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Lithuania Plans to Weed Out Crypto Firms Next Year

Lithuania, which over the past ten years has emerged as a center for financial technology startups, will weed out a large number of the cryptocurrency businesses based there when it begins granting licenses next year.

Although there are about 580 crypto asset firms registered in Lithuania, “much fewer” are anticipated to clear the requirements for full licensing, according to central bank board member Simonas Krepsta.

According to him, in an interview on Tuesday, those who are not selected for the program will “leave the ecosystem” after the process concludes in June 2025.

Revolut Ltd. received its banking license in the Baltic nation as a result of its efforts to become a hub for cutting-edge digital banks and payment companies. However, this push also brought in a wave of unregulated crypto firms. This puts Lithuania in the crosshairs of national and international laws designed to prevent the misuse of digital assets for money laundering or investor fraud.

According to Krepsta, “The crypto industry failed in a lightly regulated environment. We have quite a lot of evidence of that in the US, other European countries but also Lithuania. We saw quite a number of failures, embezzlement cases and similar which were quite a blow for the industry.”

Lithuania is trying to rein in cryptocurrencies, which is similar to what regulators have been doing globally over the last three years. Financial hubs like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Dubai are among those that have implemented extensive legal frameworks for digital assets since 2021. 

According to Krepsta, seven of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges globally are presently operating in Lithuania. According to him, some of the digital asset companies operating there might not require authorization in Lithuania because they already hold licenses from other EU nations.

Markets in cryptoassets, the first piece of unified crypto law from the European Union, is scheduled to go into effect in January 2025.

Lithuania is developing legislation for crypto oversight, empowering its Financial Intelligence Unit to revoke corporate registrations. The central bank is training staff on crypto business models and will begin licensing assessments in July, ahead of MiCA implementation. “The crypto sector will be part of the financial sector starting next year,” said Krepsta.

Also Read: Kraken Wins Dutch VASP License for Crypto Services

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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