Iceland has seen the first registration of a cryptocurrency exchange with its regulatory body, the Financial Supervisory Authority.
The island nation of Iceland may be small, but it’s becoming a major part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The country has seen an influx of Bitcoin miners due to the fact that practically all of Iceland’s electricity is generated by renewable energy. This means that power is cheap, and the cooler clime also lowers energy costs for the mining equipment. Another crypto chapter has started in Iceland as the country’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FME) announces the first registration of a cryptocurrency exchange.
Technically Not the First Crypto Exchange
The cryptocurrency exchange in question is Skiptimynt. The exchange features two trading pairs: Icelandic krona (ISK)/Auroracoin (AUR) and Bitcoin (BTC)/ISK. The krona is the country’s fiat currency. Auroracoin was created in 2014 to be an Icelandic alternative to Bitcoin.
The Nordic country now requires all cryptocurrency firms to register with the FME. This is due to recent legislation that was passed to combat the financing of terrorists and money laundering. It should go without saying that the vast, vast majority of all cryptocurrency transactions are for legal purposes.
It should be noted that Skiptimynt is not the first cryptocurrency exchange to set up shop in Iceland. That honor belongs to ISX, which started in May 2016. However, ISX only allows trading between the krona and AUR, and it’s not very active, handling a total transaction volume of $376 in the last 24 hours.
Crypto Crime in Iceland
Crime is pretty rare in Iceland, but there was a major heist connected to cryptocurrency earlier this year. 600 Bitcoin mining machines worth roughly $2 million was stolen last December and January.
Just a week ago, seven suspects were officially charged for the theft. One of those charged is the alleged ringleader, Sindri Thor Stefansson, who managed to flee the country and was later caught in Amsterdam. He literally climbed through a window of a low-security prison, walked to the nearby road (there were no fences), and got a ride to the airport.
The country has a single Bitcoin ATM, which was installed back in February. The ATM is located in the Hlemmur Square Hotel in Reykjavik.
On an unrelated note, Iceland’s contribution to online gaming, EVE Online, has been sold. The Korean gaming company, Pearl Abyss, bought the hardcore mmo from CCP for $425 million. While CCP says that everything will carry on as normal and that CCP will operate as an independent developer, it is an end of an era.
Would you move to Iceland if you were a Bitcoin miner? Are you an Icelander? Let us know in the comments below.
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