London-based crypto firm Blockchain.com said Thursday it had registered as a virtual asset service provider in Italy, the latest in a string of digital asset companies to do so.
Italy created a special registry in February with its brokerage regulator to list crypto operators with a stable presence in the country, provided they meet certain requirements.
Blockchain.com said in a statement it could now offer crypto and digital wallet services to Italian residents and institutional investors under the regulator known as the OAM.
Major exchanges Binance and US-based Coinbase, as well as Singapore-based Crypto.com and German investment platform Trade Republic are among those already registered with the OAM.
Regulators around the world are working out how to get the crypto sector, which is subject to patchy regulations, on track. Consumer protection, threats to financial stability and illegal use of digital coins are on the agenda.
Crypto platforms are looking to strengthen their base in Europe before the groundbreaking crypto regulations agreed by the European Union last month take effect.
Under the rules, which are expected to go live after 2024, crypto firms will need a license and customer guarantees to issue and sell digital tokens in the block.
“This registration strengthens our position to offer services across Europe,” said Blockchain.com.
OAM oversees financial agents and credit brokers in Italy. It says it can collect and share data with anti-mafia and anti-terrorism researchers in Italy provided by crypto companies about their customers and operations.
Last month, major US crypto exchange Coinbase said it had received approval from Italian regulators to continue serving customers in Italy. Coinbase had revealed that it met the requirements of the OAM, OAM, which also implements anti-money laundering controls.
Financial watchdogs around the world are struggling to regulate the cryptocurrency market, which remains subject to patchy regulations. Consumer protection, threats to financial stability and illegal use of digital currencies are among the top priorities on regulators’ agendas.
© Thomson Reuters 2022