Right on the heels of the rising cryptocurrency hype, Finnish regulators have dropped a formal notice. On November 24th, the Financial Regulator (FIN-FSA) stated:
“Only registered virtual currency providers can market virtual currency and related services in Finland. The distribution of virtual currencies in Finnish and Finland is only permitted for companies that are registered in Finland as providers of virtual currencies. “
Finland is a very economically independent country and ranks 17th in the index of economic freedom. However, as LocalBitcoins CEO Sebastian Sonntag told Cointelegraph after receiving his FSA license in 2019:
“The controls in the financial sector are of particularly high quality and the customers’ position is well protected.”
It appears that the FSA is interested in protecting investors – especially retail investors – who are more likely to be influenced by marketing activities. If you can orientate yourself on the meme mania of the Bull Runs 2020-2021, there will be more FOMO in retail worldwide.
The FSA press release is a direct response to the increasing commercialization of virtual currencies and related services across Finland. Finnish media observed increasing traffic for cryptocurrency articles, while the authors in a recent editorial from the mainstream Helsinki Times outlet concluded that crypto is trending in Finland and will hold its popularity for years to come.
Elsewhere in Finland, the local adoption of crypto is brewing. Finnish esports company Elisa Esports has announced a partnership with cryptocurrency company Coinmotion to bolster the Nordic esports scene.
Related: Finnish Customs are at a loss as to what will be confiscated with 15 million euros in Bitcoin
However, the list of regulated companies operating in the cryptocurrency and virtual currency space is still small. Fewer than 10 companies are registered so the latest announcement could be a nod to future regulation and the evolving regulatory landscape.
The bottom line is that the FSA cannot provide advice to Finnish customers visiting foreign websites. Advertising on international websites that are not specifically aimed at Finnish citizens is also not affected by the latest initiative.
As a result, while regulators grapple with the local market, Finnish crypto advocates can continue to visit international crypto websites.