Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland to Supervise Cryptocurrency Exchange LocalBitcoins

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On March 25, 2019, international peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency exchange platform LocalBitcoins announced through a blog post that it would soon come under the purview of the anti-money laundering (AML) law supervised by the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) of Finland.

Legal Status in Finland Come November

Countries the world over are changing their stance towards crypto institutions from that of total negligence to steady inclusion. While some countries like China and India are still vehemently against anything crypto, things are less dire in Europe.

In a bid to better regulate digital currencies, the Finnish Parliament on March 13, 2019, voted and approved a proposal for a new Act on Virtual Currency Service Providers that will give legal status to cryptocurrencies in Finland.

Per LocalBitcoins’ blog post, the latest amendment to the Virtual Currency Service Providers Act will officially come into effect from November 2019. It is expected that the Act will bring more transparency to the local crypto ecosystem and help boost public confidence in Bitcoin as a legitimate financial network.

The Parliament also passed an amendment to the Act on Detecting and Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing which will bring all the institutions offering virtual currencies services under the country’s AML law.

LocalBitcoins noted in its blog post that it is fully committed to providing safer and better services to customers while complying with existing regulations.

The exchange recently tweaked its account registration process to make it easier for new customers to find trading partners from the get-go. The new registration process also keeps a strict eye on the creation of fake and illegitimate accounts.

Further, the exchange is also working on the development of a more reliable identity verification process. The exchange will also introduce a separate verification process for corporate accounts.

Increasing Supervision over Crypto Businesses

Helsinki-based LocalBitcoins introduced KYC and AML guidelines in April 2018 when a Reddit user reported that the exchange had asked them to verify their ID before trading cryptocurrencies.

The exchange platform later introduced more exhaustive KYC and AML guidelines to comply with European Union (EU) regulations. It remains to be seen how cryptocurrency users react to the news of LocalBitcoins being supervised by a regulatory body as they are typically apprehensive of divulging their identity online.

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