EU Proposes New AML Regulations for Bitcoin Exchanges and Wallets

In the backdrop of recent terrorist attacks across the European Union and the Panama papers leak, the European Commission has put forth a proposal to amend the existing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations.  The proposal calls for the amendment of EU Directive 2015/849 and Directive 2009/101/EC, both related to prevention of money laundering or terrorist financing.

The proposal includes a series of measures to prevent terrorist financing by exploiting existing loopholes in the current regulations. It is also aimed at increasing transparency in financial transactions related to both individuals and corporate entities. According to the proposal, the list of activities carrying the risk of terror financing includes cash transactions, trade of cultural artifacts, virtual currencies like Bitcoin and other digital currencies and anonymous prepaid cards.

The European Commission has come up with this proposal after consulting with various stakeholders in the Union’s economic system. Inputs from EU member states, representatives of the European Parliament, representatives of conventional payments services sector, digital currency exchanges, wallet services, representatives from the digital currency community, stakeholders from banking and financial sector, Financial Intelligence Units, Europol, European Data Protection Supervisors and various consumer organizations in the region were considered

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