Cyprus to tighten crypto regulations in accordance with FATF

One of the friendliest European jurisdictions to crypto, Cyprus, might bring its industry regulation to tighter standards. According to an Oct. 10 report by the Cyprus Mail, the local Ministry of Finance intends to amend the existing Prevention and Suppression of Money Laundering Law. 

The ministry has presented its amendments package to the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs. It seeks to align Cyprus with international standards for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), as well as the recommendations of the MONEYVAL report published in November 2022.

Related: Crypto adoption in Cyprus beefed up by Bybit license approval

Under the amendments, every service provider working with crypto assets must register with the financial regulator, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). In case of non-compliance, the penalties will vary from fines of up to €350,000 to imprisonment of up to five years or a combination of both.

The amendments reportedly met some reservations from the Cyprus Bar Association, especially regarding the obligation for crypto service providers with acting licenses from other European countries to still register with the CySEC. Such provision was included in the amendments by the CySEC itself.

Cointelegraph reached out to the Ministry of Finance for further details, but did not receive an immediate response.

Crypto companies reported no significant problems registering their business in Cyprus. In September, crypto-friendly brokerage firm eToro received a Crypto Asset Service Provider (CASP) registration from the CySEC, following ByBit, which received the same license in June.

However, the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, operating under a heightening regulatory pressure in recent months, decided to deregister from the Cyprus market in July. The company said it wanted to focus on larger registered EU markets.

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