On 3 September 2019, the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank, DNB) issued a press release announcing that firms that offer services for the exchange between virtual money (cryptos) and regular money, and crypto wallet providers are expected to become subject to DNB’s integrity supervision as of 10 January 2020 as a result of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5MLD).

DNB indicates that these ‘crypto operators’ should start preparing and ideally get in touch with DNB as soon as possible, as DNB would like to discuss its envisaged supervision with them (which DNB is currently also preparing). This should allow DNB to reach these crypto operators more easily later on and this provides DNB with an idea of how many new parties will come under their supervision. DNB does note (in one of the FAQs it has published on its website, not in the press release itself) that crypto operators are not obliged to comply with this request for early notification. The request is purely made to enable DNB to better prepare itself (and the parties that will be subject to DNB’s supervision) for the new requirements under 5MLD. Crypto operators that would like to submit an early notification to DNB, should use the notification form published by DNB.

In the press release, DNB notes that the supervision entails that crypto operators must register themselves with DNB and that their board members and certain shareholders (those with qualifying holdings) will need to be screened by DNB. Crypto operators will be required to demonstrate that their processes are effectively designed to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, and that board members and other policymakers adequately manage these processes. Once a crypto operator is registered and their board members and other policymakers have been screened, DNB will monitor compliance with the rules on money laundering and terrorist financing. Crypto operators that fail tor egister themselves with DNB will will no longer be allowed to provide crypto exchange services and wallets.

DNB has uploaded a number of FAQs in relation to their integrity supervision of crypto operators on their website, covering among other things the scope of the obligation to register and the new requirements that will be applicable.

View DNB’s press release, 3 September 2019.

View DNB’s FAQs, 3 September 2019.