Finland’s regulators have issued an official alert in response to the escalating bitcoin mania. The Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) issued the following statement on November 24th:
“In Finland, only authorized virtual currency providers are permitted to sell virtual currencies and related services. Only firms authorized by the regulators as virtual currency providers in Finland can sell, buy, or do marketing of virtual currencies in Finnish and in Finland.”
Finland is a country with a high level of economic freedom, ranked 17th in the Index of Economic Freedom. LocalBitcoins CEO Sebastian Sonntag, on the other hand, remarked after acquiring their FSA licence in 2019:
“The financial sector’s regulations are of exceptional quality, and clients’ interests are effectively under protection.”
The FSA appears to be concerned about investor protection, particularly for retail investors. Who is more likely to be swayed by marketing efforts. If the meme frenzy of the 2020–2021 bull runs is any indication, there will be more retail FOMO throughout the world.
The FSA issued a press statement in reaction to an increase in the marketing of virtual currencies and related services in Finland. The Helsinki Times recently published an editorial concluding that bitcoin is hot in Finland. And will maintain its appeal for years to come.
The latest notification is just a start of further regulations that will change the regulatory landscape
Local crypto usage is gaining traction in other parts of Finland. Elisa Esports, a Finnish esports firm, has announced a collaboration with cryptocurrency company Coinmotion to help grow the Nordic esports sector.
However, there are still a limited number of Supervised Entities working in the bitcoin and virtual currency industry. There are less than ten firms registered. However, the latest notification might be a foreshadowing of future regulation and the changing regulatory landscape.
Importantly, the FSA is unable to provide advice to Finnish clients who access overseas websites. The latest effort has no bearing on advertising on overseas websites that are not targeting Finns.
As a consequence, while local officials work out the kinks in the sector, crypto enthusiasts in Finland may continue to browse overseas crypto websites.