Business 8 October 2018Dennis Wafula
New AML rules target crypto businesses in Norway
Effective Oct. 15, cryptocurrency-related companies in Norway—including branches of multinational companies—will have to adhere to a new set of anti-money laundering regulations (AML) set by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway, also known as the Finanstilsynet.
The new regulations apply to cryptocurrency storage services and providers offering exchange services between cryptocurrencies and fiats, as well as “platforms that facilitate trading and exchanges by connecting buyers and sellers.” Crypto-to-crypto exchange platforms, however, are exempt from the new Money Laundering Act.
Companies storing private keys on behalf of clients are considered to be involved in the transfer, storage or purchase of virtual currency. Therefore, all companies conducting such operations will have to follow these new laws. This, however, will not apply to companies offering private cryptographic key storage.
Companies in the crypto sector will have until January 15, 2019, to comply with the new Money Laundering Act, which stated: “The Ministry may in regulations lay down rules making this Act applicable to undertakings engaged in the mediation of financing by way of donation, and to exchange service platforms and custodian wallet providers of virtual currency.”
In explaining to what extent the new laws will apply, the authority stated that FSA has the duty to monitor money-laundering activities done by virtual currencies and storage providers. These new rules were created to stop potential illegal activities from taking place.
“Service providers are subject to the regulatory framework by virtue of the services they offer, regardless of how the service is organized. This also covers service providers that currently operate without being registered in the enterprise register, which operate over private accounts,” according to Finanstilsynet.
In addition, Finanstilsynet explained that crypto companies in Norway will be required to register with the authority and provide the necessary documents to show their operations. Finanstilsynet will also require customers to prove their identity and answer questions on the purpose of their transaction, the origin of their funds and so forth.
These rules also impose reporting requirements on crypto services providers in the country. However, this will not affect people who buy or sell their own cryptocurrencies for private purposes. It will also not affect these who occasionally assist friends and acquaintances with the purchase and sale of virtual currencies.
Companies who fail to comply with these new rules will have face penalties from the authority.
“Finanstilsynet will ensure that virtual currency exchange and retention providers comply with the money laundering rules. However, FSA does not have any tasks related to the monitoring of other parts of these providers, such as investor protection or advice requirements,” according to the government agency.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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