Does a platform qualify as financial institution given that it allows and enables monetary transactions for third parties?

Select jurisdiction

Germany
  • Germany
  • Brazil
  • Sweden

Germany

This depends on the mechanics of the platform and especially on the specific payment flows.
In the usual platform model, a payment services licence might be necessary to collect the
payment from the customers and forward it to the third-party sellers if the payment flow runs
through the platform. Usually, platform operators utilize licensed third-party payment service
providers for this, or they even apply for their own payment services licence.
If, on the other hand, the payment flow does not run through the platform, or the platform is
the actual seller of the NFT and accepts the payment only on its own behalf, a payment
services licence is usually not necessary.
Another – separate – question is whether the platform needs a licence as a financial
institution for handling the NFTs. Such a licence is usually not necessary if the NFTs are just
unregulated utility tokens. However, a licence as a financial institution might be necessary for
NFTs that are considered to be financial instruments.
In addition, the platform might need a licence as a financial institute if it offers the so-called
crypto custody for their customers, especially if it offers to store crypto currencies or NFTs
that are not just unregulated utility tokens but crypto assets on behalf of their customers.

Christoph Engelmann

Regulation

Brazil

It depends. To enable a digital account, which allows financial transactions between
third parties in the virtual environment, the participation of a financial institution duly
registered within the Central Bank is necessary, this institution can be the platform itself or a
third party hired to integrate the operation.

Sweden

In most circumstances, platforms are likely to qualify as financial institutions.

Elvin Sababi

Regulatory and Compliance (including AML), NFT IP rights, Crypto taxation

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