In July 2018, the European Commission brought into force the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Directive 2018/843 of the European Union, also known as 5AMLD) which for the first time takes into consideration virtual currencies. 5AMLD includes virtual currency exchange services and custodian wallet providers in its scope. Even though EU member states are given a transposition period until January 2020 for implementing the directive, Finland has already drafted new legislation concerning virtual currency services, amending its Anti-Money Laundering Act in accordance with 5AMLD.
LocalBitcoins as a Finnish company has been a pioneer in advising the regulatory agencies in this process and adapting to the new standards of compliance for the cryptocurrency industry. It is LocalBitcoins’ mission to bring Bitcoin everywhere and by being a reference in compliance, we also aim to promote trust, legitimacy and maturity in the Bitcoin ecosystem, while paving the way for it to become a more viable and widespread currency and combating criminal use of Bitcoin and its network. We are confident that the new measures will bring significant benefits to our user base, promoting a safer trading environment and acting proactively in preventing fraud.
The legal requirements are still being delineated but it is already clear that it will bring major changes into the functioning of virtual currency exchanges. The most important changes concerning LocalBitcoins’ users will be related to improving the registration of new accounts and the identity verification processes, introducing wallet withdrawal and trade volume-based verification tiers.
We are working to make the transition easy to all users who make legitimate use of our services and already comply with LocalBitcoins’ ToS. We will keep you informed through blog and social media updates and will provide more detailed information on the coming changes during March 2019.