Apart from Bitcoin miners preferring Iceland due to its cold weather, the country is making headlines in other fronts closely related to blockchain technology. The country’s financial watchdog, FME (Financial Supervisory Authority), has legalized the use of cryptocurrency in payments.
Iceland’s Financial Supervisory Authority has authorized its first ever crypto institution, Monerium, which is based in Reykjavik. By being able to issue electronic money using blockchain technology, the institution was “recognized as a company that can conduct business in compliance with the first electronic money regulation in Europe.”
Electronic Money Was Not Approved
With an FME approval, Monerium will be able to offer services across Europe in the European Economic Area. The consent is a breakthrough considering that earlier, electronic money was not approved for transmission using blockchain technology.
Regulations Are Part of The Protocol
As noted by Valfells, Monerium took a different path unlike other companies developing similar products in Europe. For example, the CEO pointed out, instead of developing a product and then seeking to comply with regulations, Monerium developed a product that took care of the set regulations right from the start. The CEO said that the regulations formed part of its product’s protocol.
Monerium is using regulations formulated in 2009 during the financial crisis. Since then, the regulations have been employed to govern firms developing products around prepaid debit cards.
Jon H. Egilsson, the co-founder of Monerium, noted that the company’s e-money takes into consideration all the advantages of blockchain technology when money is programmed into it. For Egilsson, “in addition to being the closest form of central bank money, there is – based on a proven EU regulatory framework.”
Crypto Mining to Blockchain-Based Activities
Towards the end of 2018, experts anticipated that Iceland would be shifting from just crypto mining to other blockchain-based activities.