Phone with Revolut text over some credit cards

Neobank unicorn Revolut to offer digital assets across Europe

One of Europe’s biggest digital banking startups has now become licensed to provide digital asset services across the region. 

Revolut received the license from the Cyprus securities watchdog and will now be able to serve 30 countries, including France, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany.

Revolut, which has 20 million users globally, of whom 17 million are in Europe, received authorization from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC), allowing it to offer digital assets to its clients across the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA comprises 30 countries, stretching from Sweden and Finland in the north to Spain, Greece, and Italy in the south.

However, the license doesn’t apply to United Kingdom users, the company clarified in an interview with AltFi. The U.K., where most of Revolut’s users are from, will be served by a local subsidiary governed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

The subsidiary is still on the FCA’s temporary register, which allows it to offer services while waiting for its license application’s approval (or denial).

Revolut’s approval by CySEC is critical as European countries adopt new digital asset regulations. Known as Markets in Crypto Assets or MiCA, the new legal framework tightens regulations around digital currencies, aiming to protect investors better and stamp out scammers. It’s also seeking to curb money laundering from the industry in a region recently hit by some of the biggest laundering scandals in history. 

“We welcome the EU-wide regulation and wholeheartedly embrace the European Parliament’s clear intention to support innovation whilst requiring strong customer protection measures to prevent any type of market abuse,” a spokesperson for Revolut commented. “In establishing a hub for our crypto operations in the EU, we recognize that CYSEC has in-depth knowledge of crypto and its efforts to be a leader in crypto regulation.”

The Cypriot license adds to recent approvals from the Spanish central bank and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. 

Recently, CoinGeek reported that Revolut has been expanding its digital asset business and has been on a hiring spree this year, even as almost every other company in the sector either freezes hiring or lays off staff. 

But despite the rapid growth, questions still linger on the structure of Revolut’s digital asset purchase service. As CoinGeek pointed out, when a user makes a purchase, he’s just instructing the platform to buy a token, instructions which Revolut is at liberty to refuse. According to its amended terms of use, any losses that emanate from its decision to ignore a request to buy or sell a token are not its problem.

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