European-based bitcoin exchange Bitstamp has announced that Luxembourg has granted it a license as a fully regulated Payment Institution. The license has been signed by Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna, making Bitstamp the first fully licensed bitcoin exchange in Europe, going into effect on July 1st when its new headquarters in Luxembourg will be fully operational.
This result comes after a rigorous application process with the Luxembourg financial regulator, the Luxembourg Financial Industry Supervisory Commission, spanning nearly two years, which included security reviews in addition to an audit by Ernst & Young. Bitstamp’s license is usable in the 28 EU member states. Bitstamp has simultaneously launched BTC/EUR trading to better serve the European markets, and is offering free trading in BTC/EUR for new and existing customers for 30 days.
Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna stated: “Luxembourg has a long-standing history as an international leader in innovation. That Bitstamp has chosen Luxembourg as its European hub only strengthens that reputation. I believe this announcement marks a milestone for bitcoin and digital finance in Europe. Bitstamp is a most welcome addition to Luxembourg’s fintech ecosystem.”
Bitstamp’s decision to headquarter in Luxembourg is a result of the country’s established history of fostering innovation. A leader in e-payments and data privacy as well as the European headquarters for many global players including Amazon and PayPal, Luxembourg embodies a strong infrastructure and the financial and security awareness Bitstamp was seeking.
Dan Morehead, CEO of Pantera Capital and chairman and investor of Bitstamp, explained: “Luxembourg recognizes the economic potential of bitcoin and blockchain technology. It has set an example for other nations to embrace the industry after having conducted heavy due diligence of the technology and of Bitstamp as a company. Bitstamp becoming the first nationally regulated bitcoin exchange is a historic achievement for digital currency.”
Co-founder and CEO of Bitstamp, Nejc Kodric commented: “We have put a lot of time and resources into the regulatory process with the goal of ensuring customers feel more confident in using Bitstamp’s exchange and products across the European Union. We are proud to have taken this important step for our customers and the digital currency/blockchain industry globally.”