Dutch cryptocurrency exchange Deribit is packing for Panama on a one-way ticket, admittedly due to concerns regarding the newly introduced anti-money laundering regulations in the broader European region.
More specifically the Deribit B.V. registered in the Netherlands announced via their official blog that the company, as well as its operations, are fully moving to Panama, under the DRB Panama Inc. registration identity on February 10th.
Deribit characterized the shift a “forced action”, caused by the inevitable introduction of the fifth anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5) which was conducted by the European Union back in 2018 and is in effect since January 2020.
It is unclear why Deribit who’s in the crypto scene for quite some time now, has chosen to move their headquarters from their native country Netherlands to Panama at the very last moment, knowing about the European directive at least 2 years prior, but it should be clear that Deribit is not the first to react in this manner, and it is certainly not the last of its kind.
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Indeed, the AMLD5 could threaten many cryptoeconomic business models that rely on customers who want the ‘full blockchain experience’, that comes with anonymity, large and inexpensive transactions, and many perks crypto exchanges that are on Satoshi’s side of the river would offer in opposition to exchanges piling with the banks, essentially giving all the customer intel they have to their respective government.
Remember how Binance, one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges changed its base multiple times in the past, only to end up in Malta, where blockchain regulations are tailored to be pro-blockchain.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Binance, Deribit or any other platform that wants to avoid the “big brother” is necessarily involved in money-laundering activities undergoing their interfaces, but it means these companies want to stick to what blockchain is all about.
As a matter of facts, both Binance and Deribit, among most of the exchanges have a mandatory KYC process when you’re trading large amounts of monetary value (in terms of USD or BTC), exactly to ensure no malicious actors would use the platform to push large amounts of unregistered cash.
“We believe that crypto markets should be freely available to most, and the new regulations would put too-high barriers for the majority of traders, both regulatory and cost-wise,”Deribit cited in their announcement.
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It is said that while most European countries are still unaware of the new directive, they will eventually crash on it one way or another.
The Netherlands which is one of the most advanced EU countries when it comes to financial technology (fintech) asked for an extension of due period to prepare for the new AMLD5, and while some believe they are trying to avoid it, Deribit states that Netherland’s plan is to take AMLD5 and tune it into an even more stricter regulation for operators within the country.
Which cryptocurrency exchanges will remain loyal to the authoritarian regime and which will flee the middle continent is blurry at best at the moment. Personally, I am more worried about wallet providers’ future due to their role is more crucial compared to that of centralized crypto brokers and exchanges.
What would happen if your wallet was banned from Europe? Could you still send and receive funds? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or feel free to bother at @rosspeili