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Bitcoin exchange forced to move from Estonia after Supreme Court decision

In a controversial decision made by the Estonian courts in regards to a bitcoin trader’s case, they have ruled on more rigid compliance regulations for exchanges and traders of bitcoin in the country.

In an update from BTC.ee as part of a long running court battle with Estonian authorities, the owner and operator Otto de Voogd said,

The court decided to apply extra regulation to Bitcoin trading that does not apply to other economic activities. Including the requirement to meet customers in person (face to face), as well as the requirement keep IDs of ALL customers and report those who trade more than 1,000 Euros more per month. No other economic activity is subject to such strict requirements, the normal reporting limit is 15,000 Euros not 1,000. Estonia is also the only EU country to apply special strict requirements to Bitcoin, most other EU countries, do treat Bitcoin like other economic activities and do not impose extra strict regulation.

BTC.ee was originally based out of Estonia and has been run locally as a small exchange, or brokerage, for people to buy or sell bitcoins online. However, with the new regulations being governed by the Estonian Supreme Court, de Voogd says he has now been forced to move his operations out of Estonia, and has opened a new operation under the name CoinEra in the Netherlands.

Other bitcoin exchanges

There are two other bitcoin exchanges which serve specifically the Estonian market, which are HitBTC and SpectroCoin. After the new court ruling it’s unclear at this time how it will impact other operations which serve the same market, if they will will stop serving Estonian customers or comply with the new regulations.

Tags in this story
bitcoin exchanges, bitcoin trading, BTC.ee, Estonia
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david@bitcoin.com'
David Shares

David is a writer, researcher, and developer who is passionate about bitcoin and blockchain. He writes for Bitcoin.com, Blockchain.com, and is the founder of Bitcoinx.io (which was acquired by Bitcoin.com). David previously used to write and curate for Myspace and has worked in the fintech and payments space for over 15 years.