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  • Talitha Taslim
  • Posted Articles: 13
  • Last Posted: 2017-08-03 08:59:33
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EU Says Anonymity Not Applicable to Virtual Currencies

2017-05-23 10:42:38

Since its inception in 2009, bitcoin has been relentless. Governments and policymakers have become more accepting of virtual currencies yet still cautious. Recently, the EU parliament released several revisions pertaining to the usage of financial systems for financing activities of terrorist groups and facilitating money laundering. That document centered on cryptocurrencies, which the bloc currently considers as marginal even though they recognize that digital currencies can become more significant in the coming years.

The EU seeks to address money laundering and terrorism; hence, the release of its latest decree. Instituted on June 25, 2016, its two-year enforcement window is about to conclude. It states all European countries must adhere to the memorandum by June this year. By the way, this is the first directive the region’s legislative body has released since 1991.

Under the circular, the EU legislature expands the scope of money laundering as it includes certain criminal acts such as drug-related cases. Several issuers and managers of bitcoin, digital wallet, and the like were previously excluded in their oversight. Before they were not mandated to divulge the identity or nature of any activity deemed dubious. Now it is the other way around. All entities are obliged to obtain a license to operate and be registered.

This injunction particularly implied developing and maintaining a central repository of the IDs of all users and their respective wallet addresses which FIUs can access. It also called for self-declaration forms for the usage of digital currency users. This would enable the bloc to improve the administration of dealings using cryptocurrencies, which are presently minimal unlike typical money-related dealings. For the eurozone, it is sensible for regulators to closely observe the use of cryptocurrency to pinpoint illicit acts. As of present, virtual currencies are still not linked to any central bank. Not to mention it is not primarily regulated. Any move to track illegal activities using digital currency will not be an easy feat.