Bank account for a crypto company abroad

Opening a bank account for crypto companies poses a significant challenge due to the unique risks inherent in the industry. Despite the rapid development of blockchain technology and the popularity of cryptocurrencies, many traditional banks are still waiting to cooperate with such companies due to the complexity of regulation and ensuring the security of transactions. It leads to the fact that opening an account becomes difficult and requires additional effort. In addition, Russian entrepreneurs have to face new sanctions that aggravate the situation.

From January 18, 2024, according to new EU sanctions, Russian citizens and residents are prohibited from owning or controlling directly or indirectly and holding any positions in the governing bodies of EU cryptocurrency companies that provide wallet, account or custodial services for crypto assets. There are only two ways for such companies to continue their activities:

1) Availability of a temporary or permanent residence permit in a country of the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland;

2) Re-register the company with another owner.

This tightening of sanctions policies again highlights the complexity of the international corporate landscape, especially for crypto companies whose business has yet to receive official recognition in many countries.

Even after going through the complex process of registering a crypto company and obtaining a license, opening a bank account for companies in this area remains a challenge for entrepreneurs for the following reasons:

1) Strictness of regulatory barriers and compliance: Most banks try to avoid the risks associated with the crypto business due to fears of failing to comply with these requirements, especially regarding anti-money laundering (AML) procedures and knowledge of their customer (KYC) checks.

2) Suspicious attitude towards cryptocurrencies: Banks often avoid working with crypto businesses due to a lack of understanding and wariness of new technologies, and this applies even to those countries that actively attract crypto companies, such as Hong Kong, where local banks may be hesitant regarding opening accounts for such companies due to potential risks.

3) Restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions: In some jurisdictions, even licensed crypto companies face difficulties opening bank accounts due to restrictions and concerns associated with cryptocurrency transactions.

Thus, even with a passport or residence permit considered low-risk, opening a bank account requires careful selection of jurisdictions and banks and complex procedures with uncertain outcomes. Here are some valuable recommendations that can help you open a bank account for your crypto company abroad:

1) Consider payment processors: Unlike traditional banks, which often focus on more established businesses and value a long business history, payment processors are usually more flexible and tend to partner with various companies, including crypto businesses.

2) Provide the details of your crypto company: local office, director, employees, and telephone number. As a crypto entrepreneur, you may run your business entirely online and not need an office. However, the closer your company's connection to the country where the account is opened, the more trust you will have with banking institutions. It's like a solid handshake: the stronger your connection to the area, the more confident you appear in their eyes. And even minimal steps like registering a local phone number can make a difference.

3) Contact specialists: law firms have not only experience opening accounts and knowledge of effective methods but also established communication channels with banking institutions and their employees, which will significantly speed up the process of opening an account and increase the chances of its successful completion.

4) Choose your jurisdiction carefully: not all of them are universal and suitable for everyone; it is important to take into account

- trends and situation in the country, the direction of its legislation;

- your specific case, specifics of activity and business development plans;

- citizenship and place of residence of the founders and director;

- the cost of service and transactions

Although the choice of jurisdiction and banking services is individual, the following countries can be considered as examples:

Malta: Known for its progressive cryptocurrency and blockchain legislation. There is also no capital gains tax for long-term investments in cryptocurrencies​​​​.

Estonia: also has fairly favourable regulations and laws in support of privacy.

Poland: actively participates in the cryptocurrency industry, adopting legislation allowing cryptocurrency trading and mining. Companies can officially engage in cryptocurrency and conduct various transactions. Poland became the first EU state to adopt such acts.

Even after successfully registering a crypto company and obtaining a license, paying special attention to the next stage - opening reliable bank accounts is necessary. This process requires a carefully thought-out strategy, including the selection of appropriate jurisdictions and banks, as well as the development of an effective payment logistics system. Legal support at all stages of account opening is critical, and we are ready to help you understand local and international legal regulations and prepare and submit all necessary documents. Make your account opening process smoother and more successful with Antwort Law.

Lidia Ivanova

International lawyer
Antwort Law

Which countries are considered the most favorable for opening bank accounts for crypto companies?
Some of these countries include Malta, Estonia and Poland, which are known for their friendly regulatory standards and legislation in the field of cryptocurrencies.
Why is opening a bank account for crypto companies a difficult process?
Opening an account for crypto companies is complicated by a number of factors, including strict regulatory requirements, suspicion of cryptocurrencies by banks, and restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions in some jurisdictions.
What is the easiest way to open an account for a crypto company?
Consider payment processors: Unlike traditional banks, which often focus on more established businesses and value a long history of operations, payment processors tend to be more flexible and willing to partner with a variety of companies, including crypto businesses.
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