Crypto-assets: new rules to stop illegal flows in the EU | News

On Thursday, MEPs from the Committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties adopted, with 93 votes in favor, 14 against and 14 abstentions, their position on the draft law, which aims to strengthen EU rules against money laundering and terrorist financing. .

Traceability of transfers of cryptocurrencies

According to new requirements approved by MEPs, all transfers of cryptocurrencies must be accompanied by information on sources and recipients. This information should be made available at the request of the competent authorities. The rules will also cover transactions made from so-called non-hosted wallets (a crypto-asset wallet address owned by a private user). Technological solutions should ensure that transfers of cryptocurrencies can be identified individually.

The aim is to ensure the traceability of transfers of cryptocurrencies and to block suspicious transactions. The rules should not apply to person-to-person transfers of cryptocurrencies performed without a provider, such as bitcoin exchanges, or between providers acting on their own behalf.

No minimum threshold

Due to their speed and virtual nature, transactions with cryptocurrencies can easily circumvent existing rules based on transaction thresholds. MEPs decided to remove minimum thresholds and exemptions for low value transfers of crypto assets.

Public register of high-risk units

MEPs call on the European Banking Authority (EBA) to set up a public register of high-risk cryptocurrency entities and services for money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities, including a non-exhaustive list of non-credit providers. are in complience with the requirements.

Before making cryptocurrencies available to recipients, providers should verify that the source from which they originate is not subject to restrictive measures or that there is no risk of money laundering or terrorism.

Quotes

Ernest Urtasun (Greens / EFA, ES), Co-Rapporteur for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, said: “Illegal flows of cryptocurrencies go largely unnoticed across the EU and the world, making them ideal instruments for securing anonymity. “From the Panama Papers to the Pandora Papers has shown that criminals are proliferating where anonymity is guaranteed due to confidentiality rules. This bill will fill this gap for the EU.”

Assita Kanko (ECR, BE), Co-Rapporteur of the Civil Liberties Committee, emphasized: “Our report reflects two objectives: to protect and to normalize. All people of good will should be encouraged to use cryptocurrencies properly and securely, as well as protected from use. of cryptocurrencies for terrorist financing, extortion, child pornography or money laundering. took these important steps for our citizens. “

Next step

The adopted text is the draft mandate for MEPs to enter into negotiations with EU governments on the final form of legislation. The EP is expected to vote on this issue in plenary in April.

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The regulation is part of the new money laundering package, which includes measures to strengthen EU rules in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. It develops solutions to the shortcomings of the existing framework, which testifies to inefficient implementation, erroneous monitoring and insufficient detection of suspicious transactions.

So far, there are no rules in the EU that make it possible to track transfers of cryptocurrencies or provide information about the initiator / recipient of such transfers.

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