What will change in the cryptocurrency world from 31 October 2021 – changes in the Act on Counteracting Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism 

Starting from 31st October 2021 part of the regulations that change the Act on Counteracting Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism will come into force. Commonly called the ‘AML Act’, the document introduces a number of changes, which will among other things affect cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrency stationary exchange offices. Check what will change in the cryptocurrency reality in less than three weeks. 

New requirements for entities running cryptocurrency businesses

According to the new regulations each entity wishing to carry business activities in the area of cryptocurrencies, e.g. a stationary cryptocurrency exchange office, will have to meet a range of requirements. In the first place, such entities will have to align with the requirement of not having any criminal record. Some individuals will not be able to run their cryptocurrency businesses due to having been convicted of specific crimes, e.g. intentional fiscal crimes, economic offences. 

Subsequently, the entities will be required to have knowledge and experience related to virtual currencies. The above requirement can be fulfilled: 

  1. if the entity has completed a course in the field of practical or legal issues related to cryptocurrencies
  2. if the entity has run business activities related to virtual currencies for at least a year 

However, the most important change is the necessity to obtain a registry entry in the register of entrepreneurs who run cryptocurrency businesses. The register will be kept by the Minister of Finance. It is worth noting that if you already run business activities in the area of cryptocurrencies, you will have additional 6 months from 31 October 2021 to adapt to these requirements. 

New limits when identifying the client during transactions with cryptocurrencies 

Until now entities who run business activities related to cryptocurrencies were obligated to keep the so-called security measures from the AML Act only in strictly defined cases. For example, stationary cryptocurrency exchange offices usually identified and verified their client details upon an occasional transaction of more than EUR 15,000. 

From 31st October 2021 the limit will be lowered to EUR 1,000. What is important is that the limit applies only to entities who run business activities involving cryptocurrencies and is related to the use of cryptocurrencies of the equivalent value mentioned above. 

Author: Maciej Wieczorkowski, lawyer

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