Dutch Central Bank Says Crypto Firms Must Register From January 2020

De Nederlandsche Bank Netherlands cryptocurrency firms register

The central bank of the Netherlands has laid out new requirements for crypto firms operating in the country, including a requirement to register with the bank ahead of January 2020.

De Nederlandsche Bank announced yesterday that firms would be obliged to register as part of a package of new measures designed to ensure crypto firms are operating within European regulations, including in respect of money laundering and terrorist financing.

This is expected to mean firms will face a higher compliance burden in the Netherlands, a development that has been widely welcomed by the crypto sector there.

From January 10, 2020, firms operating within the Netherlands must register with the central bank to continue to trade lawfully, with the bank noting that “it is irrelevant whether they are established in the Netherlands.”

This extends to firms already registered in another EU member state who will still be required to meet the new compliance threshold in the Netherlands.

“Also providers that offer such services from another EU member state … for example via a website, must register, regardless of whether the provider is already registered in that member state.”

According to the bank, firms will be given a six-month grace period from January in which to register, before unregistered firms are shut down.

“During these six months you must therefore already comply with the requirements of the law … If, at the time the law comes into force, you have not submitted a request for registration, you must stop your service.”

The new provisions will also require company officers to establish their anti-money laundering credentials, with the central bank ruling on firms based on the “specific function, the nature, size, complexity and risk profile of the company, and the composition and functioning of the collective.”

While the regulation will no doubt cause headaches for some firms, the aim of the regulator is to ensure a more compliant, transparent market through clear regulations and expectations on operators.

The latest measures are part of a raft of similar changes being brought in by regulators across Europe, in line with the EU’s fifth anti-money laundering directive, which also comes into effect from January.