Estonian Court confirms AML licensing requirement

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Estonian Supreme Court this week confirmed on 11 April that digital currency exchanges are subject to anti-money laundering (AML) supervision.

Uku Tampee from the Police and Border Guard Board states that services which provide alternative means of payment services, such as bitcoin, are subject to AML regulations, in particular the requirement to identify clients where the client turnover is over EUR1,000. Therefore, bitcoin exchanges will need to apply for a licence with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) if they operate in Estonia.

This ruling comes as no surprise considering in particular the EU Commission’s intent to regulate all digital currency exchanges under the new AML directive before the end of the year.