The EU cryptocurrency ecosystem has welcomed two new cryptocurrency exchanges this month.
Following the sector’s renewed focus on risk management after the spectacular collapse of FTX in November, VoltCoins and Finst both announced their launch earlier this week, affirming their commitment to security and accountability.
In a press release, Lithuania-based VoltCoins referred specifically to the FTX collapse, which it said “incentivized VoltCoins to present a cutting edge mechanism for the exchange of crypto, which can withstand today’s complex environment.”
With the unlikelihood that FTX users will ever see the full recovery of assets they held on the platform, it’s no wonder that new exchanges are marketing themselves as secure and trusted guardians.
In a bid to entice new customers, VoltCoins operates with the promise that they will maintain full control over their holdings, as the exchange does not operate its own hot wallets and requires users to input their own crypto address before they purchase any tokens.
While this limits the platform’s functionality to buying crypto with fiat and could decrease its appeal to traders who want to engage in crypto swaps, investors who want to hold onto their assets in a wallet of their choice are likely to find the company’s bare bones approach more appealing.
Like VoltCoins, Amsterdam-based startup Finst is targeting potential customers as a trusted exchange that promises to keep users’ assets fully segregated from the company itself, offering “maximum protection no matter what happens to us,” as it states on its website.
Unlike the model popularized by FTX and many of its global peers, Finst does not trade, lend or otherwise process the cryptocurrency users exchange besides facilitating the actual swaps.
Importantly, the same policy of separation also extends to fiat currency, with Finst entrusting the Dutch neobank bunq to safeguard customers’ funds while delegating responsibility for crypto custody to Fire Blocks.
What’s more, the new exchange has also talked up its regulatory status, stressing that it is licensed and overseen by Dutch Central Bank (DNB) as a crypto service provider.
EU Prepares for Mandatory Crypto Licensing
The recent launches come as EU authorities are stepping up their efforts to regulate crypto platforms and crack down on rogue exchanges operating without a license.
Central to these efforts is the EU’s upcoming Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, which will harmonize rules governing the crypto sector across the bloc and require platforms to gain a license from an EU financial supervisory authority.
However, a vote on adopting the MiCA legislation that was initially scheduled for December has since been postponed until later this year.
Ahead of an EU-wide regulatory mandate, France’s market regulator this month said that it wants to accelerate the obligatory licensing of cryptocurrency service providers.
Quoting Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, the head of the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), the authority tweeted on Monday (Jan. 9) that “the AMF, like the Parliament, calls for an acceleration of the transition to the mandatory licensing regime for unregistered providers.”
Barbat-Layani’s comments echo similar ones made by the deputy governor of the French Central Bank, Denis Beau, who wrote recently that the accelerated implementation of mandatory licensing requirements for crypto exchanges would be desirable.
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