Bitstamp has announced it is now a fully licensed cryptocurrency exchange. Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna, has signed a license that will allow customers in all 28 EU member countries to legally buy and sell the digital currency. Bitstamp first unveiled its plans to get a license a few days ago.
“We are proud to have taken this important step for our customers and the digital currency/blockchain industry globally,” the exchange stated.
The company has started offering BTC/EUR trading option to better serve its users in Europe. During 30 days, BTC/EUR trading will be free for new and existing clients. Last year, Bitstamp launched a pre-paid debit card that can be denominated in Euros, British pounds, and American dollars.
Launched in 2011, Bitstamp has become the globe’s third biggest digital currency exchange. The company has managed to obtain around $10 million in funding from the Californian investment firm Pantera Capital.
The license will come into effect on July 1st, when Bitstamp will launch operations at its new headquarters in Luxembourg. The state, which is known as the leader in electronic payments, is a base for many financial industry players, including such giants as PayPal and Amazon.
“Luxembourg has a long-standing history as an international leader in innovation,” Pierre Gramegna said. “That Bitstamp has chosen Luxembourg as its European hub only strengthens that reputation. I believe this announcement marks a milestone for bitcoin and digital finance in Europe. Bitstamp is a most welcome addition to Luxembourg’s fintech ecosystem.”
Bitstamp’s chairman Dan Morehead commented: “Luxembourg recognizes the economic potential of bitcoin and blockchain technology. It has set an example for other nations to embrace the industry after having conducted heavy due diligence of the technology and of Bitstamp as a company. Bitstamp becoming the first nationally regulated bitcoin exchange is a historic achievement for digital currency.”
The license will likely provide new opportunities for Bitstamp, as it will be able to partner with more serious financial institutions that are generally reluctant to deal with unlicensed companies.
Bitstamp was always committed to reach the highest level of consumer protection. It was also the first cryptocurrency exchange to follow Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-money Laundering (AML) policies and introduce multi-signature bitcoin wallet accounts.
“We have put a lot of time and resources into the regulatory process with the goal of ensuring customers feel more confident in using Bitstamp’s exchange and products across the European Union,” said Nejc Kodric, CEO of Bitstamp. “We are proud to have taken this important step for our customers and the digital currency/blockchain industry globally.”
In general, security is one of the main concerns in the cryptocurrency industry. The anonymity of bitcoin makes it a perfect currency for criminals. The European Commission (EC) has recently elaborated a set of measures that will help to reduce the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing in the digital currency sector.