The Minister of Finance of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has granted cryptocurrency startup SnapSwap International a license to offer services as a regulated payment institution.

The bitLicense will allow SnapSwap to offer payments, remittances, and currency exchange services in the European Union using modern cryptographic technologies, crypto-currencies and internet protocols, such as blockchain and open ledger consensus.

SnapSwap said that it will commence operations as a payment institution for the European Union out of Luxembourg in January 2016.

When operational in early 2016, SnapSwap will hold payment accounts and provide services to individuals, companies, and financial institutions within the European Union and worldwide.

SnapSwap founder and CEO Denis Kiselev said: "Our mission is to build innovative financial products that allow consumers and businesses to participate in the global economy by bringing down barriers such as cost, complexity, and processing delays. We are employing the cutting-edge technologies of the emerging Internet of Value to foster financial inclusion and efficiency.

"We believe this is the first step of the creation of a crypto protocols ecosystem that will develop within an established structure of financial regulation and supervision," Kiselev added.