Dutch central bank licenses first digital currency startup since crackdown

The Dutch central bank has registered its first digital currency startup since its wide-ranging crackdown in early 2020. The regulator issued a license to AMDAX, allowing the company to process digital currency transactions.

Known as De Nederlandsche Bank, the regulator adopted the European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) in April 2020. It followed this up with quick and stringent enforcement of these rules, leading a number of digital currency operators to shut down. Other than the new laws, the DNB also made the supervision quite expensive, with digital currency companies paying more than traditional trust and credit card companies.

Now, in what could change the tides for digital currency companies, the DNB has issued the first license under the new regulatory structure. As revealed by AMDAX in a press release, the company has been working on its registration since May 21. This was just days after the May 18 deadline set by the bank by which all digital currency operators had to register.

AMDAX co-founder Valentino Cremona believes that the registration is a big step forward, not just for his company but the industry as a whole. It will lead to the adoption and acceptance of digital currencies, he said.

He added, “Bitcoin and other crypto currencies are often associated with crime, whereas Bitcoin is very transparent. The market needs clear legal frameworks, such as the set of requirements of DNB. This registration shows investors that crypto is a mature asset class, not for criminals, but for smart investors.”

He praised the DNB’s tough approach, claiming that the watchdog is setting digital currencies up to compete with legacy financial systems. “In a time when traditional financial certainties are under pressure, we can offer clients a safe and reliable alternative,” he remarked.

While AMDAX is praising the DNB now, some of the companies that had to shut down in April and May blamed it for their woes. One of these was Bittr, a digital currency savings company that shut down in late April. The company’s founder Ruben Waterman claimed that the registration process was tedious and very costly, putting the license beyond the reach of smaller companies.

Deribit, a popular derivatives platform chose to relocate, shifting its operations to Panama.

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