Crypto.com gets CySEC nod to operate regulated business in Cyprus

abdelaziz Fathi

Crypto.com has received approval from CySEC to operate as a Cyprus investment firm, providing a regulatory stamp for the company’s digital assets and cryptocurrencies business.

The Cypriot licensing requires the firm to adhere to strict financial standards under the MiFID II framework, including the segregation and protection of client funds, full transparency of its business operations and capital adequacy controls.

Operating under the CySEC umbrella allows Crypto.com to leverage its new regulatory profile to expand its services into the European Markets. Launching a service under the CySEC license will also provide Crypto.com users with a regulated platform to work with digital asset-based derivatives.

“Europe is a priority region for Crypto.com and our continued expansion in the market is a testament to our commitment to compliance and collaboration with regulators. Our registration in Cyprus is the next significant step in our continued progress as we expand our products and services to more customers,” said Kris Marszalek, Co-Founder and CEO of Crypto.com.

The new regulatory stamp comes a few days after Crypto.com has gained approval in Italy to act as a provider of virtual currency and digital wallet services. The registration allows the company to offer a suite of products and services to Italian customers, as well as open offices and expand its team in the country.

The move also comes weeks after Crypto.com – continuing with its global expansion – has received in-principle approval from Singapore regulators. Only 14 other MPI-licensed firms are approved by the city-state’s de facto central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), to offer crypto services.

Crypto.com also received in June provisional approval from Dubai’s local regulator to set up its business operations in the UAE whilst it undertakes the process of applying for a full-scale license.

Cyprus introduces regulatory framework for cryptos

The CySEC has been trying to increase oversight of cryptocurrencies and related assets by integrating EU anti-money-laundering rules into the Cypriot laws.

A policy statement issued in 2021 sets out detailed requirements for crypto firms seeking registration in the regulator’s CASP register. This register is publicly accessible and include information such as the crypto firm’s name, the legal form, its address and services.

The policy also introduced a definition for crypto assets that slightly extends beyond its traditional legal status.

Depending on their structure, the Cypriot regulator says crypto assets may qualify as financial instruments under the Investment Services and Activities and Regulated Markets Law. Additionally, while cryptocurrencies cannot be regarded as legal tender, they may qualify as “electronic money” or “e-money” in the sense of the Electronic-Money Directive.

Meanwhile, the CySEC went beyond the requirements set out in the fifth directive as it wants to bring new activities, which are not included in AMLD5, under the AML/CFT obligations.

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