How to obtain a cryptocurrency license in Greece

Regulation of the cryptocurrency market is constantly becoming stricter. Nowadays jurisdictions impose high regulatory and risk management requirements on virtual asset service providers.

Despite this, we always manage to find a solution that suits the client. All the time our team provides research of the market and regulations on various markets to find the best jurisdiction. Recently we have made the global overview of the VASP regulation in EEA and ready to share information with our future and existing clients. Today we will look at the features of obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Greece.

Tax Summary:

  1. Personal income tax – from 9 to 44%
  2. Corporate income tax – 22 % 

What law/s governs VASP activities?

  1. Law 4021/2011 – law regarding regulation of financial services providers
  2. Law 4514/2018 – law regulating financial instruments
  3. Law 4734/2020 – law implementing Directive (EU) 2018/843 (L 156) and Article 3 of Directive (EU) 2019/2177 (L 334)
  4. HCMC`s Decision 5/898/3.12.2020 – establishing a register of virtual asset services providers
  5. Law 4557/2018 – AML law

What activities are included in VASP services?

Article 4 of Law 4734/2020 defines such activities of VASPs: providing exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, and providing custodial services of digital wallets.

Who is the VASP regulator?

  1. Hellenic Capital Market Commission (“HCMC”)
  2. National Bank of Greece (“NBG”)

What is the procedure for registering a VASP for a local company?

The Providers who intend to provide their services in Greece or to provide their services from Greece to other countries, to be registered in the Register of providers of exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies or the Register of Custodian wallet providers kept by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission, before the commencement of their activity.

To register in these registers, companies must submit an application and all necessary documents, list of which is defined in HCMC`s guideline regarding Registration of providers of exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies and custodian wallet providers,  in electronic form to the Hellenic Capital Market Commission at the email address

The requested information includes:

  1. Legal person details (name, articles of incorporation, headquarters and branch addresses, email, phone, commercial registration number).
  2. Current Commercial Register extract for the Provider.
  3. Representative’s personal information and identification.
  4. Beneficial owner and shareholders’ details and identification.
  5. Criminal record certificates for management, beneficial owners, and shareholders.
  6. Ownership and control structure, capital, and shareholder percentage.
  7. Group membership and parent-subsidiary relationships.
  8. Provider’s business activity details, including services related to virtual currencies.
  9. Business Plan covering objectives, customers, employees, governance, financials, transactions, pricing.
  10. Organizational structure, including outsourcing.
  11. IT systems, controls, and security policies.
  12. Details of senior executive and Compliance Officer.
  13. Internal control system and policies for law compliance.
  14. ML/TF risk assessment and mitigation policies.
  15. Confirmation of the truthfulness of submitted information according to Law 1599/1986.

Is there any specific authorization required for a VASP from another EU member state to provide services in this jurisdiction?

According to part 1, article 1 of the HСMC`s Decision 5/898/3.12.2020 the following entities are obliged to submit an application to register in related registers: Providers of exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies and custodian wallet providers  who intend to provide the Services in Greece or from Greece to other countries.

There is no information regarding whether there is a different process of Authorization of VASP from other countries. HSMC`s Decision 5/898/3.12.2020 and an application allows companies to submit documents which are issued by authorities from other jurisdictions. Also the Register of providers of exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies and the Register of Custodian wallet providers includes companies from other EU-member states: Estonia, Spain, Malta.

Thus, foreign VASPs need to follow the general procedure for registration of a virtual asset service provider.

What is the liability for the activities of a VASP from another EU member state without local registration/authorization in this jurisdiction?

Part 3, article 1 of the HCMC Decision 5/898/3.12.2020 states, that the Hellenic Capital Market Commission imposes on the Providers who have not been registered or have not submitted the relevant application, as the case may be, the sanctions provided for in article 46 of the Law 4557/2018.

Sanctions for legal entities according to article 46 of the Law 4557/2018 includes the following:

  1. Fines up to €1 million (paragraph aa, part 1, article 46 of the Law 4557/2018).
  2. Fines up to €1 million, removal from position, or prohibition from position for responsible board members/managers (paragraph b-c, part 1, article 46 of the Law 4557/2018).
  3. Public notice stating the entity and violation (paragraph d, part 1, article 46 of the Law 4557/2018).
  4. Prohibition of certain business activities (paragraph e, part 1, article 46 of the Law 4557/2018).

Manimama Legal & Growth Agency provides a gateway for the companies operating as the virtual asset wallet and exchange providers allowing to enter to the markets legally. We are ready to offer an appropriate support in obtaining a license with lower founding and operating costs. We offer KYC/AML launch, support in risk assessment, legal services, legal opinions, advice on general data protection provisions, contracts and all necessary legal and business tools to start business of virtual asset service provider.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter, not to be considered as a legal consultation.