EU Parliament Votes to Back Measures on Crypto Transfers

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Apr 01, 2022

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The proposed rules will task crypto firms to reveal information on the senders and receivers of the digital assets. 

Clamp Down on Crypto Transfers

The European Parliament on Thursday voted in favor of rules seeking to enforce traceability on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transfers. 

Lawmakers on the Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committees agreed to extend current anti-money laundering (AML) regulations that apply to fiat currency.

When applied, the measures will rule out anonymous crypto transactions, even those on “self-hosted wallets” that run through exchanges. It will apply to transactions of all sizes, effectively opening them all up to scrutiny. The legislation will task exchanges with collecting data and verifying transactions, even of wallet users who are not their customers.

So far, the move has garnered overwhelmingly negative reactions from industry observers and stakeholders. Major players like Coinbase have complained, stating that traditional currency remains the dominant avenue to launder criminal proceeds. 

The exchange’s Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal said this would “impose a host of new privacy invasions on wallet users”.

“If adopted, this revision will unleash an entire surveillance regime on exchanges like Coinbase, stifle innovation, and undermine the self-hosted wallets that individuals use to securely protect their digital assets,” he wrote.

A Brief History

The European Commission first proposed the laws last year. They were introduced as part of an effort to tighten regulations in the crypto space. It looked to introduce already-existing rules on traditional transactions of over €1000. 

Last December, Slovenia’s finance minister Andrej Sircelj hailed the proposed law. He described it as “an important step towards closing the gaps in our financial systems that are malevolently used by criminals to launder unlawful gains or finance terrorist activities.”

On Thursday, the committees removed the threshold, applying the rules to transactions of all amounts.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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