New Electronic Money Law Targets Cryptocurrencies In Romania

The Romanian Ministry of Finance has outlined a draft of an Emergency Ordinance including conditions and requirements that must be met by any issuer of cryptocurrency within the country. This makes Romania the latest country to institute regulatory processes targeted at cryptocurrencies.

According the draft, a cryptocurrency issuer must have a minimum of EUR 350,000 worth of share capital. Further, each of its members must be individually vetted and approved by the National Bank of Romania (BNR). The proposed vetting measures include full verification of individual tax payment history as well as personal legal records.

The intention is ostensibly to tackle organized crime in the Eastern European country

While the draft does not directly mention cryptocurrencies – preferring the use of ‘electronic money’ – it does state that electronic money issuance may only be carried out by the European Central Bank (ECB), credit institutions, electronic money institutions, and local or regional public authorities. In order to be recognized as an electronic money institution’, the issuing organization must be legally authorized to do so under Romanian law. This means that cryptocurrency issuers must register with the BNR and be supervised by it.

According to the draft, authorizations for electronic money issuance are subject at a three-month waiting period during which Romanian authorities will carry out their due diligence. The authorizations are valid for 12 months from the date of issue and authorizations will become void if the company does not commence operations during that time period. The draft also states that authorization will be withdrawn if the money issuance activity occurs based on false information, or if it does not take place on Romanian territory.

If cryptocurrency companies wish to do business in Romania, they will have to go through the BNR and the Romanian Ministry of Finance; this means that if the bill goes through, the BNR will effectively gain exclusive ownership of the cryptocurrency space in Romania.

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