Striga Bets on Estonia’s New Regulation to Launch Crypto Banking Platform


Striga founders and team in Tallinn, Estonia

Prashanth Balasubramanian (CTO, Founder) – Second from bottom left, and Bernardo Magnani (CEO, Co-founder) – First from bottom left

Estonia, the startup-friendly digital nation, has renewed its crypto regulation. Striga, the crypto banking platform as a service, moves its headquarters to take advantage of it.

The crypto regulatory landscape is consolidating in Europe. It presents great challenges, but even greater opportunities for the best companies to excel. It is the beginning of an evolution of crypto compliance”

—Bernardo Magnani, CEO

TALLINN, ESTONIA, May 2, 2022 / — Building a world-class crypto banking platform requires the best licenses on the market, and Estonia is ready to deliver

striga, the latest challenger in the emerging sector of crypto banking as a service, has chosen Estonia for its headquarters. The Baltic country has earned a reputation for being highly digital and friendly to startups, particularly cryptocurrency companies.

Although regulations have changed lately, Estonia has just celebrated Glia as its 10th unicorn. Striga, after a fruitful 2021, is preparing to take advantage of the incoming prestige of the recently implemented VASP (crypto) license, with the aim of building a crypto banking ecosystem.

This change in the regulatory framework will cause a change in the Baltic financial ecosystem and will create both a challenge and an opportunity for Lithuania to rise to the occasion. The Baltic countries may soon enter a new stage as a FinTech stronghold.

– Estonia’s state-of-the-art regulatory framework:

Estonia’s journey towards being labeled “Europe’s inbound Silicon Valley” arguably began with the creation of Skype in 2003. By 2005 it had become a unicorn and provided the spark, but only recently have things stepped up. Since 2020, 6 unicorns have emerged, for a total of 10 total.

The fledgling crypto industry took note: startup-friendly European country, digital business ecosystem, and regulation responsive to digital assets? Estonia seemed like a blessing. Therefore, during the last five years, hundreds of crypto companies were established.

Unsurprisingly, the Financial Intelligence Unit finally saw the underlying risk of being too open to virtual asset companies. Therefore, they passed a rigorous set of new regulations in March 2022 to wipe out the crypto ecosystem, purge noncompliant businesses, and empower fair gamers.

“The regulatory landscape for crypto businesses in Europe is consolidating, presenting huge challenges for crypto businesses, but also an opportunity for the best to stand out. It is the beginning of an accelerated compliance evolution in the crypto ecosystem.”
– Bernardo Magnani, CEO of Striga

– A promising Baltic opportunity:

While this is a change in Estonia, it will directly affect the entire Baltic region, especially Lithuania. In fact, it will serve as a double bridge between the two states, first for fugitive companies and then for regulatory standards.

Currently, there are more than 400 cryptocurrency-related entities registered in Estonia. Most operate under light regulations and will face compliance challenges like never before. Some have already started moving to Lithuania and will continue to do so more and more.

This exodus of non-compliant companies will put Lithuania in a potentially compromised position. Lithuanian Seimas Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Mykolas Majauskas has expressed plans to tighten regulation of cryptocurrencies. Lithuania, following in Estonia’s footsteps, will strengthen its already prominent position as a Hub for EMIs (Electronic Money Institutions).

Companies that seek to survive will find that changing countries is not a solution, but a palliative. Ultimately, they may go through the licensing process, for which Striga hopes to become a benchmark, or partner with a licensed company.

As a benefit, proactive compliance companies can develop a mutually beneficial relationship with regulators. In the US, Coinbase took a compliance-first approach and finished cooperating with the FCC to help them understand the new challenges of cryptocurrencies. That same type of relationship that Coinbase built with US regulators could be built by crypto startups in Estonia.

– Striga’s path so far:

While the Estonian market was evolving, Striga was under development on the other side of the world. Its history is tied to Silicon Valley, and at the time, the company was polishing its infrastructure as it went through YCombinator (W21).

Now, after a successful seed round, Striga brings together its international team, representing 6 countries on 5 continents, under one roof in Estonia. He comes with one goal: to build the next generation of banking services.

– Emergence of crypto banking as a service:

Like other pioneers in the space, Striga is committed to the new Estonian regulations as a seal of prestige and quality. Now about to unfold a crypto banking platform as a service, the company is focusing its resources on serving the crypto and fintech sectors. It will provide the necessary infrastructure to launch comprehensive fiat and crypto banking solutions.

Rodrigo Carrion
[email protected]
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