Cryptocurrency Havens in the EU: Poland and Lithuania Lead in Registered Crypto Companies
Poland has emerged as a leader among European Union countries in terms of the number of newly established businesses working with virtual digital assets. Out of approximately 2,000 registered cryptocurrency companies across the 27 EU member states, nearly half (938) are based in Poland. Additionally, the Polish registry of companies dealing with virtual currency sees new entries every week. Following closely behind Poland is Lithuania, with 499 registered companies, according to DL News.
Other EU countries significantly lag behind Poland and Lithuania in terms of registered cryptocurrency companies. Italy, in third place, has 124 such companies, while France has 95, Spain has 82, and Estonia has 80. Analysts attribute this situation to the fact that the registration process for cryptocurrency businesses in Poland takes only two weeks and costs less than €150. Moreover, these registered companies are not obliged to conduct their actual operations exclusively in Poland, allowing them easy access to other European markets.
"Some companies register in Poland solely to establish a presence within the EU," noted Jaroslaw Nowacki, a lawyer from the Polish law firm tau.legal. Registering a cryptocurrency company in Lithuania is similarly straightforward, attracting many fintech companies.
Currently, cryptocurrency companies are not allowed to attract clients from other EU countries without the necessary licensing. However, this situation is set to change in the future when the EU introduces a new law regulating crypto asset markets, known as MiCA. This law will come into effect in December 2024 and will govern the activities of digital assets on the world's largest European market.
To gain a better understanding of the market situation, DL News gathered data from official registers of virtual asset service providers (VASP) in EU member countries. Some countries maintain separate registries for virtual assets, while in others, information about these companies can be found in regular business registries.
Representatives from Romania and Latvia did not respond to requests for VASP data. Officials from the national banks of Slovakia and the Czech Republic informed researchers that their countries do not maintain separate VASP registries and do not require licensing for such companies. Hungary classifies cryptocurrency firms together with other fintech providers, making the total number of such firms in Hungary unknown.