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The European Union (EU) plans to create a sixth “Anti-Money Laundering Authority”. He is said to be specifically responsible for regulating the cryptocurrency industry.
Although the Crypto Asset Markets Regulation and the controversial Money Transfers Regulation have received the most attention from the cryptocurrency industry, they are only a small part of a larger package of EU Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policy. And that will have a significant impact on all financial institutions.
The EU wants to further regulate cryptocurrencies
The European Council, European Commission and Parliament are in the process of creating a new regulator for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which will lead the sector.
According to recent reports, the EU is creating a sixth Anti-Money Laundering Authority: AMLD6. They will have direct control over the cryptocurrency sector.
In July last year, the European Commission published its proposal for the AMLD6, also known as the Sixth AML/CFT Directive, followed last month by the European Council’s version.
The European Parliament will discuss it after the August recess. The three bodies begin so-called tripartite meetings after each has passed its own version of the legislation.
A key part of the new legislation is the establishment of an EU-wide anti-money laundering regulator. There seems to be little discussion regarding the need for such a body and its requirement to directly regulate EU-based service providers for crypto-assets such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
AMLD6 will apparently be tasked with monitoring crypto service providers. Especially those classified as “high risk”. This is in contrast to previous anti-money laundering regulations, which only provided a framework for EU countries to collect and share information. Therefore, the regulator is expected to limit the potential for legal arbitrage within the zone.
The following is a description of the new system from a parliamentary briefing:
“EU-level supervision consisting of a hub and spoke model – ie an EU-level supervisor responsible for direct supervision of certain financial institutions (FIs), indirect supervision/coordination of the other financial institutions and a coordination function for non-financial . sectoral oversight as a first step.”
The crypto markets and money transfer laws, which apply not only to crypto business but to all financial institutions in the bloc, will not have the same focus as AMLD6.
The EU takes a tough approach to cryptocurrencies
The EU has taken a strict approach to encryption laws. The European Parliament recently voted in favor of anti-nomination rules. They are intended to make transactions between non-hosted wallets and more expensive, difficult or even impossible exchanges.
And while the legislature passed a bill banning proof-of-work mining, the European Central Bank believes that environmental concerns will eventually lead to such a ban.
For the EU, the global organization represents a significant change. The 2015 and 2018 AML guidelines require member states to collect and provide certain data, including beneficial ownership information about companies.
The duration of the implementation depends on the negotiations between the European Parliament and the subsequent tripartite meetings with the Commission. It will be years before the regulation is fully implemented, including the AMLA staff. However, there seems little doubt that such a controller will exist.
Text credit: Bitcoinist
Last updated on August 16, 2022
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