Bulgaria has announced that it is to begin monitoring cryptocurrency and ICO activities in the country through its government watchdog, according to Cryptovest. The focus of Bulgaria’s Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) will be securing a safeguard against illegal activity such as money laundering and fraud connected with cryptocurrency.
As reported in Bitcoin News over the past few days, Bulgaria seized a massive BTC 213,519 in May currently worth around USD 1.4 billion, making the country a substantial holder of the currency. The total would reportedly be enough to pay off a quarter of Bulgaria’s national debt.
The commission sees eliminating such crime as crucial to the regulation of the industry. Four main areas have been targeted of which one is aimed at criminal activity. The others are largely designed to encourage cryptocurrency regulation.
The areas fall mainly into setting clear licensing and registration conditions for products and services, coming up with a regulatory process for outsourcing services, creating innovation hubs and finally dealing with cybersecurity concerns. The FSC ‘Financial Technology Monitoring Strategy in The Non-Banking Financial Sector’ document confirms and summarizes these four main areas of attention in the following statement:
“The challenge for the non-banking financial sector is to balance the benefits of the introduction of cutting-edge technology and preserve financial stability and safety for consumers and investors in the sector.”
Bulgaria has a had a history of banks blacklisting the IBANs of major exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken. The new moves could at least add some clarification to the space and may go some way to appeasing the banks, perhaps softening their stance on dealing with exchanges, if current AML laws are addressed.
If, as suggested, the giant haul of Bitcoins seized by the authorities was the result of tax fraud, it appears that new cryptocurrency tax legislation would be fairly high on Bulgaria’s regulatory agenda moving forward.
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