Proposed License Requirements End Anonymous Crypto Selling and Buying in the Netherlands

Pete Hoekstra, the Netherlands’ Minister of Finance, has received official advice that a licensing system should be introduced for crypto services, Dutch media outlet Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) reports on Jan. 18.

Hoekstra reportedly requested advice about cryptocurrencies from the Netherlands’ Authority for the Financial Markets and the local central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank, at the beginning of last year.

The minister announced that he started working in accordance with the advice immediately after receiving it. According to the article, the decreased crypto speculative mania has made investor protection actions less urgent. As a consequence of this lesser urgency, the emphasis is purportedly being placed on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing via crypto.

The Netherland’s Financial Intelligence Unit noted that the number of unusual transactions with cryptocurrencies has increased from an average of 300 to up to 5,000 a year, NOS reports.

The proposed licensing system would reportedly require crypto exchanges and wallet providers to monitor their customers’ transactions and report suspicious activity to authorities. The exchanges will also have to collect and store information about their customers in order to be able to hand it over to authorities in case of an investigation.

The Netherland’s central bank reportedly announced that the companies will be tested before being granted the license, for instance to check if they are able to collect the required user data.

Richard Kohl, a board member of the Bitcoin Nederland Foundation, has reportedly stated that the measure is “dramatic for young innovative companies,” defining the new regulations as a big step backward in the lo