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New obligations for cryptocurrency business

 The Act of 30 March 2021 amending the Act on counteracting money laundering and financing of terrorism was published in the Journal of Laws on 30 April 2021. The amendment introduces new obligations for operations in the field of virtual currencies. Conducting such activity becomes a regulated activity which requires an entry in the register kept by the minister responsible for public finance. It is worth getting acquainted with the new regulations, which will enter into force 6 months after the date of the act's publication.

 Entities that run a business consisting in the provision of services in the field of exchange between virtual currencies and means of payment, exchange between virtual currencies, as well as intermediation in this type of exchanges will have to be entered in the register. This also applies to the activity of maintaining accounts that provide other people with the possibility of using virtual currency units, including carrying out their exchange transactions. This means that the changes to the regulations mainly apply to entrepreneurs running exchange offices, cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrency wallets.

The new legal regulations assume that the entry in the register will be possible in an electronic form. The application will include an indication of the type of services provided in the field of virtual currencies and a declaration of compliance with the truthfulness of the data contained in the application and compliance with the statutory conditions. Details of the procedure for submitting an application for entry will be laid down in a separate regulation. The condition for conducting business in the field of virtual currencies is a clean criminal record for certain types of crimes: fiscal crimes, against the activities of state institutions and local government, against the administration of justice, credibility of documents, property, economic turnover, property interests and money trading. In addition, you should demonstrate knowledge or experience related to virtual currencies. This condition may be met if the training course was completed or if activities related to the activity in the field of virtual currencies were performed for a period of at least 1 year. Compliance with the requirements must be properly documented. Conducting activities in the field of virtual currencies without an entry in the register will be subject to a fine of up to 100000 PLN.

It is worth emphasizing that an entity operating in the field of virtual currencies is obliged to take actions aimed at counteracting money laundering and financing of terrorism. Appropriate financial security measures should be applied to occasional transactions using a virtual currency with an equivalent of 1000 EUR or more. Therefore, in addition to entry in the register, you must remember to implement appropriate procedures, analyze transactions and identify customers.