The intensified development of the fintech industry in recent years, as well as the implementation of blockchain technology in vast fields of everyday life, resulted that virtual currencies (commonly referred to as cryptocurrencies) are also gaining popularity. In turn, this influences the increased interest of entrepreneurs who are increasingly willing to engage in virtual currency trading. Regarding that, Poland offers a friendly environment for business development and a relatively low costs and level of bureaucracy. In today’s article, I would like to provide answers to the 10 most frequently asked questions in obtaining a crypto license in Poland.
Table of Contents
- 1. What is the process for obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Poland?
- 2. What documents are required to apply for a cryptocurrency license in Poland?
- 3. How long does it take to obtain a cryptocurrency license in Poland?
- 4. What is the cost of obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Poland?
- 5. What types of cryptocurrency businesses can obtain a license in Poland?
- 6. Are there any ongoing compliance requirements for cryptocurrency license holders in Poland?
- 7. Can a foreign company obtain a cryptocurrency license in Poland?
- 8. What are the penalties for operating a cryptocurrency business without a license in Poland?
- 9. Can a cryptocurrency license be revoked in Poland?
- 10. What is the future outlook for cryptocurrency regulation in Poland?
1. What is the process for obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Poland?
In Poland, the business of trading, exchanging, brokering virtual currencies or operating electronic cryptocurrency wallets is a regulated activity. This means that an entrepreneur has to submit an application to the register of activities in the field of virtual currencies in order to legally commence operating in the field of cryptocurrency – conduct the activity as a virtual asset service provider (VASP). Therefore, formally you do not need to obtain any license, but only to apply for registration. However, for simplicity, in the following part of the article we will use the term VASP license interchangeably.
The register of activities in the field of virtual currencies is with the Director of the Tax Administration Chamber in Katowice, who acts under the authorization of the Minister of Public Finance. It contains such data as:
- individual number of entry in the register,
- date of entry,
- fundamental data of the entity (name/company, NIP and/or KRS no.),
- type of services provided,
- information on the suspension or termination of virtual currency activities
Crypto license in Poland step-by-step
The process of obtaining cryptocurrency license in Poland is quite simple. First, of course, you need to incorporate a business in the country. This can be a sole proprietorship or a company. After establishing a business, it is worth opening a bank account. Here you should be particularly careful, as banks in Poland are reluctant to cooperate with startups involved in the virtual currency industry. Hence the help of an experienced law firm may be necessary to navigate through the process.
Then, you will have to submit an application for registration in the register of activities in the field of virtual currencies. You shall submit the application electronically via the ePUAP platform ( therefore, it will be necessary to create a trusted profile). The application itself involves completing a short form. You should attach the following to the application:
- statement that you comply with the professional qualifications requirement (knowledge or experience involving cryptocurrencies)
- declaration of non-criminal record;
Along with the application, you should pay a stamp duty of PLN 616. Additionally, if you wish to obtain a certificate of acquiring a VASP license you must pay an additional fee of PLN 17.
2. What documents are required to apply for a cryptocurrency license in Poland?
The catalogue of documents required to obtain a crypto license in Poland is not elaborate.
You need to submit an electronic application, along with:
- Statement of compliance with professional qualifications requirement in the field of virtual currencies:
This is an affidavit submitted under penalty of criminal liability for making false statements confirming that the real beneficiaries and members of the board of directors (in the case of a company) have expertise or experience in the field of cryptocurrencies. The abovementioned can be proved by means of at least one year documented activity in the field of virtual currencies or a certificate of graduation from a course or training in the field of virtual currencies.
2. Declaration of no criminal record
Such a statement should be made by individuals (both real beneficiaries and members of the board of directors – when applicabel). Essentially, a certificate from the National Criminal Register is not required here. Nevertheless, having a certificate of clean criminal record from the National Criminal Register might be indispensable in the event of a possible audit.
In addition to documents strictly relating to the process of applying for a cryptocurrency license, the entrepreneur must also provide basic documentation in terms of RODO and AML.
