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Despite stringent KYC criteria, the Dutch central bank has no idea how many crypto investors there are in the country.
The Dutch central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank NV, has registered approximately 20 crypto exchanges in the country but is no closer to estimating the number of cryptocurrency investors in the country.
According to Dutch online news service Nu.nl, regulators like DNB and the Autoriteit Financiële Markten, or AFM, as well as the investor group Vereniging Van Effectenbezitters, or VEB are unsure of the crypto ownership demographic in the Netherlands.
After late 2020, Dutch regulators have been applying the European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which has serious repercussions for cryptocurrency companies.
De Nederlandsche Bank has mandated strict compliance with Know Your Customer and AML protocols for Dutch crypto exchanges under the AMLD-5 paradigm, a development that has been met with harsh opposition from market players due to the intrusive nature of the regulation.
Bitstamp levied KYC for Dutch traders withdrawing crypto to foreign wallets in January, requiring photographic evidence of wallet possession before processing those transfers. As previously noted by Cointelegraph, Bitonic, a Bitcoin (BTC) trading site headquartered in the Netherlands, has taken the DNB to court over the wallet authentication procedure.
Aside from the stringent KYC standards, the DNB maintains a neutral stance on crypto investing, as a central bank spokesperson told Nu.nl:
“We are not advising for or against investment but we do have an opinion. A crypto does not represent anything, it’s not a share in anything. It’s not a loan which is returned with interest.”
The DNB spokesperson has explained that the central bank’s supervision is limited to AML and the usage of cryptocurrency for other illegal purposes.
The AFM, on the other hand, believes that cryptocurrency investing is focused solely on hysteria and uncertainty. As a result, the AFM says it will continue to give alerts to retail traders about the risks of trading in cryptocurrencies, close to what regulators around the world are doing.