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Republic of Lithuania to introduce legal amendments related to Cryptocurrencies


According to the report, the Lithuanian finance ministry wants to bring more legal certainty to the operation of companies relating to cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto wallet operators, as well as initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Lithuanian Finance ministry recently announced its plans to release legal amendments for operating enterprises related to cryptocurrencies. The news was announced by Riga-based newspaper The Baltic Times.

 Per the report, the ministry seeks to bring legal certainity to the operational scope of companies dealing in cryptocurrencies, crypto wallet operators as well as initial coin offerings (ICOs). Furthermore, the authority will put in measures against money laundering and terrorism financing to ensure consumer protection. Per the new proposed amendments, firms dealing in cryptocurrencies will need to be registered with the Center of Registers in order to operate as legal entities. 

The companies will also have to execute the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, as well as to strictly observe Know Your Customer (KYC) laws including reporting high volume financial transactions to the Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS).

The Baltic times further notes that operators will need to identify users and verify their identity prior to providing services,  if in case operation value exceeds 1,000 euros ($1,120).

Sigitas Mitkus, director of the finance ministry's financial market policy department, said 

“Introducing limits for financial operations will be a new practice under the European Union directive”.Lithuania might become the first country in the world to implement recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and apply requirements not only in terms of crypto-to-fiat conversion but also in terms of internal crypto trading.”

Earlier this year, the Bank of Lithuania released an updated document declaring its stance on cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The document claimed that financial market participants are still authorized to receive payments only in traditional fiat currencies, and are not liable to be paid in crypto.

In early March, the FATF published preliminary guidelines for cryptocurrencies,  seeking support from countries to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing, as well as introduce crypto-related licensing and setting up KYC processes.

In another news reported by CoinMarketFeed, Missoulian, United States County of Missoula has recently adopted regulation for crypto mining. The County Board of Commissioners voted and collectively the decision was made to adopt new rules or regulations for crypto mining operations. 

The county website contains two drafts, one being the Cryptocurrency Mining Resolution and the other one the Cryptocurrency Mining Zoning Overlay District Regulations. The latter draft establishes locations where cryptocurrency mining operations may be sited in Missoula County and conditions that must be met in order to protect the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of county residents.