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Estonia Approved Crypto Regulation as OKX Exits India

2 mins
Updated by Harsh Notariya
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In Brief

  • Estonia overhauls crypto regulation, setting strict oversight by Financial Supervision Authority from 2026.
  • New Estonian law increases fines, demands crypto firms match banking standards to operate post-2026.
  • OKX exits India amid stricter crypto regulation, advises customers to withdraw funds by April end.
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Estonia has revamped its crypto regulation framework, setting a new benchmark for digital asset oversight. From 2026, crypto businesses will be under the strict surveillance of the Financial Supervision Authority.

This marks a significant shift from the previous, more relaxed approach that focused only on anti-money laundering.

How Estonia Plans to Regulate Crypto

Matis Mäeker, leader of the Financial Intelligence Unit, pointed out the change. He emphasized the need for crypto firms to implement robust systems. These should resemble those of traditional banks, safeguarding client assets effectively.

Estonia, once home to thousands of crypto entities, now hosts only around 50 firms. This drastic reduction reflects Estonia’s serious crackdown on non-compliant firms.

The new legislation increases operational and reporting standards. Additionally, it sets fines up to €5 million ( ~$5.4 million), a substantial hike from the prior €40,000 cap ( ~$43,290). Consequently, Finance Minister Mart Võrklaev stated that companies must adapt to these stringent requirements by 2026 to maintain their operational status.

“If these firms wish to continue to operate, they will comply with the necessary requirements and I believe that anyone who takes this seriously and wishes to provide a service will also be able to obtain a new license from the Financial Supervisory Authority,” Võrklaev said.

Estonia’s regulatory overhaul indeed signifies a proactive approach to digital asset management. The country aims to eliminate financial malpractice and enhance the security of its digital economy. As Estonia enforces its new rules, the crypto arena in Europe is set to become more structured and transparent.

Read more: Crypto Regulation: What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks?

Estonia Crypto Revenue
Estonia Crypto Revenue. Source: Statista

Meanwhile, OKX, a leading crypto exchange, has announced its exit from India. This decision comes as the country tightens its grip on cryptocurrency operations. OKX advised its Indian customers to withdraw their funds by April’s end, citing local regulatory hurdles.

India integrated crypto into its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism framework in 2023. This integration prompted a reevaluation within the crypto sector.

The Indian government’s intensified scrutiny led to the ousting of several crypto apps from digital platforms. Notably, giants like Binance and Kraken were affected, although OKX was not explicitly mentioned by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Read more: The State of Crypto Regulation in India

India’s stringent tax policies on crypto transactions have posed additional challenges. These include a 30% tax on gains and a 1% deduction on each transaction. The demand for comprehensive know-your-customer (KYC) checks has further strained the operational capabilities of global crypto platforms.

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya is a journalist at BeInCrypto, who writes about various topics, including decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN), tokenization, crypto airdrops, decentralized finance (DeFi), meme coins, and altcoins. Before joining BeInCrypto, he was a community consultant at Totality Corp, specializing in the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Additionally, Harsh was a blockchain content writer and researcher at Financial Funda, where he created educational reports on...
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