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Danish startup Januar gets E.U. Payment Institution License

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Januar, a Danish startup established in the year 2021 by ex-Chainalysis employees, has recently achieved a significant milestone by obtaining a Payment Institution License from the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA).

Januar’s Payment Institution License Paves the Way for Crypto Businesses in Europe

The license represents a remarkable achievement for the company as it enables Januar to operate in 30 markets within the European Economic Area. Previously, the company had been operating under a limited license, only catering to Danish businesses.

Januar can now offer International Bank Account Number (IBAN) business accounts to crypto-related enterprises, providing them with access to compliant fiat banking services such as payment and settlement solutions.

These services could be challenging for crypto companies to acquire otherwise, making Januar’s services an attractive proposition for businesses looking for reliable banking solutions.

Access to banking and reliable payment infrastructure has always been lacking behind the general pace of innovation in the crypto space, and the recent events with “crypto-friendly” banks shutting down is a testament to this unfortunate industry trend.

Januar’s licensing is taking a huge step in the opposite direction. Simon Ousager, Januar Co-CEO, explains that the company’s goal is to provide crypto businesses with critical IBAN accounts so that they can operate successfully and build the financial system of tomorrow.

Now that Januar has obtained the Payment Institution License, the startup is in a great position to emerge as the favored financial services partner for crypto businesses throughout Europe.

Co-CEO Simon Ousager asserts that this licensing represents a new phase for the regulated European crypto sector and serves as a testament to Januar’s capacity to evaluate and control risk in this sphere.

As the sole payments institute with this capability, Januar has the potential to foster confidence and stability in the industry, empowering a new wave of crypto entrepreneurs across the European continent.

With this license in hand, Januar can leverage its expertise in IBAN business accounts to offer compliant fiat banking solutions to crypto firms, addressing a crucial need in the market and fostering growth in the sector.

Crypto-Friendly Banking Services Critical to the Growing Crypto Industry

Januar’s Payment Institution License is a significant milestone for the company, but it is also a crucial step forward for the entire crypto industry.

Digital assets and decentralized transaction systems are faster, better, and cheaper, changing the way value moves between people and businesses globally.

Despite being a vast market, Europe has not received the attention it deserves in terms of catering to the crypto industry. Januar is determined to change this scenario by offering financial services that are friendly to crypto businesses, starting with payment accounts that cater to the European market.

“All businesses need accounts to transact with customers, pay salaries and trade with partners, this is true no matter if you are selling clothes or selling crypto. For those that do trade crypto, their problem is that they can’t find banking partners that understand their business or have the skills to manage the risk associated with it,” says Simon Ousager.

“Compliant crypto businesses are often rejected or off-boarded by the traditional financial sector, simply because of their sector of activity. This can even happen to virtual asset service providers (VASPs) who have completed their duties to register with financial authorities and have all the policies, procedures and processes in place to comply with AML laws. We provide our customers with access to the critical financial services they need to operate, so they don’t have to worry about being de-banked, even if they can get an account in the first place,” says Marcus Mølleskov, CRCO of Januar.

In recent years, finding banking services has become more challenging for crypto companies since the collapse of banks like the Silvergate Bank on March 8 and the closure of Signature Bank by New York regulators the following week. These banks have been dealing with cryptocurrencies, and their downfall hasn’t been glorifying crypto companies’ association with traditional institutions.

At the same time, European banks have been expanding their crypto services, and Januar’s Payment Institution License is a vital step in meeting the growing demand for crypto-friendly banking services in the industry.

Januar’s Payment Institution License a Significant Step for Crypto Businesses in Europe as Regulatory Clarity Remains Elusive

Compliant fiat banking solutions are critical for crypto businesses looking to operate within the European market. Without access to such solutions, crypto companies may face significant obstacles in carrying out their day-to-day operations, including difficulties in processing payments and managing their finances.

Januar’s recent acquisition of a Payment Institution License from Denmark’s Financial Supervisory Authority is a major step forward in addressing this issue.

One of the primary challenges facing crypto companies is the lack of regulatory clarity in many European jurisdictions. Many countries have yet to develop a comprehensive legal framework for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, leaving crypto businesses to navigate a complex and uncertain regulatory landscape.

This makes it challenging for such firms to obtain access to traditional banking services, as many banks are wary of working with businesses that operate in an industry that lacks clear regulation. The move from Januar will likely encourage other crypto businesses to pursue similar licensing arrangements, further legitimizing the industry and driving growth across Europe.

In related news, the European Union is set to implement fresh regulations on cryptocurrencies, with the aim of putting an end to the industry’s unregulated “wild west” phase and reinstating confidence, following a string of significant failures in the past year.

The proposed regulation, Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), is part of the EU’s grand digital financial package and focuses on crypto-asset providers and the obligations they will have to declare.

According to Stefan Berger, a German MEP who played a key role in drafting the regulation, the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework would position the EU as a leader in the token economy and rebuild confidence that was eroded by the FTX incident.

Although the majority of MEPs expressed their support for the proposal, a few raised objections, such as Chris MacManus, an MEP from Ireland, who declared his lack of interest in promoting the use of cryptocurrencies. Paul Tang, a Dutch MEP, also expressed underconfidence in the proposition as he drew comparisons between cryptocurrencies and the tulip mania of 1637.

If approved by the parliament tomorrow, MiCA is anticipated to obtain its final endorsement from the European Council in May.

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