On 3 September 2019, De Nederlandsche Bank ("DNB") published a press release in which DNB points out to providers of crypto services that they should prepare for imminent DNB supervision. Companies facilitating the exchange of crypto currency for normal money and companies that offer crypto wallets will have to comply with a registration obligation from the beginning of 2020.
This obligation to register arises from the revised European anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5). The directive is expected to be implemented in the Netherlands on 10 January 2020; the bill regulating the implementation of this directive was submitted on 2 July 2019 and is currently under discussion in the House of Representatives. Crypto service providers must be able to demonstrate that their processes are adequately safeguarded against money laundering and terrorist financing, and that directors and policymakers have proper command of these processes. Once the registration has been made and the directors have been assessed, DNB will continue to supervise the companies to ensure compliance with money laundering and terrorist financing rules. In addition, holders of a qualifying holding in the provider (a capital or voting interest of 10% or more), and their directors, must be tested on integrity. Companies that do not register with DNB are no longer allowed to perform crypto services or to offer crypto wallets.
DNB asks companies that offer crypto services, or intend to provide such services, to already begin reporting their activities to DNB. This early reporting offers benefits to both the provider and DNB; companies will be well-prepared for the registration obligation in good time, allowing them to continue to offer their services in 2020. At the same time, DNB can enter into discussions with them about the design of supervision and provide guidance during the process. Finally, DNB can ascertain how many companies will be subjected to supervision.
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This short read was written together with Lisanne Baks, Corporate Support Lawyer at Stibbe.