The Cypriot government is developing a regulatory framework for the regulation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, which will contribute to the development of innovation in the country.
About it informed Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy of Cyprus Kyriacos Kokkinos at an event in Larnaca dedicated to digital assets, entrepreneurship and financial technology.
Kokkinos said that the Cypriot authorities are taking a cautious approach to the use of cryptocurrencies. He turned his attention to Malta, which has attracted many crypto-currency investors and companies working in the blockchain industry. However, the Maltese authorities intend to increase their enforcement of anti-money laundering (AML) regulations in order to comply with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) strategic plan to prevent financial crime.
“Cyprus welcomes the use of digital assets, but we still need to proceed very carefully, regardless of the presence or absence of regulations governing crypto-currency activities,” said Kokkinos.
Given that Cyprus is part of the European Union, when drawing up a bill on the regulation of crypto assets, the local government should take into account the requirements of European regulators, Kokkinos noted. The Cypriot authorities are developing their own legislation to regulate crypto-assets and may adopt it before European regulators complete their work on the regulatory framework.
“We are faced with a dilemma: wait for the European Central Bank to finalize its own version of the regulatory framework or act independently. The first scenario involves over-regulation of the cryptocurrency industry. Therefore, for now, we will act alone, following the rules. We must remember that the Central Bank of Cyprus is subordinate to the ECB, and our task is to challenge the conservative central banks through the debate that we are already having with them,” added Kokkinos.
Last year, the Cypriot Ministry of Finance began to study the possible risks associated with the use of digital currencies, and the Cyprus National Betting Authority began to explore the possibilities of blockchain to increase oversight of the gambling industry.