The Ministry of Finance of Romania has published a draft Emergency Ordinance for regulating the issuance of electronic money (e-money) such as cryptocurrency in the country. According to a recent report by Business Review, legitimate businesses and firms who intend issue e-money must possess a share capital of more than $409,000 (€350,000). Members of the financial organization are required to be approved and cleared after verification of their tax and legal records by the Central Bank of Romania.
According to the report, the draft describes digital currency as “monetary value stored electronically, including magnetic, representing a claim on the issuer issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of performing payment transactions and which is accepted by a person other than the issuer of electronic money.”
Based on the project, electronic money issuers such as credit organizations, electronic money institutions, the Central Bank of Europe and other national central banks, may carry out the issuance of electronic money like bitcoins. When these institutions do not act as financial authorities or in relative capacity which involves the service of public and their local or regional authorities whenever they are standing in as a formal entity.
The National Bank of Romania will ensure the management of electronic money issuing, as well as sanctioning and approving the launch of new digital currencies. BNR will submit the required documents for getting authorized, setting three months as the dossier analysis period.
The approval will reportedly be valid for a period 12 months from the date of issuance. However, it will be canceled if an entity fails to commence the issuance of electronic money within this period.
These financial companies will be expected to submit the accounts and provide annual audit reports to the Central Bank of Romania after the start of issuance activities. Illegal issuing electronic money is punishable by fine or imprisonment between six to thirty-six months as the act is reportedly considered a financial crime.
The Minister for Business, Commerce and Entrepreneurship in Romania, Ilan Laufer, commented on the emergence of cryptocurrencies in 2017. He also stressed the need for the regulation of how virtual currencies are used in the country. He stated that:
“It’s a challenge for the banking system because this area isn’t very well regulated and I believe that this should happen. It’s an area in which lots of money circulates, but it is also a new technology.”
Three organizations are currently issuing digital currencies in Romania, namely; Vodafone Romania M-Payments Limited, Capital Financial Services SA, and Orange Money Limited.