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Lithuania plans to step up control of activity of ICO (Initial Coin Offering) companies, virtual currency exchanges and depository wallet operators, and also plans to introduce requirements for them to ensure effective prevention of money-laundering and terrorism funding.
Virtuali valiuta - bitkoinai
Virtuali valiuta - bitkoinai
© AP/Scanpix

On Wednesday, the country's Cabinet backed the amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, drafted by the Ministry of Finance and stipulating the transposition of the fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5) and the FATF recommendations, adopted in October, into Lithuanian law.

Under the amendments, only legal entities and their branches registered with the Center of Registers will be able to act as operators, and they will also have to execute the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing and to check client's identity and inform the Financial Crime Investigation Service about large financial transactions.

Operators will be required to identify clients and check their identity before providing services if the operation value exceeds 1,000 euros, and also provide information to the FCIS, if the operation value is now less than 15,000 euros. And the requirement will apply not only virtual currency conversions into traditional ones and vice versa, and also to virtual currency inter-conversions as well.

Under the FATF recommendations, ICO initiators will also need to identify clients but a lower transaction threshold of 3,000 euros is set for them. ICO initiators will also be required to keep certain information and cooperate with the FCIS.

Currently, activity of all mentioned operators and persons involved in ICO is not regulated.

BNS
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