Italy is looking at bitcoin and digital currency companies in an unusual way.
For one thing, the country feels that bitcoin should be avoided at all costs until some form of regulation comes about. However, the twist to this attitude is that should a company delve into cryptocurrency without legislation being appropriately instilled, no AML (anti-money laundering) program is required, which certainly leaves open a few doors for some unexpected mishaps…
The Financial Intelligence Unit from Banca d’Italia (Bank of Italy) has issued the following notice:
“The use, exchange and storage of a digital currency and its conversions to legal currencies are not addressed by the money-laundering legislation and therefore are not required to comply with requirements of customer data recording and reporting of suspicious transactions.”
The bank is suggesting that all businesses dealing in the transfer of cryptocurrencies voluntarily instill AML programs into their platforms, but at this time such security measures are not actually required.
The notice has been met with mixed responses. Giulia Aranguena for example, who currently serves as a lawyer for the cryptocurrency association Cashless Way, is looking at the bank’s attitude in a positive light, and feels the notice presents a move in the right direction:
“This is a very good first step for our market to organize and give a sort of certainty, it is very positive… Indirectly it is recognizing the role and importance of digital currencies.”
Others, however, such as Franco Cimatti of Bitcoin Foundation Italy, see a more cynical side to the notice, and are warning others to tread lightly as the country has yet to even attempt some form of regulation:
“Even if this seems like good news, it will not stop our politicians from creating bad laws. We are still keeping our eyes wide open to see what will happen in the future.”
What do you all think? Is Italy on its way to becoming the next big digital currency haven? Post your thoughts below.
Images from Banca d’Italia and Creative Commons.