EU Plans To End Anonymity For Bitcoin And Prepaid Card Users

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Blockchain Media Group

There’s a plan of the European Commission, which will be proposed in June, which will try to end the anonymity of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, and prepaid cards. The reason the European Union wants this new policy is that they need to fight terrorism more efficiently. However, the Europol just released a report, which says that terrorists are not using virtual currencies, especially Bitcoins, for funding their operations. They are not even using the dark net, they mostly use social media websites to spread their messages. The document also outlines the possibility of undertaking additional monitoring of inter-bank transfers within the European community, which are currently not overseen by the new EU-US Terrorist Financing Tracking Programme (TFTP). Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the EU Commission, added this comment:

“With today’s Action Plan we are moving swiftly to clamp down on terrorist financing, starting with legislative proposals in the coming months. We must cut off terrorists’ access to funds, enable authorities to better track financial flows to prevent devastating attacks such as those in Paris last year, and ensure that money laundering and terrorist financing is sanctioned in all Member States. We want to improve the oversight of the many financial means used by terrorists, from cash and cultural artefacts to virtual currencies and anonymous pre-paid cards, while avoiding unnecessary obstacles to the functioning of payments and financial markets for ordinary, law-abiding citizens.”

About the impact of these measures, we can quote tech paper, TheStack, on this:

„In December, the EC proposed a Directive on combatting terrorism [PDF] criminalizing terrorist financing techniques, as well as training and travel for terrorist purposes. In May 2015, the EU adopted the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Package, and the new regulations are intended to bring virtual currencies and prepaid cards – and, in effect, any ‘burner’-style anonymous currency methods – under the terms of that legislation, with full oversight. The ‘Bitcoin-ban’ will effectively prevent Bitcoin from being turned back into ‘real money’ within the EU, and the primary effect such legislation is likely to have will be in the area of illicit purchases from the ‘dark net’, where users can currently purchase drugs to be posted to an address of their choice from the various outlets that survived the fall of the Silk Road deep web narcotics websites.”

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