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Two-thirds of cryptocurrency businesses in Estonia lose their licenses

Estonia, one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the European Union, revoked the licenses of more than 1,000 crypto companies in 2020. 

According to the Postimees, an Estonian daily newspaper, the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit has revoked about 70% of the country’s virtual currency companies operating in the country. Veiko Tali, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Government Committee for the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, said that the remaining cryptocurrency companies also required special attention given the potential risks. According to him, there is a need to monitor new technologies and manage the associated money laundering risks.

The media outlet stated that 400 cryptocurrency-related service providers had been left with Estonia’s corresponding licenses after the purge. The financial watchdog reported that 900 companies of this type operated in the country last year.

In June, a significant crackdown occurred when the Financial Intelligence Unit revoked 500 cryptocurrency companies’ licenses in response to a $220 billion money-laundering scandal in Estonia. Regulators withdrew the permits because the cryptocurrency companies had not started operations within six months of granting the license.

At the time, FIU chief Madis Reimand called the financial watchdog’s actions the first step in ordering the market.

In 2017, the country was seen by many as a cryptocurrency pioneer with many laws aimed at encouraging exchanges and ICOs. However, the Estonian regulatory landscape has since changed. It goes beyond the European Union laws’ requirements on ‘know your customer’ of 2019. It makes the path more difficult for licensed cryptocurrency companies. 

Binance and Coinbase suffered disruptions as Bitcoin price rose

Both Binance and Coinbase suffered from technology problems on Wednesday. At the same time, Bitcoin (BTC) crossed the $20,000 price threshold for the first time. 

Binance linked its problems to the number of people browsing the exchange.

At 1:42 pm UTC on December 16, the Bitcoin price surpassed $20,000 for the first time. The cryptocurrency reached a price close to $20,800 at 2:14 pm.

At 2:45 pm UTC, Coinbase also reported issues via its status page. The exchange posted that it was experiencing connectivity issues. The platform said the issue was resolved at 4:27 pm.

Coinbase has a history of technical difficulties during high traffic periods, commonly referred to as “connectivity issues” as the cause. Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, recently said that the exchange worked towards solutions to handle high participation on the website.

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