Photographer: Karen Lagcao Grano/CCEDK Crypto Coins Exchange Denmark ApS via Bloomberg
Denmark is about to get a new Bitcoin exchange, promising future clients a crime-free platform on which to trade the virtual currency.
The CCEDK Crypto Coins Exchange Denmark ApS, which is due to open this month, is offering its trading platform to people across the globe, Chief Executive Officer Ronny Boesing said in an interview. The exchange will initially provide customers with the possibility to trade Bitcoin and Litecoin against each other, as well as in exchange for Danish and Norwegian kroner, British pounds, dollars and euros.
Safety has emerged as a key theme in determining Bitcoins fate as a viable payment form. The software was at the center of a money laundering scandal in January, when Bitcoin Foundation Vice Chairman Charlie Shrem was charged by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for allegedly attempting to sell the crypto-currency to narcotics traffickers. He denied the charges in April. The trial starts in September. Bitcoin then suffered a further setback in February when Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy in Japan after it couldnt account for 850,000 units of the virtual currency.
Our strongest selling point will be that clients will know where we are, that the jurisdiction is Danish and that theres complete transparency, Boesing said. We link to our lawyer on our website in case anyone feels they need one.
The European Banking Authority in December cautioned against using Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, noting that no specific regulatory protections exist that would cover you for losses if a platform that exchanges or holds your virtual currencies fails or goes out of business.
Boesing said his exchange will operate as if it were overseen by a financial watchdog, because there could be a decision to regulate this kind of business in the future. We are also ready for that.
Denmarks Financial Supervisory Authority said in December it was looking into the need for regulation. Michael Landberg, the watchdogs chief legal adviser, said then the most likely outcome would be an amendment to existing financial legislation so that we have regulation covering it. Danish regulators will seek to follow the mainstream, he said, adding it just needs to be regulated.
Bitcoin has already encountered some hurdles in Scandinavia. A number of the regions biggest banks have distanced themselves from the payment form and rejected requests from clients seeking to set up accounts amid concern the software could be used to aid crime.
SEB AB (SEBA), the Nordic regions largest currency trader, cited large uncertainties surrounding Bitcoins status, in a January interview. The bank said then it wont offer transactions, accounts or currency exchange services in Bitcoin for that reason. Nordea Bank AB (NDA), Scandinavias biggest lender, said the same month it wont offer any services related to trading Bitcoin and is advising clients of the risks associated with the payment form.