In a move to bolster an anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, Lithuania looks to be ready to implement rules that will govern cryptocurrency transactions. The new requirements will ask people and businesses to provide proof of identity to exchange or make transactions using digital currency.
The European Union has imposed new rules that required member nations to get on board. Companies with cryptocurrency exchanges were required to adhere to these new guidelines as well.
On June 12, the Lithuanian Parliament approved the new regulations. However, when and how they would be implemented has not been provided as part of the legislation. Once the rules do take effect, any person or business that conducts a transaction worth over €1000 ($1,120), whether it is crypto or fiat currencies, will be required to report the transaction.
When large exchanges occur, over €15,000 ($16,800), the exchange service will be required to inform the Financial Crime Investigation Service of Lithuania. However, rules will be implemented that will apply differently to those issuing tokens. Requirements for identification will kick into effect for transactions of over €3000 ($3,360).
Lithuania has been one of the few countries that does not regulate their crypto exchange services. This is one of the reasons why many have viewed the Baltic nation as one of the most crypto friendly areas on the globe. This is why some within the country have been resistant to the new guidelines.
While very little regulation had been in place, that was beginning to change in April. At that time, Sigitas Mitkus, who is the head of the finance ministry’s financial market policy department, explained that “We want to create a transparent legal environment for virtual currency exchanges, depository wallet operators and ICO initiators. We also want to contribute to ensuring better consumer protection.”
What is extremely interesting about the country’s new guidelines is that they have made it so that Lithuania became the first country in the European Union to establish their own Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The country that had virtually no regulation related to cryptocurrency just a few months ago has quickly become one of the leaders in implementing guidelines to protect these currencies from being used by laundering or other criminal operations.
In June 2018, all 20 members of the G20 agreed to demand that identification be provided for all crypto-based transactions. The recommendations for these guidelines had been created by over 200 countries across the globe, including the U.S.
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