After the unexpected implementation of a new Anti-Money Laundering legislation, cryptocurrency companies in Austria are left with no choice but to apply for a license with the Financial Market Authority (FMA), the nation’s official financial watchdog, if they wish to continue providing legitimate crypto services to users.
Those crypto businesses that fail to follow the new rules, i.e do not register with the watchdog, will receive a €200,000 fee. The ruling reads a list of services (as part of crypto businesses) that are required to abide by the brand-new AML policy:
”the issuance and selling of virtual currencies as well as transferring them, trading and exchange platforms for them (irrespective of where virtual currencies are to be exchanged between one another or for legal tender payment instruments or vice versa) as well as providers of custodian wallets.”
The AML are part of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (AMD 5) which has provided a broader definition of crypto assets. The document has qualified them as “financial instruments”, putting the digital currency in the same category as most trading assets. Because of this re-definition, all crypto exchanges will be complying under the same EU anti-money laundering regulation for the first time.
As crypto businesses are being more and more pushed for a tighter regulation, this new development is seen as a great progress for the cause. Many notable cryptocurrency markets, including Australia and the UK, are thinking about extending their AML policies to include cryptocurrency activities.