Estonia, a country until now known as one of the friendliest countries in terms of regulations for crypto entrepreneurs, is planning to revoke the crypto operating licenses granted so far. At least that’s according to Matis Mäeker, the recently appointed head of the government’s AML agency, the Anti Money-Laundering Unit. Will Estonia abolish the jurisdiction that favors crypto business and make a radical reform in this sector? You will check in our article.
Matis Mäeker – the new head of AML
Mäeker has always been associated with the financial sector. A lawyer by profession, he has worked for the Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority since 2012. He is also a deputy to the AML Committee of the European Banking Authority. More recently, he has also been the head of AML, the government’s anti-money laundering agency. Throughout his career, Mäeker has spoken negatively about Estonia’s crypto policy many times, claiming that due to overly lax regulations, the country’s economy is not getting enough profits coming from this particular sector. In an interview with Eesti Ekspress a few days ago, Mäeker explained his position in detail.
Matis Mäeker’s stance on crypto business regulation in Estonia
Speaking to reporters, Mäeker stated that crypto companies earn “tens of billions of euros a year.” Despite this, most of this money contributes nothing to the Estonian economy as it goes abroad. That’s what the current head of Estonia’s Financial Intelligence Unit has as his main allegation. Here is what he said about foreign-owned companies:
“Their sole purpose is to obtain an Estonian license and use it to trade very large sums of money, while Estonia gets nothing out of it.”
To change this, the head of FIU has proposed stricter regulations governing the licensing of new crypto companies in Estonia. The legislation would raise the capital requirement from €12,000 to €350,000, but would also revoke licenses granted so far. Currently, as of 2021, there are about 400 companies with crypto licenses in Estonia. In 2020 alone, as many as 1808 licenses were revoked.
However, FIUÕs communications manager, Õnne Mets, stated that Estonia has no plans to revoke licenses already granted. However, changes are inevitable, and you can be sure that in the near future, the Estonian parliament will surely enact stricter regulations for cryptocurrency companies.