Elrond Network, a layer 1 blockchain with scalability in mind, has acquired Romanian payments firm Twispay, and with it the approval to issue electronic money by the country’s central bank, the National Bank of Romania.
Elrond, which recently acquired payments gateway Utrust, did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition, but the blockchain’s CEO, Beniamin Mincu, called it a “landmark decision” on the part of a European central bank.
“This shows that central banks may be switching from a counterpoint to the crypto space, toward a more neutral or even potentially favorable point,” Mincu said in an interview with CoinDesk.
A representative of the National Bank of Romania confirmed via email that Elrond had received approval for acquiring a license for e-money.
Electronic money, or e-money, is broadly defined as an electronic store of monetary value used for making payments to entities other than the e-money issuer. As a standardized means of payment, it has been around for over a decade, enshrined in European Union directives and regulated by central banks.
Under European Union passport rules, the license will allow Elrond to operate e-money services across the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Interestingly, the EU Commission’s proposed Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) stipulates that licensed e-money institutions will be entitled to issue stablecoins, Mincu pointed out.
“We’ve been having focused conversations with the Romanian Central Bank about acquiring an e-money licensed institution that enables us to create stablecoins, for instance, in a legal and compliant way,” Mincu said.
UPDATE (March 10, 10:26 UTC): Replaces photo.