Cryptocurrency Regulations in Finland Prior to 2023

Before 2023, Finland had developed a structured regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, balancing legal recognition with rigorous oversight.

Legal Status of Cryptocurrencies: Cryptocurrencies were legal in Finland. The Finnish government acknowledged the existence of various digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and others. However, it was emphasized that these were not considered legal tender in Finland. This meant individuals could own and trade cryptocurrencies, but these digital assets were not officially recognized as money​​.

Regulatory Framework and Governing Laws: The use and trading of cryptocurrencies in Finland were regulated under several laws, notably the Act on Detecting and Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing and the Act on Virtual Currency Providers. These laws were designed to ensure the transparency and safety of cryptocurrency transactions, with violations potentially leading to penalties, including fines and imprisonment​​​​.

Role of the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA): The FIN-FSA was responsible for regulating cryptocurrencies in Finland. Under the Act on Virtual Currency Providers, cryptocurrency exchange services and wallet providers were required to register with the FIN-FSA. They had to comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing obligations, along with ensuring consumer protection by providing sufficient information about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies​​.

Cryptocurrency Trading Regulations: Trading in cryptocurrencies was legal in Finland. Traders were obligated to comply with the country’s regulations and laws, which included registering with the FIN-FSA and adhering to AML and counter-terrorist financing obligations​​.

Cryptocurrency Gambling: This area remained a grey zone in Finland. Cryptocurrency gambling was not explicitly illegal, but neither was it officially recognized or regulated by the Finnish government. Individuals engaging in cryptocurrency gambling did so at their own risk​​.

In summary, Finland’s approach to cryptocurrency prior to 2023 reflected a progressive but cautious regulatory stance. The country recognized cryptocurrencies as digital assets and implemented a regulatory framework that included registration, compliance with AML/CFT obligations, and consumer protection measures. This framework aimed to ensure transparency and security in the cryptocurrency market, aligning with broader financial regulatory standards.

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