The De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has given an ultimatum to the crypto companies operating within the country to register with the central bank by May 18.
Dutch crypto firms will face cease and desist if they fail to register
This is to comply with the latest Dutch anti-money laundering (AML) laws, passed by the country’s parliament last month. The new laws comply with the European Union’s AML directives and standards set by the Financial Action Task Force.
To enforce the new framework, the Dutch lawmakers amended the already existing Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD4) laws. However, it is not clear why the regulator or the lawmakers highlight them as AMLD4, instead of the recent AMLD5.
According to the new laws, crypto companies will face cease-and-desist orders if they do not register by the deadline.
The enhanced laws are only applicable to platforms offering conversion of digital currency to fiat and also to crypto custodians. Crypto-to-crypto companies do not have to register.
Are European laws are too harsh?
The crypto companies operating in the country have been critical about the laws since the beginning. They believe that FATF’s AMLD5 will become an obstacle to their operation.
Two crypto-related firms, Simplecoin and bitcoin gaming platform Chopcoin – have shut down. Both firms cited the AMLD5 European Union (EU) regulation which came into effect on January 10, 2020.
Deribit, a major cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, also moved its base from the Netherlands to Panama. The crypto firm cited the adaptability of the harsh FATF recommendations.
Notably, the call to action appears to formalize similar registration notices sent in September 2019, but they were not properly enforced then.
Meanwhile, the Dutch central bank published a report last month revealing its intent to lead Europe’s push to develop a digital euro. This came when the Chinese state-owned bank has already put its digital yuan on trial.