The government of Italy proposed new regulations for cryptocurrencies with the aim to make its use inside the country clear and transparent. The gist of the rules require service providers which accept cryptocurrency transactions to declare their business and earnings to Italy’s Ministry of Economics and Finance.
The said decree also describes cryptocurrencies as mainly “used as a means of exchange for the purchase of goods and services, [they are] not issued by a central bank or by a public authority, [and are] not necessarily connected to a currency having legal tender.” The decree is also designed to enforce specific anti-money laundering regulations approved by the European Union. The said decree was also created due to newly created rules with regards to the financing of criminal activities and terrorism.
The regulation would now require businesses which transact in cryptocurrencies to be recorded on a database maintained by the Agency for Agents and Mediators. The Italian government aims to measure the domestic market for digital currency as well as the quantity of businesses it is working with. The director of the agency responsible for the prevention of financial crimes, Roberto Ciciani, explained the benefits of having regulations for cryptocurrencies: “The census and the start of the register will also allow to better monitor compliance with the rules by the operators and give them certainty about the legal exercise of their activity .”
The rules are set to be enforced prior to July 2018. Service providers are required to register within sixty days from the date the decree is implemented. Italian regulators have paid attention to cryptocurrencies since 2016 when its tax office it treated bitcoin as a currency relevant for tax purposes. The investment scheme popularized by OneCoin has been fined 2.59 million euro when it was accused to be a Ponzi scheme.