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Lithuania is on the verge of becoming the first country in Europe to pass strict laws on digital currencies. It aims to prevent Russia from evading the sanction in the market.
The Lithuanian MoF (Ministry of Finance) announced the approval of the government proposed in the draft law for the “Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.” The proposals in the law include complete user identity verification and a ban on anonymous accounts. The approval also places the new obligatory measures on the exchange of digital currencies. This includes having the nominal capital amount of no less than 125,000 euros i.e $130877.
The exchanges in Lithuania are also required to register as corporate bodies and are must-have top executives in the country. As the MoF states, these amendments will help increase the transparency of digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs in the market.
The finance minister of Lithuania, Gintarė Skaistė stated that the amendments are parallel with the laws and regulations prepared by the European Union (EU). She added that this will help in the sustainability of the European market.
Gintarė Skaistė stated: “The proposed changes will ensure greater transparency and higher quality standards in the sector, contributing to the sustainable integration of the cryptographic asset segment into the country’s wider Fintech ecosystem,”
She also added that the today’s geopolitical environment will be a plus for the proposals of the digital currency regulations, “we must ensure that no attempt is made to circumvent Western sanctions on Russia by using cryptographic assets,”
The law was proposed in close coordination with the Financial Crime Investigation Service (FNTT) of Lithuania, Bank of Lithuania (LB). The Ministry of the Interior and the Money Laundering Prevention Competence Center were also involved in the conjunction of the law.
The law still needs to undergo the processing of Seimas, the unicameral parliament of Lithuania. The ministry of finance is confident to see the implementation of several amendments by 2023.
At the present moment in Lithuania, there are over 250 digital asset firms operating in the nation of 2.8 million people. When the country started to inquire about the transactions, there were several transactions that were reported as used for AML/CFT purposes worth over 1000 euros.
Suggested Read: FinCEN Says Russia Cannot Evade Sanctions with Crypto