Blockchain.com had registered as a digital asset provider in Italy, following in the tracks of rivals who joined a special registry with brokerage regulator Organismo degli Agenti e dei Mediatori (OAM).
The approval allows the company to offer a suite of products and services to Italian customers, as well as open offices and expand its team in the country. The regulatory nod enables Blockchain.com to act as a provider of virtual currency and digital wallet services.
The UK-based firm follows in the footsteps of other crypto firms that have recently secured clearance from OAM, as required by newly updated regulations on crypto assets. The list includes Binance, which received regulatory approval in May to act as a crypto service provider with the OAM. Also last month, Coinbase won approval from Italian regulators and a day later, Crypto.com was awarded nod to distribute its products and services to users in the country.
The applicants are required to submit disclosures of a variety of data, including those relating to client identification and transactions on a quarterly basis. In case of non-compliance with the regulatory requirements, the operator may be subject to financial sanctions and its website may blocked by the internet providers.
As per Blockchain.com medium article, “Through engaging with OAM we’ve been encouraged by the thoughtful approach to protecting consumers and preventing money laundering. A key growth market, Italy represents a significant economy in Europe with a high crypto adoption rate relative to its peer countries in the EU. Additionally, this milestone strengthens our position to offer services across Europe ahead of the forthcoming Regulation on Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCAR), a landmark law expected to take effect in 2024/2025 that will create a single market for crypto through harmonized rules.”
The news comes shortly after Blockchain.com revealed it had been exposed to Three Arrows Capital (3AC) after the recently bankrupt hedge fund failed to meet a margin call. It also came on the heels of the firm’s announcement that is interviewing investment bankers about going public as soon as this year.
The company hasn’t made a final decision, though, and its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) could change, and the public debut could also slip to next year.
Blockchain.com, led by CEO and co-founder Peter Smith, is said to have registered 73 million crypto wallets and over 31 million verified users in more than 200 countries. It also claims a market share of 28% of all bitcoin transactions.