Estonia’s Financial Intelligence Unit has issued its first license to a crypto service provider under the country’s new regulatory framework that entered into force in March. “Striga Technology OÜ is the first entrepreneur, who is authorized for the first time to provide a virtual currency service since the amendments of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act,” the regulator detailed.
First License Issued Under New Crypto Regulatory Framework
The Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) announced this week that it licensed Striga Technology OÜ to provide crypto services on Sept. 20. The Financial Intelligence Unit is an independent government agency under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance with the mission to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing in Estonia.
The newly licensed firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lastbit Inc., a U.S. technology company, the Estonian FIU noted, elaborating:
Striga Technology OÜ is the first entrepreneur, who is authorized for the first time to provide a virtual currency service since the amendments of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act entered into force on 15 March 2022.
The Estonian FIU said that 381 licenses had been issued to crypto service providers since the beginning of the year under the previous, less strict framework. In June, the regulator said 135 companies had applied for a license under the new regulation. Meanwhile, 94 crypto service providers relinquished their authorizations and 18 licenses have been revoked this year.
The financial regulator clarified that as of Sept. 21, there were 177 valid licenses for virtual asset service providers previously issued by the FIU.
Matis Mäeker, the head of the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit, commented:
More than a third of virtual asset service providers will seek out new countries with lower quality of supervision, and regulations not yet meeting the risks and international standards related to virtual asset service providers.
In January, Estonian Finance Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to discuss how the two countries could share information to identify best practices in crypto regulation.