Estonia Grants Exchange and Wallet License to Coin Metro
Estonia is now all set to compete with Malta in becoming the preferred destination for all crypto businesses. In a recent move, the country granted license to Coin Metro to operate crypto exchange and wallet services. The company recently announced that they have received licenses from the Estonian government to operate two services here legally. The first license is for an e-wallet for fiat currency and the second license is for a fiat to crypto exchange platform.
Coin Metro was established by the team behind FX Pig, a forex broker based in Vanuatu. This is the first time that the company has obtained a license for their activities. Now, they will have to follow robust KYC (Know your Customer) and AML (Anti-money Laundering) laws along with counter-terrorism financing acts. However, with these guidelines and a secure legal framework in place, they can now open their gates for a wider user base from around the world.
Note that Coin Metro has ambitions to run a fully regulated crypto trading platform in the EU and has just completed its 12-million-euro token sale as well. It is now looking forward to securing a license for e-money from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Kevin Murcko, company CEO, is hopeful that the lack of geographical boundaries and a transparent platform will get more acceptance around the globe. He said, “We’ve set no geographical limits and are determined in our aim to bring transparent, simplified access to the cryptocurrency market everywhere, where laws allow. With regulation on our side, Coin Metro offers a safe haven from the forthcoming legislative storm that has the potential to close many exchanges which aren’t compliant.”
The firm also noted that their first choice was always Estonia because of its open regulation and a welcoming attitude for crypto companies. The country was reportedly creating a state-backed national cryptocurrency as well. However, it has now scaled down the plans after European Central Bank Chair Mario Draghi expressed his displeasure with the project. He commented that the euro zone has only currency and that is the euro. Their digital coin, called ‘estcoin’ will now be used exclusively in a government project used for e-residents.
The CEO went on to praise the government and said, “We decided to target Estonia (and build our HQ there) as it has been a hotbed for tech startups for years and has generally been very progressive on technology and innovation. In recent years, it has been actively adopting blockchain technologies, looking to be at the forefront of this new shift in distributed technologies. The fact that Estonia is the first country in the world to place its health records on the blockchain is a staunch example of just that.”
The 5th Money Laundering directive of the EU was passed by the EU parliament in March this year ad the bloc has 18 months to draft their framework around the new KYC and AML procedures. With the company getting a license to operate legally in Estonia, it is highly likely that they will be able to avoid the wrath of the new act.