The new decree on cryptocurrencies signed by Mef has already been targeted several times by various commentators. But what do the people directly concerned, or the companies that work in that sector, think? In Italy too, more and more realities are appearing, mostly innovative startups, operating as exchanges. Start Magazine asked Alessandro Ronchi, founder of CryptoSmart, a platform that allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies (from Bitcoin down), to explain the critical issues and strengths of the novel. What are the satisfying aspects of the cryptocurrency decree? The fundamental aspect of the decree is that all exchanges, foreign and Italian, will have to follow the same rules to operate in Italy; and the benefits for some foreign platforms that acquired users in Italy by not respecting the anti-money laundering regulations will cease. In practice, what changes? When registering a new user, the exchange should proceed with the recognition of the user, requesting all the documents necessary for identification, but the foreign ones, operating in Italy, often do not carry out this step and will have to adapt from the moment to which the decree will be published in the Official Gazette.
What else does the law promote?
Another very important aspect of the new decree is that the requirements for registration with the OAM (Body for the management of lists of financial agents and credit brokers) are not complex and it is sufficient to have a stable organization in Italy to be able to operate. What are the main limits? The main limit, however, is represented by the exchange's obligation to periodically communicate the crypto transactions of the individual user to the OAM as it could be a potential risk to privacy; the positive aspect, however, lies in the fact that the decree represses or, rather, eliminates any criminal activity in the use of crypto, despite being a small part of the transactions. In our opinion, the decree has maintained a fair balance between the need to block illegal activities and maintain respect for privacy. The goal of the intervention is to make cash, recovering revenue: are you afraid that this will slow down transactions, at least at a national level? I don't think this decree is aimed at recovering tax revenue and holding back crypto transactions nationwide. The current tax legislation provides for the taxation of capital gains deriving from the sale of cryptocurrencies when the stock exceeds 51,645.69 euros for at least seven continuous working days in the tax period, identifying a fairly high taxation threshold, also in consideration that the Most users buy crypto for amounts significantly below the set threshold. More than 90% of the activities of Italian citizens in the crypto sector take place on foreign platforms: do you think it is credible to believe that they will register with the OAM? I think there will be few exchanges that will register with the OAM because many of them do not yet follow the anti-money laundering rules; in addition to the fact that it will be necessary to periodically communicate the transactions of their users and therefore have all the user identification documents. Finally, it will be necessary for the registered platforms to have a stable organization in Italy and staff to handle the reports to the OAM.
How high, however, is the risk that the few Italian operators will experience an increase in costs in order to fulfill their obligations towards the OAM? For Italian operators, and in particular for Cryptosmart, the fulfillment of the obligations provided for by the decree does not represent a great burden, as we operate from the beginning of the activity respecting the rules established by Italian law and therefore we are already prepared for the obligations that the OAM requires us. The main unknowns about cryptocurrencies concern stability: how much can national regulation serve, in the face of an international scenario? The main unknown or rather risk of the cryptocurrency sector is bad regulation that limits its use and innovation; In my opinion, the new decree represents an excellent goal that guarantees the dissemination and use of digital assets and, at the same time, represses any form of money laundering. In fact, what changes for you with the entry into force of the text? For Cryptosmart, the increase in operational activity for the obligations required by the decree is minimal as our company has been active since the beginning in compliance with all current regulations and in particular those relating to AML. From a business point of view, the decree puts all cryptocurrency operators operating in Italy on the same level, all having to follow the same rules.