A public hearing on the question of regulation of the cryptocurrency companies in Italy came to an end. The discussion stakeholders had been invited by the Ministry of economy and Finance to Express their proposals and comments in respect of the draft law obliging companies to register and to submit reports on their activities. A new set of rules will come into force within three months after approval.
A legal document aimed at implementing the updated and «strengthened» the legislation to combat money-laundering in Italy was published
the Ministry of Finance on 2 February. Stakeholders had two weeks to Express their opinion and propose amendments.
In may 2017, the Italian government issued a decree requiring «suppliers of services connected with virtual currencies», such as exchanges, to fulfill the obligations under the prevention of money laundering and illegal cryptocurrency transactions. The new document imposes on the company additional commitments, including to report regularly to the Ministry of Finance.
The text of the proposed document clarifies that although the cryptocurrency being used as «a medium of exchange for buying goods and services», it is not issued by the Central Bank or other government authority. Attached disclaimer also States that the cryptocurrency is «not necessarily linked to currency that is legal tender».
Reporting will also apply to companies that accept cryptocurrency payments for goods and services. The Ministry wants to conduct a «systematic investigation», starting with determining the number of operators in this sector. After the start of work each company must register at the Italian Agency intermediaries OAM to work legally in the country.
The new rules will come into force within three months after approval of the decree. Regulators noted that the revised Italian regulatory framework to comply with the latest EU Directive to combat money laundering — 5MLD, which offers more strict rules to prevent financial crimes. The previous Directive was adopted in Italy on may 25 last year.
The use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in individuals almost not regulated in Italy. However, the Parliament presented a law requiring identification of parties in cryptocurrency transactions. In 2016, the Italian tax authority Agenzia delle Entrate has stated that buying and selling crypto-currencies are exempt from VAT. With some limitations cryptocurrency personal funds and profits from their sale are not taxed.