible danger to financial stability.
Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), has further cautioned that cryptocurrency poses a barrier to central banks’ ability to serve as a “anchor” of the economy, but digital assets may usher in a period of free banking.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s regulatory body, has responded to criticism of the way it handles licensing applications for new cryptocurrency operators by claiming that its strict criteria are comparable to those of other countries.
As Finbold reported, Japanese officials are stepping up efforts to control the use of cryptocurrency in illegal operations by enacting new remittance regulations that will stop criminals from utilizing cryptocurrency exchanges to launder money.
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