How the new Greek cryptocurrency register may have left many Greek crypto owners out in the cold
The possible negative impact of the new Greek cryptocurrency register on plain crypto users
Introduction of the new cryptocurrency register
A couple of months ago, I wrote an article about the new cryptocurrency register introduced by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission, and my concerns about how this new register will affect Greek cryptocurrency owners.
Since then, it seems that companies providing services related to crypto assets have responded to the Commission’s call to register.
As a result, according to an official decision made by the Commission, three companies have been registered with the register so far.
Therefore, as of the time of writing this article, the following three companies have been officially authorized to provide cryptocurrency services to Greek citizens:
1. Bcash Greece Inc Private Company
2. Blocktech Private Company, and
3. VFA Hub Single Member Societe Anonyme
They all have their registered office address in Greece.
At the moment, it seems that there is not any company in the register operating and/or being based outside of Greece.
What about foreign providers of cryptocurrency services?
This can raise concerns for Greek cryptocurrency owners, because not all of them use these providers exclusively, and I’m sure that there is a very big number of Greek users using other global leaders in the cryptocurrency market, which have not been registered yet.
To be honest with you, if I was in charge of applying to be registered with this specific register on behalf of, let’s say, a major international cryptocurrency exchange, I would have second thoughts about doing it.
First of all, because I think that the application and other fees that the Commission requests applicants to pay for are quite high. Since only a tiny number of cryptocurrency users are based in Greece, major players in the global cryptocurrency market will not be really affected by the introduction of the register, and therefore, most of them will not bother even applying.
However, in this way, Greek crypto asset owners using these services could probably be negatively affected, because they will no longer be able to use them, at least in a legitimate way.
I think that the Hellenic Capital Market Commission should have considered the introduction of the cryptocurrency register more carefully, and advise and be advised from plain Greek cryptocurrency owners beforehand. Now, it may be too late, because I doubt whether big crypto exchanges would be willing to enter the process of getting registered, with many Greek crypto holders being left out and their assets becoming literally frozen and useless.
In this way, local crypto owners in Greece would have had the necessary time to make the required transactions and transfer their assets to safer places, avoiding this situation, which may leave them empty-handed and their crypto assets be worth literally nothing, unless they want to use them in an illegal way, as they will no longer fall within the legal framework of the Greek cryptocurrency register.
Absence of any wallet provider
Another apparent issue that there is not any wallet provider among the three companies that have received approval.
Bcash Greece is an operator of local crypto ATMs in Greece using the services of other exchange operators and wallet providers, and Instaswap.io (Blocktech.gr) is actually a cryptocurrency exchange, and as it is clearly stated on its website, a user is required to provide their own wallet address where they would like to receive their funds, which means that it does not offer any wallet services, and a user should use the wallet provider of their choice, which, however, will not be legally authorized to provide their services to Greek citizens, at least at the time of writing this article, since there is no such provider in the official list of the register.
As for VFA Hub, according to a statement made on the its homepage, which, however, may change in the future, the company currently wants to do business with: “… institutional investors, corporations, and high-worth individuals…”, meaning that it is focused on this specific market, with the needs of the Greek average Joe cryptocurrency user not being catered for.
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