Tesseract obtains regulatory approval from Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority

November 2019

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Tesseract Investment is proud to announce that it is one of the among the first companies in the digital asset space to obtain a virtual asset provider licence in the European Union and become an officially supervised institution.

The licence is mandatory for all Finnish participants in the industry – ‘virtual currency provision’ refers to the issuance of a virtual currency and virtual currency exchange services, marketplaces and custodial wallet services alike. Obtaining the licence among the first of its industry peers is a sign of Tesseract’s maturity and clear track record as a financial services provider. Only four other Finnish companies, including Tesseract’s close partner Coinmotion, obtained the same approval.

Tesseract is supervised by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) – the same authority in charge of supervising Northern Europe’s largest banks. Requirements on the content of the registration application are thorough and the authority has explicitly stated that “the registration process requires significant effort from the applicants”. Most notably, these requirements include detailed information on customer identification and due diligence procedures and risk management systems, including e.g.

  • a statement on the holding and protection of client money,
  • operating guidelines regarding customer due diligence procedures,
  • obtaining customer information as well as
  • ongoing monitoring and compliance with the reporting obligation.

Proof of measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing form another integral part of the registration application. Having entered into force in July 2018, the EU’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering directive (5AMLD) – which Finland was amongst the first to enforce – demands great accountability and transparency from providers of financial services. The new directive extends these rules to virtual currency providers; requirements for Tesseract’s provider licence therefore include detailed risk assessments relating to and clear assignments of duties in prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.

One of the directive’s main goals is to “improve the level of cooperation and exchange of information between service providers, anti-money laundering supervisors and the European Central Bank”. Tesseract shares these aims and is proud to be among its industry’s first to enforce them. Adhering to the highest standards of national and international regulation, we aim to promote trust and transparency in the digital asset industry through active dialogue with the regulators.

Tesseract founder and General Counsel Ilkka Salo sums up the company’s achievement: “Our registration with FIN-FSA is the first step to access the future, particularly, access to an ongoing cryptocurrency evolution happening around the world. The transparency reputation of Finland and its financial sector also helps us position ourselves in the ever-changing landscape.”