The EU issues a bill on digital coins to combat “financial crime and terrorism”

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Earlier this month in March, EU lawmakers published a new bill covering the use of digital currencies within the borders of the European Union. The proposal suggests changes and additions to “Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for money laundering or terrorist financing”, which includes the regulation and monitoring of electronic money transfer systems Money used for money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

The new proposed changes to the directive state that digital coins should not be anonymous and that financial intelligence agencies should be able to link digital addresses of currency notes to their owners.

“In order to combat the risks associated with anonymity, virtual currencies should not be anonymous and national Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) should be able to associate virtual currency addresses with the identity of the owner of virtual currencies.

The new bill also says that currently no foreign exchange providers, issuers, managers, intermediaries and online payment providers are required to report suspicious activity, which gives terrorists the opportunity to channel money into the European Union Anonymous Therefore, providers of digital currency services, such as exchanges and portfolios, should be subject to the same financial reporting obligations as traditional financial service providers and “competent authorities should be able to monitor the use of currencies To identify suspicious activities. “

blockchain-cryptocurrenciesGiven the pseudo-anonymous status of bitcoin and fully anonymous digital coins, such as Monero, DASH and ZCash, it will be almost impossible to fully de-mononymise digital currency transactions and holdings if these new law amendments take effect.

It is expected that as a consequence of the adoption of these regulations the most likely scenario is that those who do not want the banks or the government to know how much money they have and how they spend it move towards the use of more anonymous cryptocurrencies. And this is absolutely unavoidable.

While the perspective of EU lawmakers is understandable and makes sense from a control and security point of view, the reality is that banning anonymous digital coins will not work because they are based on global peer-to-peer networks Which cannot be confiscated or destroyed by government agencies. In addition, since they are anonymous, prohibiting them will not prevent people from using them to make peer-to-peer payments or transfer them to other currencies in exchanges outside the EU. Rather, any prohibition will trigger the adoption of new and more anonymous mechanisms.

Faced with this reality the question to be asked is whether digital coins are being used to finance terrorism. Or if all this is simply an attempt by the authorities to eliminate digital coins, as they are out of the control of governments and banks. The truth is that this chapter is just beginning.

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