The Latest in Italian Cryptocurrency Regulation: Mandatory Fees for Providers and Exchangers

Jones Day

Jones Day

On April 21, 2022 the Italian Organismo Agenti e Mediatori issued a circular implementing the Ministry of Economic and Finance decree regarding statutory registration, fees, and obligations of cryptocurrency providers and exchangers.

Following the issuance of the decree dated January 13, 2022, by the Ministry of Economic and Finance ("Decree"), the Italian Organismo Agenti e Mediatori ("OAM") issued a circular on April 21, 2022 ("Circular"). The Circular contains details on:

  • Specific procedures that providers of cryptocurrency exchange, crypto trading, digital wallet, and, broadly, any virtual currency related services ("Providers") must follow in order to enroll in the special section of the register kept by the OAM ("Register"); and
  • Fees and other amounts due from Providers.

The Circular, which follows the rules already provided for by the Decree, reinforces that enrollment in the special section of the Register is a mandatory condition for Providers to legally carry out their activities in Italy. In addition, the Circular prescribes that any Provider interested in enrolling in the special section of the Register must: (i) have a valid Italian-certified email address (posta elettronica certificata); (ii) timely register in the OAM web portal; and (iii) follow the instructions indicated in the special operating guide published on the OAM website ("Operating Guide").

Pursuant to the Circular and the Decree, the Register will become operational on May 16, 2022, with a 60-day grandfathering period for Providers already active in Italy. From that date onward, Providers must enroll in the Register to carry out business in Italy and, as a result, implement ad hoc policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new Italian legal framework. 

According to the Circular, Providers must pay a one-off fee (€8,300 for companies and €500 for individuals). Furthermore, Providers must pay a variable annual fee, the amount of which depends on each Provider's number of customers (OAM is likely to issue a separate communication on this topic). 

To comply with the reporting obligations, Providers should use a specific online service as detailed in the Operating Guide. All the data transmitted by Providers will be kept in the OAM's database for 10 years, ensuring the appropriate retention, safety, and retrieval of the data.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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