In the wake of the growing uproar over cryptocurrencies, Finnish regulators have dropped an official notice. On Wednesday, the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) said:
“Only registered virtual currency providers can market virtual currency and related services in Finland. Marketing virtual currency in Finnish and Finland is only permitted for entities registered as virtual currency providers in Finland.”
Finland is a very economically free country, ranking 17th in the Index of Economic Freedom. However, as Sebastian Sontag, CEO of LocalBitcoins, told Cointelegraph upon receiving the company’s FSA license in 2019:
“Controls in the financial sector are of particularly high quality, and the position of customers is well protected.”
The FSA appears keen to protect investors – especially retail – who are most likely to be affected by marketing activities. If the 2020-2021 bull-running meme mania is anything to go by, there will be more FOMO retailing around the world.
The press release issued by the Financial Services Authority is a direct response to the rise in the marketing of cryptocurrencies and related services across Finland. Finnish media has noticed an increase in traffic for crypto articles, while in a recent editorial by the mainstream outlet Helsinki Times, the book concluded that cryptocurrency is trendy in Finland and will retain its popularity for years to come.
Elsewhere in Finland, local cryptocurrency is adopted. Finnish esports company Elisa Esports has announced a partnership with cryptocurrency firm Coinmotion to boost the esports scene in the Nordic countries.
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However, the list of supervised entities operating in the cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency space is still small. Fewer than 10 companies are registered, so the latest notice may be a signal towards future regulation and the evolving regulatory landscape.
Crucially, the FSA cannot advise on Finnish clients visiting foreign websites. The latest initiative also does not affect advertising on international websites that do not explicitly target Finnish citizens.
As a result, while regulators control the domestic market, Finnish crypto advocates can continue to visit international crypto sites.