Estonia has been getting tough with virtual asset service providers, resulting in 200 firms withdrawing their license applications as a similar number was rejected by the regulator.
The defendants allegedly used fabricated documents and fraudulent representations to siphon the majority of investor funds for their personal use, federal authorities said.
Estonia has been working on new AML laws that the government approved two weeks ago, and they are designed to clamp down on the digital currency industry.
Matis Mäeker, head of Estonia’s Financial Intelligence Unit, said the state should consider scrapping regulation “to zero and start licensing all over again,” over concerns about the impact of the sector.
Eesti Pank announced it had discovered a “novel blockchain-based solution could in theory support almost unlimited numbers of payments being processed at the same time.”
Finance minister Veiko Tali was quoted saying the figures were evidence digital currency firms required “heightened attention” from regulators to ensure compliance.
Rainer Olt, head of Payments and Settlement Systems Department, said Eesti Pank wants to “address and overcome the bottlenecks of DLTs for bearer CBDC.
The Estonian central bank has launched a multi-year research project into the viability of a central bank digital currency.
The e-Residency program in Estonia has been linked to several high profile cryptocurrency frauds, according to official police reports.
Estonian authorities are cracking down on digital currency firms as they strive to clean up following Europe’s largest ever money laundering scandal.
BuyUCoin exchange is expanding to Estonia after obtaining the two licenses required to operate in the country. It also partnered with local mobile payments firm.