The Austrian Ministry of Finance is considering creating a regulatory sandbox for the fintech industry, which will include digital currencies and ICO.
The country’s finance minister, Hartwig Loeger, said that the Fintech Advisory Board, which was formed by the Ministry of Finance last year, will help develop appropriate rules for managing the “young financial market around digitized financial services”, including ICO and digital currencies to promote their growth. Secretary of State Hubert Fuchs commented:
“Some companies in the FINTECH industry are especially hard to keep track of all regulatory requirements and developments at the initial stage. Many of them give up and abandon their business models. We want to take countermeasures against it.”
In the standard sandbox, the FINTECH companies will be able to test and adapt their business models for a limited period of time under the supervision of FMA. The concept of a regulated sandbox is taken from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom. FCA experts participated in the development and adaptation of the Austrian isolated software environment.
To become a member of the sandbox, companies will need to fulfill certain requirements, such as developing a business model based on information, communication or blockchain technologies.
Loeger also stated that “digitization of the financial services sector is one of the most important areas for the future of Austria.”
In February, the central bank of Bahrain announced plans to launch a regulatory, isolated software environment to allow blockchain and crypto companies to operate in the country at the official clearance waiting stage. It is assumed that this initiative will allow them to “test their decision on a limited number of users with a limited number of transactions.”
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