The application of the fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) in the Netherlands has put local bitcoin companies at a disadvantage compared to other representatives of the financial sector, reporting the Cryptobriefing.
AMLD5 aims to provide increased transparency and a unified approach to anti-money laundering measures throughout the EU, but the governments of 27 EU countries interpret the directive in different ways, often giving priority to their own interests.
In the Netherlands, the Ministry of Finance set fees for cryptocurrency companies complying with the supervisory requirements of the central bank significantly higher than those applicable to trust and payment companies.
Thus, about fifty cryptocurrency companies will have to pay a total of about € 1.7 million annually, or an average of € 34,000 per company. For comparison, trust companies provide an average of € 24,500 in the budget and only € 2,500 for leasing and payment companies.
Peter van der Meide, founder of BitKassa cryptocurrency payment processing commented:
“There is no problem with paying for the base layer to remain compliant. It’s typical KYC regulations,” Van der Meijde said. “But this additional supervisory status is too expensive for us.”
This interpretation of AMLD5 led to allegations that the Ministry of Finance exceeded its authority.
“This is much more than what the [AMLD5] has indicated. This envisaged way of supervision is unusual,” says Frank Hart, a partner at Frank‘ t Hart of Hart Advocaten.
The Dutch Association of Bitcoin Companies called on its members to publicly support the organization’s doubts about the fairness of the current approach to supervision, which, in its opinion, is not based on the inherent risk of cryptocurrency companies.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the introduction of additional fees in the Netherlands was discussed in the upper house of parliament, which is the last obstacle to the adoption of the bill. If this happens, many cryptocurrency companies in the country may cease to exist.
Recall, even before the implementation of AMLD5, the Deribit cryptocurrency derivatives platform announced a change of jurisdiction from the Netherlands to Panama. The withdrawal from the EU due to changes in cryptocurrency regulation was also reported by the Simplecoin mining pool and the Bitcoin Chopcoin gaming platform.