A government official stated that Cyprus has drafted its own legislation to handle crypto assets and is likely to adopt it before Europe finalizes an uniform regulatory guideline.
Kyriacos Kokkinos, Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy, announced this during a Larnaca meeting with the local fintech community.
The meeting was organized by the Swiss consulting business Kendris, which has offices in various countries, including Cyprus.
Kokkinos remarked that Cyprus’ concentration on research yielded successes in that discipline, but not without the country learning some lessons along the road.
Cyprus Supports Crypto Use
Cyprus Mail reported on Thursday that when Kokkinos commented on the future of digital assets in Cyprus, including cryptocurrency, he walked a tight line between welcoming innovation and adhering to legislation.
Kokkinos, cited by an English-language daily newspaper, elaborated:
“I can confirm that Cyprus supports the usage of digital and crypto assets, but we must be extremely cautious and respect not only the legislation now in existence, but also the absence of restrictions.”
Since the island nation was a member of the European Union, Kokkinos underlined the necessity for prudence. He observed that it did not care whether or not it aligned with Europe.
Instead, he stated that the country’s choice was whether or not to wait for the ECB to establish its own regulatory framework or to proceed independently.
“My answer is that we will go at it alone while respecting the rules,” he said.
Evaluating Cryptocurrency’s Functions
The legislation has been published and interested parties are encouraged to evaluate it, as disclosed by the deputy minister. The government of Cyprus also invited a New York-based company to assist with the application of the legislation.
Regarding the banking industry as a whole, Kokkinos had a more pessimistic picture, lamenting the very conservative approach adopted by commercial banks following the 2013 financial crisis.
“Banks should be more accommodating to companies and individuals seeking to conduct business in Cyprus,” he continued, noting that while they have improved over the previous 18 months, there is still room for improvement.
Two Invest Cyprus representatives, CEO George Campanellas and vice-chairman Spyros Vassiliou, also spoke at the occasion.
Meanwhile, the financial chiefs of the G7 have urged nations to adopt comprehensive regulation of cryptocurrencies. According to Reuters, the team issued a draft statement to this effect while meeting in Koenigswinter, close to Bonn (Germany).
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