The Republic of Austria is one of the most liberal countries regarding crypto trading. However, based on the recent legal notice, it will require all operators to register with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).
Crypto businesses must prove that they have sufficient liquidity as well as resources to operate in the country. Otherwise, they will face fines up to 200,000 EUR (more than $221,000) starting from January 10.
The new regulations will affect activities connected with issuing or selling cryptocurrencies as well as transferring them. Moreover, companies that operate trading and exchange platforms should also comply with new regulations.
It is worth mentioning that it won’t be easy for small-scale exchanges and brokerages to meet the requirements. Citizens of Austria have access to the most prominent European exchanges, such as Kraken and Bitstamp.
The exact number of crypto operations in Austria is unknown, as small brokerages existed in the country for many years. Interestingly, international exchanges that are operating around the European Union are facing even more significant challenges. They may have to comply with both local as well as the EU rules.
AMLD5 and Crypto
The Financial Markets Authority had to come with strict regulations as part of the measures known as AMLD5. The Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) will have a dramatic impact on the crypto business as this directive will change the industry from January 10.
The primary purpose of the AMLD5 to prevent terrorism funding as well to avoid the hiding of personal wealth.
Crypto exchanges already implemented some of the requirements. For example, exchanges are using KYC (Know Your Customer) when it comes to accepting new clients. There are other requirements as well. For example, a company should have transparent data on company ownership.
The new requirements were created as a response to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) set of proposals. The FATF guidelines will continue to shape the crypto space in 2020.+