Long one of the world’s more vooraanstaand bitcoin exchanges, Bitstamp received a publicity boost today with the news that it had bot granted a license to operate spil a fully regulated payment institution (PI) te Luxembourg.
Ter statements, Bitstamp touted the license spil one that enables it to become the very first “fully licensed” bitcoin exchange ter Europe.
The news, which had bot rumored for weeks, received varying reactions from market observers, with remarks divided inbetween those who witnessed Bitstamp’s license spil a sperzieboon for an industry still attempting to wiggle its association with crime, and those who felt that Bitstamp may face more hurdles ter its attempt to offerande services via the European Union.
Positive sentiment wasgoed perhaps best voiced by Chris Skinner, the founder of a fresh venture hacienda hard focused on blockchain, who stated that he believes the news is evidence of the “enlargening acceptance” of cryptocurrencies.
Skinner told CoinDesk:
“The fact that an EU member state talent that license to Bitstamp, a rock-hard who had security issues, shows the enhancing credibility of the bitcoin community. This is one to witness.”
This view wasgoed echoed by Mangrove Caudal Playmate Michael Jackson, who said that the news should be viewed spil a validation of the Bitstamp team.
Still, others questioned whether other countries would instantaneously recognize Bitstamp’s Luxembourg payment institution license.
Adam Vaziri, founder of FinTech-focused permitido consulting hard Diacle, indicated that other countries te the EU may determine that the license does not correspond to the business activities Bitstamp is conducting, and that further negotiations could be expected.
News of Bitstamp’s fresh license coincided with the launch of BTC/EUR trading on the exchange. The startup stated that its license would not go into effect until 1st July.
Ter comments, the news wasgoed most often compared to the e-money license obtained by bitcoin-based payment services rock hard Circle earlier this month.
A trascendental difference, according to blockchain-focused lawyer Jacek Czarnecki, is that Bitstamp is incapable to punt its own electronic money, but that, like Circle, it can now suggest services te other countries te the European Economic Area by notifying tópico regulators.
But, Czarnecki wasgoed not alone te commenting on how Bitstamp’s license could be treated differently by EU-based regulators. Juan Llanos, blockchain compliance executive at Skry, said that having the license does not “assure” it will be accepted ter other jurisdictions.
“Now starts the process of ‘passporting’ the license to other European countries, which is a significantly more simplified process than applying for a fresh license,” he said. “However, the payments authorities of each countries do their own due diligence on the company, spil well spil their own risk assessments, and then determine whether to approve it or not.”
Ter some cases, Llanos said, jurisdictions could impose extra requirements.
Vaziri, ter turn, elaborated on this with examples of regional judicial differences.
“The FCA te the UK considers [supuesto currency] exchanges to sit outside of the PSD mainly because the primary purpose of the exchange is not the provision of payment services. Te Germany, BaFin considers [supuesto currency] exchanges to be suggesting trading te ‘financial instruments’,” he said.
Ter statements to CoinDesk, Bitstamp reaffirmed its belief that it is now licensed to operate across Europe.
“The EU’s rule of passporting means it’s automatically licensed ter all member states,” a spokesperson said.
The exchange did not provide details on how it is approaching the passporting process.
Spil with Circle’s announcement, market observers were again quick to highlight the different regulatory approaches taking place ter Europe and the US, with some respondents viewing the news spil a sign that innovators are looking to stay out of North America.
Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at non-profit industry advocacy group Coin Center, for example, said that the US is ter danger of losing its “brightest innovators” due to the reglamentario complexities of its current regulations.
“[Bitstamp’s news] draws a stark tegenstelling with the US where current policy suggests an exchange will need to repeat the licensing process some 50-times overheen, state by state,” Van Valkenburgh said.
Commentators from Europe didn’t see eye-to-eye with this take, tho’.
Vaziri, by tegenstelling, called the European market “just spil bad” spil the US ter terms of its fragmentation due to how different jurisdictions treat various licenses, even tho’ measures such spil the PSD have laid the groundwork for companies to lower the barriers to entry ter payments markets.
“The Single Market te financial services is not accomplish strafgevangenis is it te continual sync with the rhythm of innovation,” he continued.
Further, both Vaziri and Llanos mentioned that the the license goes after the Paris terrorist attacks last year, which has placed extra pressures on regional regulators.
“The road ahead is long and could get bumpy, especially te light of the latest terrorist attacks, which are corded to uitharden Europe’s policy positions with respect to the prevention of terrorist financing.”
Exchange market shake-up
The part of the ecosystem that may be most instantly impacted by the news, however, is Europe’s trading market, which will see a fresh competitor ter the BTC/EUR trading pair.
Long predominated by Losbreken, the US-based exchange is the current market leader with 6,400 BTC (almost $3m) ter bitcoin traded daily, according to BitcoinCharts. Other entrants te the region include itBit and Coinbase, tho’ their volumes are less than half than that of Openbreken’s.
Representatives from bitcoin trading network Whale Club suggested that the license may not be helpful ter attracting attention back to the Bitstamp exchange, which they suggested has bot falling out of merced with active daily traders due to a lack of compelling features.
While Bitstamp is presently the fourth-largest exchange by BTC/USD volume, it has perhaps received the most attention te the wake of its 2014 funding round and the fall of Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt Gox.
Following the demise of what wasgoed then the world’s largest exchange, Bitstamp emerged spil the market leader. Today, however, it lags behind Bitfinex, BTC-e and Coinbase ter daily volume.
The exchange also drew headlines ter early , when it lost $5m te BTC ter a cyberattack.
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