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EU tightens rules for crypto transactions

The EU is taking stricter action against money laundering with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The EU countries and the European Parliament agreed on a law on Thursday night to be able to track crypto transfers.

In the future, crypto platforms will therefore have to determine information about senders and recipients when they process transactions. It does not matter how high the transferred amount is. In the event of an investigation into money laundering or terrorism, the providers must also forward the information to the relevant authorities.

When it comes to measures against crypto money laundering, the EU focuses on the point where Bitcoin, Ether and other digital currencies are exchanged for conventional money such as euros or US dollars. Therefore, direct transfers between holders of cross-platform crypto wallets are left out. But they would be difficult to control anyway.

There is also a special regulation when crypto platforms such as Coinbase, Crypto.com or Binance process transactions with such independent wallets: Here the information obligation applies to amounts of 1000 euros or more.

Transparency as in traditional transfer

MEP Martin Schirdewan (left) welcomed the agreement. “As with traditional bank transfers, it must be clear who is actually the sender and recipient of the crypto assets,” he said. However, he criticized that the transparency requirements for independent wallets were less stringent.

The Frankfurt economist Prof. Philipp Sandner, one of the leading blockchain experts in Germany, was relieved that “the hard wishes of the European Parliament” had been weakened. This includes the fact that the identification requirement only applies to sums over 1000 euros. This is good news, especially for companies that are active in the crypto sector or intend to do so.

Before the EU law officially comes into force, the EU Parliament and the countries still have to formally approve it. On Thursday afternoon, the negotiators of the institutions wanted to meet to negotiate further uniform rules for the cryptocurrency market in the EU.

Samuel Edwards
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