Crypto License in Poland: The Regulatory Landscape
In the dynamic world of cryptocurrency, Poland emerges as a key player, offering a robust framework for businesses seeking a crypto license. Understanding the crypto license requirements is pivotal for companies venturing into the realm of virtual currencies in Poland.
In comparison to the much more formalized Poland EMI License, the Crypto License is characterized by a targeted regulatory framework tailored specifically to businesses engaged in virtual currency-related activities.
Poland EMI License accommodates a broad spectrum of financial activities beyond virtual currencies. This versatility makes it an ideal choice for a diverse array of financial service providers seeking comprehensive regulatory coverage. Whereas designed with precision, the Crypto License is uniquely crafted to address the specific needs of businesses engaged in virtual currency-related activities. Its focused regulatory framework provides a targeted environment, offering clarity and compliance for entities operating within the dynamic crypto space.
The Regulatory Scope for Crypto Licenses Under Polish Law:
Entities involved in virtual currency business in Poland can obtain crypto license for the following activities:
- Exchanges between virtual currencies and traditional means of payment (FIAT currencies).
- Exchanges solely between virtual currencies.
- Intermediation in the aforementioned exchanges.
- Keeping accounts, pertaining specifically to virtual currency, involves a collection of electronic identification data. These data serve as a repository that grants authorized individuals the ability to utilize virtual currency units, facilitating transactions, including their exchange.
Key Requirements for Crypto Licensing in Poland:
To obtain a crypto license in Poland, businesses must fulfill specific criteria, focusing on two main aspects: criminal record and professional qualifications.
No Criminal Record Requirement:
- Individuals, including managing persons and beneficial owners, must have a clean legal record, free from intentional crimes against various aspects such as state institutions, justice, property, and economic turnover.
- Entities must ensure that partners or members of management bodies haven't been legally convicted of specified crimes, subject to obtaining of a no criminal record document based on the entity type.
Professional Qualifications Requirement:
- Individuals involved in virtual currency activities need knowledge or experience related to this domain.
- Qualifications can be achieved through training, courses, or a minimum one-year practical engagement in virtual currency activities.
- Entities meeting these criteria are eligible for entry into the register of activities in the field of virtual currencies (crypto license).
Registration Process and Compliance for License Obtaining:
Companies intending to operate in the virtual currency space in Poland must undergo a registration process with the Minister of Finance after company formaiton process. The application should include essential details such as name, company information, services offered in the virtual currency field, and a qualified electronic signature or ePUAP profile signature.
The license application must be accompanied by a declaration confirming the completeness and accuracy of the provided information, along with an acknowledgment of the criminal liability for false statements.
Submission of Electronic Application for Crypto License Obtaining:
The aspiring company must submit an electronic application to the Minister of Finance for inclusion in the register.
This application should encompass:
- Full name or company name.
- National Court Register (NCR) number and Tax Identification Number (NIP), if assigned.
- Specification of services in the virtual currency domain.
- A trusted profile, qualified electronic signature or personal signature of the applicant.
- The list of required documents and declarations.
The Tax Administration Chamber in Katowice, authorized by the Minister of Finance, conducts an entry into the register within 14 days of receiving the license application.
Potential Rejections and Legal Consequences for Crypto Licensed Companies:
Polish authorities can reject an entry into the register (approving the crypto license) in situations like incomplete applications, inconsistent data, or a legally binding decision prohibiting specific business activities. Entrepreneurs can appeal such decisions, either seeking reconsideration by the Minister of Finance or filing directly with the Regional Administrative Court.
Post-Registration Obligations for Crypto Licensed Companies:
Once registered, entities conducting virtual currency business must adhere to specific post-registration obligations under Polish law:
- Identify and assess money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
- Implement financial security measures, including customer identification, ongoing monitoring, and internal procedures.
- Notify Polish authorities of particular transactions.
- Cooperate with authorities in case of crime suspicion.
- While outsourcing financial security services is allowed, companies remain liable for compliance.
Compliance Control of Crypto Companies:
Entities fulfilling the conditions mandated by Polish law for virtual currency activities undergo scrutiny, conducted by the Director of the Tax Administration Chamber in Katowice. This control mechanism ensures adherence to regulatory prerequisites.
Penalties for Non-Compliance:
In instances of inadequate fulfillment or non-compliance with post-registration crypto-business obligations, the Polish authorities have the authority to impose administrative penalties, which may include:
- Publication of information about the entity and its illicit activities in the Public Information Bulletin on the office servicing the Minister of Finance's website,
- An order to cease specific actions by the registered (crypto licensed) entity ,
- Deletion from the register of activities in the field of virtual currency (revoking the license),
- Prohibition of performing duties in a managerial position by a responsible person for a period not exceeding one year.
- A financial penalty, imposed up to twice the amount of the benefit gained or the loss avoided by the entity due to the infringement. If the precise amount of this benefit or loss cannot be determined, the penalty may be equivalent to up to EUR 1,000,000.
- Furthermore, an individual acting on behalf of the licensed entity, who fails to report suspicions of criminal activity to Polish authorities or provides false information or conceals true data regarding transactions, accounts, or persons, may face imprisonment ranging.
In conclusion, obtaining a crypto license in Poland involves navigating a regulatory landscape that emphasizes legal integrity and professional qualifications. Understanding the nuanced requirements, navigating the registration process, and fulfilling post-registration obligations are crucial steps for businesses seeking success in Poland's crypto space.