The European Commission (EC) wants to end anonymous trading in virtual currencies in order to help track terror groups’s funding.
The EC yesterday published an Action Plan to strengthen the fight against the financing of terrorism (PDF) that says criminals are quick to seek out new ways of moving money that offer lower risk of detection.
While the plan doesn’t offer evidence of virtual currencies being used to finance terrorism, the EC is alive to the possibility and feels it is better to contemplate regulation as part of the ongoing effort to stop terror attacks.
The plan therefore calls for virtual currency exchange platforms to be brought under the scope of the European Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which would mean exchanges would have to report just who used their services and when they were used. The Action Plan says “The Commission will also examine whether to include virtual currency ‘wallet providers’.”
Bitcoinistas needn’t feel singled out by the EC: the Action Plan also calls for a re-think of how to and when identify users of pre-loaded credit cards, without reducing their utility for the many people (many of them poor) who find them a useful financial instrument because they operate as credit cards