The European Union (EU) is taking measures that will make it harder for criminals to avoid anti-money laundering regulations by using cryptocurrencies.
The scope of the regulations was expanded on May 16 to include crypto asset transfers after the Council decided it was time for an update to the rules governing the information that must accompany the transfer of cash.
This assures that finances are open on crypto exchanges with digital assets and provides the EU with a strong framework that conforms with the most rigorous global requirements on the exchange of digital currencies, guaranteeing that they are not used illicitly. Elisabeth Svantesson, Minister for Finance of Sweden, stated:
“Today’s decision is bad news for those who have misused crypto-assets for their illegal activities, to circumvent EU sanctions, or to finance terrorism and war. Doing so will no longer be possible in Europe without exposure – it is an important step forward in the fight against money laundering.”
Crypto exchanges required to comply
Regardless of the total value of the cryptocurrency assets being exchanged, crypto asset service providers will now be required to comply with the new regulations, which provide that they must collect and make available specific information on the sender and recipient of all cryptocurrency asset transfers that they facilitate.
This means that crypto transfers can be tracked, which improves the capacity to spot potentially suspicious transactions and prevents such transactions from occurring.
The European Commission proposed this rule on July 20, 2021, as part of a larger package of legislation meant to tighten up anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (AML/CFT) regulations in the European Union.
Finally, in addition to that, the package contains a suggestion for the establishment of a new EU body to combat the laundering of funds. Interestingly, last week Finbold reported UK tax authorities would also be granted the power to seize crypto held on exchanges.