🇪🇪 Estonia is NOT banning crypto.

Finance Ministry @rahandus just released a rebuttal to some ugly speculative rumors that started going around over New Years:…

First, the law update getting commented is a draft, still to go through Parliamentary hearings.

So take it as the ministry's _proposal_ to iterate on existing crypto service providers licensing (CEX, fiat bridges, custodial wallets etc).
Proposal does NOT contain any measures to ban customers from owning and trading virtual assets and does NOT in any way require customers to share their private keys to wallets.

Rumors about any ban intent are a lie.
Proposal does NOT affect individuals who own virtual currency through a private wallet not provided by a VASP.

E.g self-custody continues without change. Get your Metamask wallet or run all your nodes if you want.
Those who hold or manage _other people's_ money/crypto/tokens will continue to have to KYC their customers (as does Coinbase or Binance or Kraken ask for your ID today, anywhere)
As someone who actively invests, holds, stakes, pools tokens in DeFi as a resident of Estonia, both privately and through my Estonian companies (for own use, not serving others), I see no change or impact to my ability to do so.

One of my EE companies(!) is even member of a DAO
On somewhat cautious side (but as said, Parliamentary arguments are still ahead!), the proposal is a bit unclear on DeFi (IF and when financial regulator wants to study smart contracts residents create/use, when there is no EE entity).
It would be absurd to try to track all DeFi.
I also don't like that there is such a strong emphasis on _physical_ presence for regulated entities, in the global remote work world this looks backwards. But I understand too many empty "licenced" shells have been traded in bulk by lawyers, not builders since 2017...
And while I understand the intent of raising capital requirements to 8.39 BTC ;) - I worry a bit this could stifle some very early startup activity...

But then again, if you start a CEX, is that where your plan gets blocked?
Bottom line: Web3 interest has started visibly booming in 2021 in Estonian tech scene, and will continue to do so.

"Crypto & Web3" was #1 topic for what to expect in 2022 in local tech investor survey, ahead of (very hot) green tech.
For builders around the world in less startup savvy countries, we have a @startupestonia visa program, and quite a few startup teams use this to relocate to Estonia to build #web3
Estonian @e_Residents program is still finding the footing for how 80k+ e-residents can interface best between their physical location <> Estonia <> crypto worlds...

But never doubt their ethos and intent!
Also, Estonia is getting local consumer investor interest in crypto. LHV was the first local bank to roll out crypto assets in consumer banking.

And having amateurs get their first crypto exposure through regulated banks/CEX - makes sense.
When Estonian startups (3%+ GDP & booming!) talk to relevant Ministers, there is unanimous support to be the country where global innovations are built from.

A long planned startup roundtable with PM @kajakallas next week has Web3 on agenda.
Estonia is a country with mere million people (so we actually can talk to our politicians!) that has produced 7 Web2 unicorns and has 1B+ EUR annual early tech investment run rate in 1200+ startups.

We will sort out #web3 too, don't worry. Including sensible regulation.
So here's my ask to CT & #web3 communities, meanwhile: please be a little bit more critical of scandalous headlines on the demise of Estonian crypto scene.
Check your sources, don't retweet attention seekers with no insights or aggressively worst intent, feel free to ask.



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