Serbia Legalizes Cryptocurrency Trading

Exchanges have to obtain licenses from the country’s digital currency supervisors.

Serbia has pivoted from its anti-crypto stance to allow digital currency issuance and trading under a new law passed by its government earlier this year.

The law came into effect on December 29 after the Serbian government published it on an official gazette and will apply to the digital currency industry after six months. The lawmakers introduced the draft in October, and the bill was passed in late November.

The ‘Digital Asset Law’ commissioned by the Securities Commission and the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) as the supervisors of the local digital asset industry. The digital currency service providers need to obtain approvals before offering their services.

The digital currency exchanges will need to obtain licenses to operate in the local market.

Serbian digital currency companies can issue tokens with a whitepaper that is approved by the commission or even without any approval. However, the companies without the commission’s approval cannot advertise their project to Serbians, and there will be limitations on the distribution.

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The law will also allow the secondary market trading of Serbian digital currencies, over-the-counter (OTC) trading and the use of smart contracts in trading.

All digital asset service providers within the country now need to apply with the supervisory bodies within the next six months.

A Pivot from the Previous Stance

Despite the recent legalization, the Serbian market was one of the tough markets for digital currencies. The central bank of the country declared Bitcoin as an illegal tender in 2014 and significantly curbed the growth of the industry.

The sudden leniency towards the digital currency industry can be seen in line with the booming Serbian tech industry, which contributes to over 6 percent of its GDP.

However, the new law strictly prohibits financial institutions under the NBS’s purview from dealing in digital currencies.

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