The Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) has granted LocalBitcoins a license to operate as a virtual currency provider, the company has reported.
In order to meet all the necessary requirements to be eligible for this license, LocalBitcoins has implemented a series of measures to prevent money laundering, identify its customers, protect the assets of its users and demonstrate that the company's staff strictly complies with certain requirements. Sebastian Sonntag, LocalBitcoins CEO, said:
"Finland is a well-functioning society, which holds trust and confidence at high levels. At the same time, the controls in the financial sector are of particularly high quality and the position of the clients is well protected. These themes are also at the heart of LocalBitcoins' operations."
In June LocalBitcoins removed its in-person cash trading service, and soon afterwards introduced a number of measures applicable to its most active users: traders whose trading volume over the past 12 months is "significant" must provide identity documents to continue operating with cryptocurrencies.
In February LocalBitcoins announced its intention to comply with European Union and Finnish anti-money laundering and customer verification regulations. As a result of that, in June it started to ask its users to provide identity documents.
The platform then began to lose popularity, which made trading volume fall by more than 30%. However, this was not the case of Argentina and Venezuela, as their unsustainable economic situation has boosted trading volumes to all-time highs.