Estonia has reportedly approved more than 900 cryptocurrency-related licenses in a span of less than one year, making it one of the most crypto-forward countries.
Estonian government Authorities have reportedly approved roughly 400 licenses to cryptocurrency wallet providers. The country’s regulators issued more than 500 licenses to cryptocurrency companies that operate cryptocurrency exchanges in Estonia. The authorities issued the licenses within one year and this demonstrates the country’s progressive approach towards the cryptocurrency market.
— crytpostreamer (@crytpostreamer) November 18, 2018
Estonia’s crypto license application process is quite fast
Estonia is clearly open to the idea of having a digital economy that runs on cryptocurrencies thus the decision to make sure that any such operations are within legal confines. Cryptocurrency sector advocate Nikolay Demchuk of the Njord law firm claims that the high number of crypto license applications and issued licenses is a testament to the simple nature of the application process.
Estonia’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is one of the most important regulatory authorities in the country as far as financial services licenses are concerned. The organization has a 30-day application review period which means businesses get a response within a fairly short time. It also takes about 14 days for crypto firm licenses to be approved if said firms plan to set up their offices in Estonia.
Crypto-friendly bank accounts are still tricky in Estonia
Although Estonia has eased the cryptocurrency license application process, crypto companies still find it difficult to open bank accounts within the country. This is because banks do not recognize them fully, perhaps because due to the risky nature of the cryptocurrency market.
“Opening a bank account is the biggest problem facing crypto companies. Estonian banks are not yet ready to serve clients operating with cryptocurrency,” stated Demchuk.
Estonia’s traditional financial organizations have also been slow towards cryptocurrency adoption and this partly explains why banks have been reluctant to offer their services to crypto firms. It could also have something to do with the fact crypto firms have not exactly had the best reputation. For example, numerous crypto exchanges have already been hacked leading to the loss of cryptocurrencies worth millions.