Europe's Legislators Expected to Advance Discussions on Contentious Crypto AML Rules
On Thursday, April 27, 2022, the European Parliament, Commission, and Council began discussions on contentious anti-money laundering laws for crypto transactions, which are in the last stages of becoming legislation. Some argue that the measures would suffocate privacy and creativity.
According to the proposed bill, crypto providers must check customer information and report questionable transactions to authorities. However, the sector expressed concern that it would be difficult to execute and would put a stop to digital privacy.
A last-minute complaint spearheaded by major cryptocurrency companies went unheeded. On March 31, the European Parliament legislators decided to apply stringent money-laundering restrictions to the industry, stating that the rules were necessary to reduce crime. The focus now shifts to the law's ultimate shape, where negotiations are nearing their conclusion.
Both members in the European Parliament and national governments convening in the EU Council have expressed a desire for stricter oversight of which parties participate in crypto transactions. They claim that this should apply even for the smallest payments, unlike traditional bank transfers, where customer identity is only required for transactions above 1000 EUR because it is simpler to avoid by splitting digital payments into bits.
According to the Council, implementation of the new rules should happen two years after the separate Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation is approved, and only after the crypto license law has taken effect. The MiCA law, which might allow crypto operators to operate throughout the EU provided they fulfill financial stability and investor protection standards, is also nearing completion.