Best Jurisdiction for a MiCA Crypto License in the EU

Best Jurisdiction for a MiCA Crypto License in the EU

The cryptocurrency industry has witnessed remarkable growth and evolution in recent years, prompting regulatory bodies worldwide to establish comprehensive frameworks to govern this burgeoning sector. In the European Union (EU), the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation is poised to become a landmark legislation, setting a global precedent for regulating crypto markets and related services. As entrepreneurs and businesses navigate this new terrain, selecting the most favorable jurisdiction for obtaining a MiCA crypto license emerges as a pivotal decision.

What You Know About the MiCA Regulation

Developed by the European Commission, MiCA aims to provide a harmonized regulatory framework for creating and trading cryptocurrencies across EU member states. Approved by the European Parliament in April 2023, this groundbreaking legislation is expected to become effective between mid-2024 and early 2025. MiCA will directly impact any company operating within the EU, even if it seeks customers outside the bloc.

While MiCA sets a common regulatory baseline, individual EU countries may supplement these rules with additional national requirements. Consequently, evaluating the specific advantages and nuances of each jurisdiction’s crypto regulatory landscape becomes crucial in determining the most suitable location for obtaining a MiCA crypto license.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Jurisdiction

When selecting the optimal jurisdiction for securing a MiCA crypto license, several key factors should be carefully considered:

  1. Regulatory Environment: Assess the jurisdiction’s overall approach to cryptocurrency regulation, including the clarity of guidelines, the efficiency of the licensing process, and the level of support provided to crypto businesses.
  2. Taxation and Incentives: Evaluate the tax regime and potential incentives offered to crypto companies, as these can significantly impact profitability and growth prospects.
  3. Access to Talent and Infrastructure: Examine the availability of skilled professionals and robust infrastructure to support crypto operations, ensuring a seamless transition and long-term sustainability.
  4. Reputation and Stability: Consider the jurisdiction’s reputation within the global crypto community and its political and economic stability, which can influence investor confidence and facilitate international collaborations.
  5. Banking and Financial Services: Explore the accessibility of crypto-friendly banking and financial services, as these are essential for conducting day-to-day operations and enabling seamless transactions.
  6. Time to Market: Analyze the timeframe required for obtaining a crypto license. A streamlined process can provide a competitive advantage in this rapidly evolving industry.

Top Contenders for a MiCA Crypto License

Among the EU member states, several jurisdictions stand out as potential frontrunners for securing a MiCA crypto license:

1. Lithuania

Lithuania has emerged as a progressive hub for cryptocurrency businesses thanks to its favorable regulatory environment and proactive approach to embracing innovative technologies. The country’s progressive stance on crypto regulation and the ability to pay the required share capital in installments make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs seeking a MiCA crypto license.

  • The primary legislation regulating crypto activities in Lithuania is the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, which includes virtual currency exchange operators and deposit virtual currency wallet operators.
  • The Bank of Lithuania supervises cryptocurrency businesses and issues crypto currency licenses.
  • Lithuania offers two types of crypto licenses: a Crypto Wallet Exchange License and a Crypto Exchange License, which enable businesses to provide various crypto-related services.
  • The application process for a cryptocurrency license in Lithuania is streamlined, takes less than a month, and is free of charge.
  • There are no annual supervision fees, making it cost-effective for businesses to operate in Lithuania.

2. Estonia

Renowned for its digital infrastructure and fintech-friendly policies, Estonia is a compelling choice for crypto startups and investors. The country’s progressive crypto regulation and robust digital ecosystem position it as a strong contender for obtaining a MiCA crypto license.

  • Estonia’s crypto regulation is governed by the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act, which aligns with the FATF’s guidance on virtual assets and service providers.
  • The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) enforces cryptocurrency regulation and issues crypto licenses in Estonia.
  • Applicants must pay a state fee of 10,000 EUR and wait up to 12 weeks to receive a license.
  • Essential requirements include robust risk management policies, KYC processes, secure IT infrastructure, business plans, and fit and proper personnel.
  • Estonia offers a favorable tax regime for crypto companies. No tax is levied on retained and reinvested corporate profits.

