Matis Maeker, head of the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), has stated that the country should start licensing all crypto-related businesses in the country ‘again,’ implying that it should revoke the licenses of all crypto exchanges. According to Eesti Ekspress, the financial watchdog’s chief wants to ‘turn the regulation to zero.’
“These risks are very, very high. We need to react cardinally and very quickly,” Maeker commented on the topic of the people being unaware of the risks that cryptocurrency carries. That said, the official expressed his concerns on issues like money laundering and terrorism financing via illegal crypto activities. “The public does not know the amount (in the cryptographic business – EE ) or the risks associated with it,” he added.
Nowadays, according to ERR, there are 400 licenses issued to crypto operators in Estonia. However, Maeker also showed his skepticism towards having many cryptocurrency-related companies in Estonia, given their profits ‘are rarely’ invested into the Estonian society. In fact, he said: “Their only goal is to get an Estonian license and use it to turn over very large sums, while Estonia gets nothing out of it.”
But the Estonian watchdog had already revoked 1,808 crypto licenses last year. However, a risk assessment performed by the authorities found that changes made up to that point were not enough to mitigate the risks.
Maeker was appointed to the role at the FIU in May. He is known for being active in bringing to the table discussions about money laundering issues in Estonia. Since last year, Estonia has been tightening its checks on crypto companies by launching licenses cancelation campaigns.
The country came under the spotlight after Danske Bank, Denmark’s biggest lender, was accused of watching $230 billion through a tiny Estonian branch. Also, Estonia was among the first jurisdictions in Europe to legalize crypto-related activities back in 2017.
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