Prasos Oy, one of the Nordic region’s largest Bitcoin dealers has been suffering as the country waits on clear cryptocurrency laws to be established.
The company has worked with banks to handle exchanges of cryptocurrencies into euros, but many of these banks have started turning Prasos down, along with other companies involved with digital money, due to concerns over anti-money laundering laws. The company has been left hoping that regulators will establish laws that allow it to continue its practice.
Four banks in Finland, where Prasos is located, have already stopped the company’s transactions, shares Chief Executive Officer, Henry Brade. The company has been left with only one bank to handle all client money transactions.
Currently there is no Nordic law in place that addresses how the nation should handle cryptocurrency dealers. However, there are anti-money laundering rules that say lenders must know who their customers are and where the money comes from that they manage. The anonymity of digital money is raising an alarm for banks who don’t want to get in trouble.
Prasos is aware that the fast growth of its transaction volumes to about 150 million euros ($185 million) last year is the main cause of suspicion.
“We’ve realized that the growth in international transaction volumes started to disturb the banks. Along the way, we’ve been given very little information by the banks on what we could do to solve the problem,” Brade explains.
Back in December, a political agreement was reached in the European Union to expand the rules on preventing money laundering to entities dealing with virtual currencies. However, it is not legally binding at this time. Meanwhile, Prasos is working on improving client identification and clearing up concerns about the origins of the digital funds.
The company explains, “We’ve created identification practices, which we have taken into use in March, and they comply fully with anti-money laundering laws and regulations, even though authorities do not even require this from us as our business in not under regulatory obligations.”