26 Maggio 2022
May 16th 2022 has been a crucial date for providers of services related to the use of virtual currency or of digital wallet, operating or intending to operate on the Italian territory: it was the kick-off date of the new register, kept by the “Organismo per gli Agenti e Mediatori”, where all such providers are obliged to be registered, as a consequence of the entry into force of the new Decree of the MEF (Italian Minister of Economics and Finance) of 13 January 2022, published on 17 February 2022 (the “Decree”).
As a direct consequence, it is no longer permitted for foreign operators to operate across borders into Italy: a prerequisite for registration for any provider – other than natural persons – is to have a registered and administrative office or, for EU entity, a permanent establishment in Italy.
The new regulation covers all platforms used to offer to third parties, on a professional basis, services involving cryptocurrencies, with the exception of the activity of merely issuing virtual currencies on one’s own account, which, if not carried out on a professional basis and on behalf of customers, is not in itself sufficient to qualify operators as service providers relating to the use of virtual currency.
One of the key pre-requirements which triggers the duty to be registered in the Register is that the relevant services are provided in the Italian territory. The regulation expressly clarifies that for the purposes of this pre-requirement the provision may take place also through the internet, through websites or apps.
Operators who, on the date of entry into force of the Decree, were already active in Italy must make the same communication within 60 days from May 16th and therefore within July 15th 2022.
The Decree also introduces reporting obligations on the part of cryptocurrency and digital wallet service providers, which will be in addition to the obligations already required for anti-money laundering purposes.
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