3. Portugal

Portugal has gained traction as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction, offering a favorable regulatory environment and attractive tax incentives. With no minimum share capital requirement for obtaining a crypto license, Portugal presents an appealing opportunity for businesses seeking to establish a foothold in the EU crypto market.

  • Companies engaging in cryptocurrency activities in Portugal are classified as Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) and must obtain a license from the Banco de Portugal before starting operations.
  • Unlike most jurisdictions, there is no minimum share capital requirement for obtaining a crypto license in Portugal.
  • There are no restrictions or requirements for declaring cryptocurrency assets and taxing cryptocurrency income for individuals.
  • Portugal offers a stable business environment and access to the EU market.

4. Malta

Renowned as a “Blockchain Island,” Malta has positioned itself as a crypto and blockchain innovation hub. Its comprehensive regulatory framework and proactive approach to attracting crypto businesses make it a viable option for securing a MiCA crypto license.

  • Malta’s crypto regulation framework comprises the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, and the Virtual Financial Assets Act.
  • Businesses must register a whitepaper or apply for a license through a registered VFA agent, typically taking 3-6 months.
  • Application fees range from 3,000 EUR to 12,000 EUR, and successful registrants must pay annual fees ranging from 2,750 EUR to 25,000 EUR.
  • Malta offers a favorable tax regime for crypto businesses, with specific guidelines for applying income tax, stamp duty, and VAT to transactions involving Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) assets.


Spain is rich in cultural heritage and beautiful landscapes. It has made significant strides in crypto and blockchain. The country has emerged as a key player in Europe’s crypto adoption journey, showcasing a supportive regulatory environment and a growing interest in digital assets among its population.

  • Spain’s regulatory framework for crypto and blockchain is relatively progressive, with active encouragement for mainstream adoption.
  • Implementing Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) aligns regulations with European standards, providing a clear legal framework.
  • Businesses must comply with regulations set by the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) and register with the Bank of Spain.
  • Anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) measures are mandatory.
  • Favorable tax regime for crypto businesses with specific income tax, stamp duty, and VAT guidelines on DLT asset transactions.
  • Growing interest in cryptocurrencies among Spanish residents, with many actively investing and businesses accepting digital assets as payment.

These jurisdictions offer varying advantages regarding regulatory clarity, tax incentives, access to talent and infrastructure, and reputation within the crypto community. Businesses seeking a MiCA crypto license should carefully evaluate their specific needs and objectives to determine the most suitable jurisdiction for their operations.

The Role of Compliance and Expertise

Navigating the intricate web of crypto regulations and licensing requirements can be daunting, particularly for businesses new to the industry. Partnering with experienced legal and compliance experts can prove invaluable in ensuring a smooth and successful application process.

FintechBalance, a renowned legal firm specializing in crypto and fintech, offers comprehensive support and guidance to businesses seeking a MiCA crypto license. Their team of dedicated professionals combines in-depth knowledge of crypto regulations with a deep understanding of the nuances of each jurisdiction, providing tailored solutions that align with the client’s specific needs and objectives.


Securing a MiCA crypto license is crucial for crypto businesses to succeed in the EU market. Lithuania emerges as one of the best jurisdictions, offering a progressive regulatory environment, clear licensing processes, a thriving FinTech ecosystem, and attractive tax policies.

Obtaining a MiCA license will become increasingly important as the crypto industry evolves. While MiCA harmonizes regulations across the EU, jurisdictions like Lithuania will continue providing attractive pathways. By embracing MiCA and securing the right license, businesses can position themselves at the forefront of the EU’s crypto market, ensuring compliance, fostering investor confidence, and capitalizing on immense opportunities in this dynamic sector.