In a truly unprecedented move Estonia, the leading authority on blockchain and crypto in the EU, has revoked more than 1000 licenses from crypto firms. In a bid to introduce stricter regulatory measures, more than 70% of cryptocurrency companies in Estonia have had their licenses revoked, in the biggest sweep by the Estonia government yet.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Government Committee for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing said that the move came as a way to prevent possible money-laundering activities. He said that most cryptocurrency firms were not fully compliant with the regulations set out by the government, so the harsh response was required.
The first bout of license revocations in Estonia came back in June 2020, when the FIU withdrew the licenses of about 500 companies. However, this latest effort is the biggest step by the Estonian authorities so far.
So what does this mean for the Estonian crypto world? While some argue that the move will be detrimental to the crypto space, others suggest that tightening regulatory action is the right way to go.
There are many companies engaging in dubious activities in Estonia, and harsher regulation will be one way of combating them. However, stringent regulation should not be seen as a major guiding principle going forward. Limiting the crypto world in Estonia too much could be detrimental – both to crypto holders and the larger digital asset sector. Ideally, this isn’t a foreshadowing of future actions, taken by governments elsewhere.
While the government has revoked a lot of licenses, Estonian crypto holders can still trade and will be able to play on top crypto casinos, such as BitStarz, 1xBit and Bitcasino.
With the global economy in somewhat of a shambles, we may very well see more companies clamping down on unscrupulous actors in the crypto world. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies is already cause of some animosity from governments and financial institutions, so it makes sense that certain governments may use this time to tighten regulations.