The Dutch financial regulator, the Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), has announced its intention to maintain strict oversight of the Dutch crypto industry, despite the introduction of more relaxed European rules.
The head of the AFM, Laura van Geest, has expressed skepticism towards cryptocurrencies, stating that they are “difficult to fathom, vulnerable to deception, fraud and manipulation”. She also highlighted that the value of crypto assets is primarily driven by speculation and can fluctuate significantly.
The AFM’s own estimates suggest that there are just under 2 million crypto owners in the Netherlands, with most investing less than EUR 1,000. However, the link between the crypto world and the traditional financial sector in the country remains limited.
While the European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation introduces rules for crypto service providers, the regulations remain less strict for cryptocurrencies than those for existing financial products. Despite this, van Geest stated that the AFM will continue to maintain strict oversight of the industry. She emphasized that the Netherlands is taking this path even if it means that some crypto companies may look elsewhere to enter the Dutch market.
The AFM’s stance on cryptocurrencies comes as Belgium’s former Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt calls for a total ban on cryptocurrencies, citing the current banking crisis involving the collapse of two crypto-friendly banks.