Despite FTX chaos, Italy welcomes crypto lender Nexo
Crypto lender Nexo has won regulatory approval from Italy’s financial regulators, allowing the exchange to continue serving Italian customers.
Nexo had registered its business as a digital asset provider in Italy, following in the tracks of rivals who joined a special registry with brokerage regulator Organismo degli Agenti e dei Mediatori (OAM).
The approval 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.
Nexo follows in the footsteps of other crypto firms that have recently secured clearance from OAM, as required by newly updated regulations on crypto assets. The list includes Binance, Coinbase, Blockchain.com, BitMEX and Bitstamp.
The applicants are required to submit disclosures of a variety of data, including those relating to client identification and transactions on a quarterly basis. In case of non-compliance with the regulatory requirements, the operator may be subject to financial sanctions and its website may blocked by the internet providers.
“This registration in Italy is part of our master plan to strengthen our presence in the country and improve the robustness of our compliance across Europe. In this respect, we aim to lead by example with our top-tier regulatory and compliance infrastructure and by actively participating in the establishment of a functional, useful, and beneficial regulatory framework for crypto. This is what gives our clients and partners the highest level of security and trust,” said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder and managing partner of Nexo, in a statement.
This OAM registration in Italy represents a major step forward in the lender’s European expansion. It also comes at a time when US regulators are investigating Nexo for allegedly failing to register its Earn Interest Product.
Eight state regulators highlighted that Nexo promotes annual interest rates of up to 36% on crypto deposits, which are significantly higher than rates for short-term, investment-grade, fixed-income securities or bank savings accounts.
Nexo replied to these allegations, elaborating that since the SEC guidance on earn products in February 2022, it has voluntarily ceased the onboarding of new U.S. clients for Earn Interest Product as well as stopped the product for new balances for existing clients.
The effort continues a yearlong battle by California and other state watchdogs to bring crypto interest accounts under their regulatory domain. Bankrupt lender BlockFi was the first lender to fall under their microscope and it ultimately settled with state and federal regulators.