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EU Tightens Crypto Regulations with Provisional AML Agreement

The European Union has tentatively reached an agreement on new anti-money laundering (AML) regulations that specifically target the cryptocurrency sector.

As detailed in a press release issued by the European Council, this provisional agreement was reached through collaboration between the Council and the Parliament. The primary aim of these new regulations is to strengthen measures aimed at protecting both EU citizens and the financial system from the risks associated with money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

New Agreement Targets Crypto Sector

The newly established AML regulations extend their scope to encompass “most of the crypto sector.” These regulations mandate that all crypto asset service providers (CASPs) must carry out due diligence on their customers, involving the verification of customer information and reporting any suspicious activities.

According to the agreement, CASPs will be required to apply customer due diligence measures for transactions amounting to €1000 or more. Additionally, measures will be put in place to mitigate risks associated with transactions involving self-hosted wallets.

The agreed-upon measures include heightened due diligence requirements specifically aimed at crypto-asset service providers engaged in cross-border correspondent relationships. This targeted approach aims to enhance oversight and bolster the security of international cryptocurrency transactions.

The Council also noted that credit and financial institutions will be subject to enhanced due diligence measures when conducting business with high-net-worth individuals, particularly when handling substantial assets.

Enhancing the EU’s Fight Against Financial Crimes

The next steps for this agreement involve finalizing the agreed-upon texts, which will then be presented for approval to representatives in the EU’s Committee of Permanent Representatives and the European Parliament.

Following approval, the Council and Parliament will proceed to formally adopt these measures. Once adopted, they will be published in the EU’s Official Journal, and subsequently, they will come into effect.

Belgian Minister of Finance Vincent Van Peteghem emphasized that this agreement is a fundamental part of the EU’s new anti-money laundering system. He noted that it will enhance the organization and cooperation of national systems in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. Van Peteghem also highlighted the importance of closing off avenues for fraudsters, organized crime, and terrorists to legitimize their proceeds through the financial system.

In March 2023, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from the Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs committees had previously approved stricter AML measures aimed at countering the financing of terrorism (CFT).

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What we write about

I want to save money. Will cryptocurrency work?

Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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