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Albania passes crypto regulatory law to safeguard investors

The law lays out the procedures and regulations around setting up and running businesses in the crypto industry

The Albanian Government officially passed a law last week for the regulation of businesses within the cryptocurrency space.

The first draft of the bill for regulating Financial Markets and distributed ledgers, was first submitted for review to the Ministry of Finance in October 2019. It was approved by a vote of the majority in the plenary session and this year was approved in Parliament.

With 88 voting in favour, 16 against, and 3 abstaining, the new law will be implemented later this year on September 1.

Prior to this, the cryptocurrency sector in Albania has been running in an unregulated environment. This made it difficult for investors and enthusiasts to protect themselves from malicious activities and unscrupulous crypto businessmen.

The law sets out terms for licensing for cryptocurrency activities in the country and ways to monitor financial infrastructures that operate on the blockchain. Many hope that this new law maximizes the positive impact of cryptocurrency in the country.

Anila Denaj, the Albanian Minister of Finance, said that the law considered the variety of risks that came with dealing in the cryptocurrency industry. These include money laundering, fraudulent schemes, terrorist financing and market manipulation.

“The draft law aims to regulate conditions for licensing, exercising the activity of operators and stock exchanges and supervising them, as well as preventing abusive practices in the market where severe fines are stipulated for anyone that violates the provisions of the law,” Denaj said.

Prior to this law, Albania had a strict stance against cryptocurrencies. In 2017, the Central Bank of Albania cautioned its citizens against dealing with crypto because it was not subject to direct national regulations.

In 2018, the central bank took steps towards embracing the adoption of cryptocurrencies and creating a conducive environment for users within the country. The enactment of this new law on digital currencies gives Albania one of the most comprehensive cryptocurrency legal systems in Europe, next to countries like Malta and France.

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