Crypto notification obligation in Austria: Bitcoin to ATM affected

New legal situation obliges crypto companies to register 

In general, the country is considered comparatively advanced in the cryptosector. Already in the summer of 2018, we reported that IOTA tokens should be available at some post offices. Last September, it was announced that the country will introduce a registration requirement for crypto-companies via the local financial supervisory authority FMA. It is precisely this registration obligation that came into force on time today. Custodian services and companies that, for example, offer trading in old coins or want to offer wallets must now register with the supervisory authority without delay. Only then may they offer their services for sale. In this context, a number of legal changes are also taking place, particularly for normal consumers. The reason is the implementation of new standards against the anonymous trading of digital currencies. This concerns the 5th Money Laundering Directive of the European Union called AML5 , which has already been transposed into existing law in many places.

 

Buy Bitcoin from the vending machine: Customers must identify themselves

 This includes guidelines concerning the legitimacy of the clientele of service providers. So far there are three licences of this kind in the country. The Bitpanda exchange, for example, received a license for the Austrian market as early as the second quarter of 2019. However, as a result of the announcements of mandatory registration, not much has changed to date. Nevertheless, there are some important changes, not least for crypto-buyers, if they want to withdraw coins from the crypto ATMs in the country. Until now, a normal wallet was sufficient for transactions. Now you need proof of identity. Anonymity for such purchases of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other currencies is thus no longer necessary. And it is precisely this goal that the legislator and the EU are pursuing with the new legal framework. Interesting: The FMA also requires registration from companies domiciled abroad. Without a licence, market activities will be prohibited in future.

 

Small crypto purchases remain legitimation-exempt 

If investors want to buy crypto-currencies at the machine, they must have a valid photo ID ready. However, there are exceptions, as can be heard from the vending machine operator Kurant. Customers who plan transactions with a maximum value of 250 euros do not seem to need to prove their identity. Above this upper limit, however, they will need an ID card, which will have to be scanned and stored at vending machines in future. As little time is required for this procedure: Investors who regularly exchange large sums of money for crypto-currencies at the machine are then known to the state when they register with the supervisory authority. The transaction volume per purchase will be the deciding factor; collective accounts for ambitious investors will probably not exist. Admittedly, the same applies to ATM providers: they may only remain active if they register and comply with the comprehensive conditions associated with licensing.