Regulated or Not, “Crypto Exchanges Must Follow AML and KYC”

Exchange representatives at the Barcelona Trading Conference spoke on the future of their companies and the industry.

After two days of fascinating keynote speeches, workshop, and new industry connections, the Finance Magnates Barcelona Trading Conference is drawing to a close.

One of the highlights of the day was a panel discussion entitled “The Future of Exchanges: What’s Next?”, moderated by Vicente Ortiz Alonso, a Managing Partner at Vicente Ortiz & Co Lawyers. Sitting on the panel were Miha Grčar, Head of BD at Bitstamp; Fabio Canesin, Co-Founder of Nash; Doron Rosenblum, Managing Director of eToro, and Daniel Skowronski, Founder and CEO of DX.Exchange.

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Miha Grcar, head of Business Development at Bitstamp, noted that cryptocurrency exchanges are experiencing a lot of unique challenges.

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“A cryptocurrency exchange opens a couple of hundred accounts every day,” he said. “In parabolic price events, it can be 150,000 accounts in a single day. No real traditional financial institutions can compare with exchanges in this respect.”

This presents a regulatory challenge as well as a technological challenge. Fabio Canesin, the co-founder of Nash, explained that it’s important for exchanges to continually improve user experience. “We are trying to push the technology with user-centric design,” he said. “We develop, and then we test. If it’s not great, then we drop it. This is the only direction that we can take in the industry–not just to build better interfaces for the tech we have now.”

He also explained that regardless of how many users are onboarding onto the exchange, KYC and AML must be conducted. “If you want to open a bank account, you have to anticipate that you are gonna have friction along the way,” he said. “Regulated or not, we need to follow AML and KYC.”

Doron Rosenblum, managing director at eToro, echoed Grcar’s sentiments, saying that “at the end of the day, we are a financial institution, as simple as that.”

But unlike other kinds of financial institutions, regulations have not been created to specifically support the cryptocurrency industry. As such, “not everything is already known. Not everything is clear. You have to work with the regulator to find the right solutions for the products that you provide.”

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