3. How long does it take to obtain a cryptocurrency license in Poland?
Pursuant to 129r(3) of the AML Law, the competent authority has 14 days from the date of receipt of the application to register the entity in question in the register of activities in the field of virtual currencies.
Of course, the total time to obtain a license may vary depending on either you want to conduct cryptocurrency-related activities within an already existing company/business or there is a need to establish a new entity. However, the preparation of documents and completion of the application itself should not take more than 1 business day.
4. What is the cost of obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Poland?
Obtaining the cryptocurrency license itself is not expensive. The fee on the application for entry in the register of virtual currencies is PLN 616. In addition, if you want to obtain a certificate of entry in the registry it is necessary to pay a fee of PLN 17.
5. What types of cryptocurrency businesses can obtain a license in Poland?
The AML Act, in defining virtual currency activities, enumerates 4 types of services:
- exchanges between virtual currencies and means of payment (FIAT),
- exchanges between virtual currencies,
- intermediation of exchanges referred to in a or b,
- maintenance of accounts in the form of an electronic set of identification data providing authorized persons with the ability to use units of virtual currencies including carrying out transactions of their exchange (wallets).
6. Are there any ongoing compliance requirements for cryptocurrency license holders in Poland?
An entity engaged in virtual currencies activities shall comply with certain country’s regulations regarding RODO and AML. Particularly important in the latter case is to identify and verify customers (KYC procedure), conduct money laundering risk assessment and analysis, monitor transactions and report suspicious transactions.
It is, of course, necessary to maintain accounting and tax returns in accordance with the relevant accounting and tax regulations in force.
7. Can a foreign company obtain a cryptocurrency license in Poland?
Poland is open towards foreign cryptocurrency operators. This means that foreign entities can acquire a cryptocurrency license to engage in virtual curriencies activities in Poland, as long as they comply with certain requirements. It is vital to indicate that such entity must be legaly authorized to conduct business activity in Poland pursuant to provisions of Act of March 16, 2018 on the principles of participation in Poland of foreign entrepreneurs and other foreign persons in business on the territory of the Republic of Poland.
Moreover, if that foreign entity wants to operate virtual currencies in Poland then it is obliged to notify and register its activities.
8. What are the penalties for operating a cryptocurrency business without a license in Poland?
Conducting a business of trading in the field of virtual currencies in Poland without a registration is a subject to a fine of up to PLN 100,000. Such a penalty has a form of an administrative decision.
9. Can a cryptocurrency license be revoked in Poland?
Yes. Entity can be removed from the register of activities in the field of virtual currencies if:
- submits an application for deletion (the application is also submitted electronically);
- entity is removed from one of the register of enterprenuers (CEIDG or KRS);
- it will be determined that the entity does not meet the conditions required by law to operate in the field of virtual currencies;
- it will be determined that the entity has made a declaration of no criminal record and statement of expertise or experience in the field of virtual currencies, which is false.
Information on the deletion of the entity from the register has the character of an administrative decision.
10. What is the future outlook for cryptocurrency regulation in Poland?
The continued growth of cryptocurrency activity seems to be inevitable, and the global economic plunge only contributes to the exploration of alternatives to fiat money. Although Poland neither can boast to be a pioneer in terms of legal regulation and adoption of virtual currencies, nor financial supervisory institutions and banks discard their reluctancy to cooperate with cryptocurrency businesses, more steps are being taken in terms of their legalization. Sooner or later, the trend of further compliance with virtual currencies observed in highly developed countries will also reflect in Poland. Consequently, the still relatively low cost of doing business in Poland and the low degree of bureaucracy associated with cryptocurrencies may be an incentive for many entrepreneurs.
If this article was interesting for you and you want to know more on the topic it concerned we encourage you to contact us. Specialists from our law firm in Poland, Warsaw, will be happy to help. If you are interested in company registration in Poland visit our dedicated landing page.