Crypto firm Blockchain.com registers with Italian regulator

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Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration picture, February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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Aug 4 (Reuters) - London-based crypto firm Blockchain.com said on Thursday it had registered as a virtual asset service provider in Italy, the latest in a string of digital asset firms to do so.

Italy created a special registry with its brokerage regulator in February to list crypto operators with a stable presence in the country, provided they meet certain requirements.

Blockchain.com said in a statement it could now offer crypto and digital wallet services to Italian residents and institutional investors under the regulator, known as the OAM.

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Major exchanges Binance and U.S.-based Coinbase Global Inc (COIN.O), as well as Singapore-based Crypto.com and German investment platform Trade Republic, are among those to have already secured registration with the OAM. read more

Regulators across the world are working out how to bring to heel the crypto sector, which is subject to patchy rules. Consumer protection, financial stability threats and illicit usage of digital coins are issues on the agenda.

Crypto platforms are looking to bolster their bases in Europe before groundbreaking crypto rules agreed last month by the European Union come into force.

Under the rules, expected to go live after 2024, crypto firms will need a licence and customer safeguards to issue and sell digital tokens in the bloc.

"This registration strengthens our position to offer services across Europe," Blockchain.com said.

OAM oversees financial agents and credit brokers in Italy. It says it can collect and share with anti-mafia and anti-terrorism investigators in Italy data provided by crypto firms on their clients and operations.

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Reporting by Tom Wilson; Editing by Christina Fincher

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