Of the 2,000 registered crypto firms in the EU, 938 are based in Poland – almost double that of second-place Lithuania (499). This data was obtained by DL News journalists.
The publication explained the situation by the ease of registration in Poland – the period does not exceed two weeks, and the costs are about €150. Companies do not need to have a physical office. The key advantage is access to the rest of the economic bloc.
“Some register in Poland only to gain a foothold in the EU,” — explained tau.legal lawyer Yaroslav Novatsky.
Coming into force in December 2024, MiCA could reshape the regulatory landscape in the region. In the remaining 15 months, Poland and other member states will jockey for position to attract digital asset businesses.
Local authorities will have to adapt their rules to the regime in Brussels, and those who work the fastest could gain a key advantage. According to MiCA, a crypto firm based in any EU country will be able to “get a passport” in any other member state without much effort.
According to the expert, the management of such organizations in Poland will have to do little more than declare compliance with AML laws and provide evidence of cryptocurrency-related practices. An additional barrier will be obtaining a license, which is a more stringent process than registration.
Journalists pointed to France’s ambitions to take a leading position. Obtaining a license here may take up to a year, however, the country’s authorities intend to adapt their local legislation long before MiCA comes into force.
According to the publication, France has a good chance of realizing its plans, since in addition to a clear regulatory regime, it requires an entrepreneurial culture that attracts talent, funding and major players.
“There needs to be an ecosystem for this kind of service providers,” – explained Francesco Paolo Patti, associate professor at the Bocconi University of Milan and member of the European Law Institute.
Currently, the list of applicants for a license includes several dozen companies, including OKX and Circle.
To obtain mandatory registration with the local Financial Markets Authority, officials review business practices, human resources, IT systems and conflict of interest policies.
Firms must pay a fee of €1,000 for a basic permit, with legal costs reaching tens of thousands of euros.
By obtaining a higher-level license, crypto companies can almost fully comply with MiCA requirements months ahead of schedule. In addition to doubling the collection costs, applicants are responsible for maintaining a minimum level of reserves and purchasing insurance.
At the moment, this status has only been awarded to Societe Generale’s subsidiary, Forge.
“Industry giants like Circle and Binance realize that receiving this license today, tomorrow will give them permission to operate under MICA,” – Patty explained.
In March 2023, the French authorities adopted a number of new rules for licensing and registering cryptocurrency companies. The amendments turned out to be more lenient compared to those proposed previously.
In April, the AMF began fast-tracking applications from regulated crypto firms to comply with the pan-European rules provided for in the MiCA law.
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