Estonia, one of the European Union’s friendliest countries in terms of cryptocurrencies, is revoking hundreds of licensed cryptocurrencies in response to a $ 220 billion money laundering scandal, according to Bloomberg.
Estonia was among the first EU countries to license crypto companies, but was forced to push them after hundreds of billions of dollars of dirty money were found in the Estonian branch of Denmark’s largest creditor, Danske Bank A / S. of the biggest money laundering scandal in Europe.
License for abuse
Madis Reymand, head of the Baltic state’s financial intelligence department, revealed that regulators suspect that licensed crypto companies are abusing their Estonian powers to commit fraud elsewhere.
As a result, more than 500 companies – about a third of the total – that failed to start operations in Estonia within six months of obtaining the license were left without their permits. He explained that:
“This is the first step towards market adjustment, which allows us to take care of the most pressing problems by allowing operations only for companies that can be subject to Estonian supervision and coercive measures.”
The purge is not over
Raymond said tougher licensing measures would be in place. More than half of the other crypto companies may lose their licenses, as they also have no operations in Estonia and their managers are outside the country.