The Romanian Finance Ministry has announced the release of what it refers to as an Emergency Ordinance, which targets the issuance of e-funds in the country, writes Cointelegraph.
In Europe’s second poorest nation, the cryptocurrency industry is in its early stages of development without a coherent regulatory framework and although the use of Bitcoin is not illegal, the Romanian Financial Supervision Authority has issued warnings against its uses due what it calls “risk of fraud”.
The announced move is aimed at adding some clarity the issuance of e-funds which would see digital currency falling under the same legal umbrella. The new draft states electronic money as being:
“…monetary value stored electronically, including magnetic, representing a claim on the issuer issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of performing payment transactions and which is accepted by a person other than the issuer of electronic money.”
The draft goes on to state that that under this description, any legal issuer of e-money must have a share capital of no less than EUR 350,000 (USD 409,000), and issuers must have sought approval by the Romanian National Bank (BNR).
Those entities listed as being able to legally issue funds under the proposed rules would be credit institutions, electronic money institutions, the European Central Bank, and the national central banks.
Approval from the BNR would be valid for a period of 12 months although it is not clear if this would need to be renewed after the expiry period without a further submission to its governing regulator in order to continue operating. Any unauthorized issuance of funds through the BNR would be regarded as a criminal offence, punishable by a fine or six months to three years imprisonment.
Although the crypto industry in Romania could hardly be described as vibrant, Bucharest has its own Bitcoin ATM and the western town of Oreada is home to BTCXChange, the country’s first exchange owned by local politician Horea Vuscan. When asked about the difficulties connected with running a cryptocurrency exchange in Romania, Vuscan said that he had “groped around in the legislation and interpreted some policies”.
According to a news source, in 2017, the country’s Business, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Environment Minister Ilan Laufer said that he approved of cryptocurrency, but called for regulation, commenting:
“It’s a challenge for the banking system because this area isn’t very well regulated and I believe that this should happen. It’s an area in which lots of money circulates, but it is also a new technology.”
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