Italy – the first step towards regulation: public consultation on the cryptocurrency phenomenon

Italy – the first step towards regulation: public consultation on the cryptocurrency phenomenon

Italy – the first step in regulating the crypto market

On February 2, the Treasury Department of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance launched a public consultation on cryptocurrency phenomenon. Specifically, it is desirable to obtain views from individuals and companies interested in creating a public register of service providers in the field of virtual coins.

Virtual coins are defined as “methods of exchanging and acquiring goods and services that are not issued or controlled by a central bank or authority that is not necessarily dependent on an official currency.”

The statement posted on the site states that it is desirable to adopt regulations on the cryptocurrency market to prevent their use in illegal activities. Thus, according to the legislation on money laundering, companies and legal entities wishing to carry out services in the field of virtual coins are expected to register with the Ministry of Finance. Thus, the financial authorities will have the possibility to control their activity and to collect fees from the activities carried out.

The move was driven by the adoption of new legislation at European level on money laundering and terrorist financing, but it also seeks to determine the size of the Italian crypto market.

Roberto Ciciani, the agency’s fraud prevention agent, said:

Financial authorities need to control virtual coins and operators, especially as it is a new phenomenon and little understood. In order to avoid the risks of using cryptomones in illicit activities, Italian legislation must provide the population with the certainty that authorized operators carry out responsible activities. Also, service providers should in turn be required to report suspicious transactions and to have assurances from authorities that their work is legal and accepted.

Views can be submitted until February 16, and an official decree will be issued by July 2018. Once the decree is issued, existing service providers will have 3 months to register.

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