POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Bitflyer is the first “VASP” in Luxembourg



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Bitflyer, a Japanese firm that opened its European headquarters in the grand duchy in 2017, is the first cryptocurrency and digital asset firm to receive a new type of authorisation from Luxembourg’s financial regulator. Screenshots: Bitflyer 

Cryptocurrency trading platform Bitflyer has received the grand duchy’s first “virtual asset service provider” licence.

VASP authorisation means a financial outfit that handles digital assets complies with the same anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing guidelines--that apply to all financial institutions--set out by the Financial Action Task Force, a global watchdog.

Luxembourg’s Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) published VASP licensing rules in March 2020 and some 20 firms have applied. Candidates must demonstrate that, like investment funds, they have evaluated their risks, carry out due diligence on their clients, have a designated AML/CFT point person, have trained staff members to industry standards, disclose their outsourcing arrangements and pay an annual licencing fee of €15,000.

According to the CSSF website, Bitflyer received the approval on 23 March 2021; the company announced it last week. Bitflyer was already authorised as a payments institution.

On Monday morning, Coinmarketcap listed Bitflyer as the 14th largest cryptocurrency spot exchange, handling $221m in volume over 24 hours. Bitflyer handles trades in bitcoin, ethereum, lisk, litecoin and monacoin.

Reported by Thierry Labro; edited by Aaron Grunwald