BitPay Suspends Services in Germany For The Time Being
Citizens of Germany will no longer be able to use BitPay after the payments processor pulled its service on the heels of new BaFin regulations set to go live on January 1, 2020.
On Thursday, cryptocurrency payments processor, BitPay updated a post detailing which countries the company operates in. The ‘Why can’t I use BitPay’s services in my country?’ blog post was amended to:
Currently, BitPay cannot service merchants or users that are based in the following countries: Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nepal, and Vietnam.
BitPay PR representative Jan Jahosky said that pending regulation that will become active in 2020 stands as the primary reason why the company decided to stop offering services in Germany. Jahosky also said that BitPay is hoping to add support for Germany in the future as:
Germany has publicly stated that they want crypto companies to apply for a license starting in 2020. We have paused operations in Germany while we evaluate the need for German licenses.
The new regulations are expected to negatively impact crypto-supportive businesses. Computer Base, a popular information technology new outlet, announced that it will no longer offer Bitcoin as a payment option. The announcement comes as a direct result of BitPay suspending payment services in Germany.
Is BaFin the End of Crypto in Germany?
Since 2018, Germany has tightened the noose on crypto-businesses operating in the country and in 2020 a set of new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations will go into effect.
Once implemented, all cryptocurrency businesses like wallet providers, exchanges, and payments providers will need to acquire a Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) license.
Starting in 2020, the German government will consider digital assets as financial instruments. BaFin will also have the authority to comprehensively monitor all crypto custodians.
Under the new regulations, wallet providers will be required to identify customers and report suspicious transactions to authorities.
Members of the business and crypto community have expressed mixed emotions about the impending rules. Previously, Bundestag Free Democratic Party member Frank Schäffler suggested that financial regulators are stifling innovation and pressuring crypto-businesses and entrepreneurs to flee to other countries.
Others have said that the regulations will provide greater clarity for the growing sector and lead to increased growth.
Do you think BaFin and other regulations will stifle crypto-sector growth in Germany? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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