The European Commission published a draft directive last week proposing to amend existing anti-money laundering rules to include virtual currencies such as bitcoin. If adopted, exchanges as well as custodial wallet providers will need to collect customers’ identity documents and report suspicious activity on their platform to relevant authorities.
In an attempt to avoid regulatory overreach, a group of Dutch Bitcoin startups and experts is now reaching out to the Dutch Ministry of FInance offering their expertise, hoping to potentially adjust the proposed directive amendment.
Uncertainty still exists over the extent of the proposed directive; in particular over what are considered “wallet providers offering custodial services of credentials necessary to access virtual currencies.”
Some legal experts maintain that the amendment would concern only companies that fully control customer funds (such as Circle or Xapo). Other legal experts think it may also apply to wallet providers that merely hold onto a single key of a multisig-address (such as BlockTrail or GreenAddress); an interpretation that was confirmed by German Bitcoin-news site bitcoinblog.de, which reportedly spoke with an E.U.-representative.