Today, the European Union (EU) approved new crypto regulations aiming new anti-money laundering legislation which, among other things, aims to combat anonymity in the cryptocurrencies market transactions and to facilitate access to information on the real owners of the cryptocurrencies companies.
The 28 Member States took the final steps towards approving the new rules on this Monday, May 14th, which were approved by the European Parliament in mid-April. These rules will be published in the Official Journal of the EU and countries will have 18 months to transpose them into their national legislation.
In particular, the new crypto regulations in the EU oblige cryptocurrency exchange platforms and coins issuers, including companies running ICOs, to apply due diligence controls similar to those currently required from banks, such as verification of their customers.
In addition, these crypto-related platforms and services must be registered, including the cryptocurrency exchange platforms, check cashing offices, or trusts, as well as any other company offering crypto-related services.
The new EU crypto regulations bring in stricter anti-money laundering and anti-anonymity regulations while lessening others
However, in the case of prepaid cards, the amount from which cardholders will be demanded to get verified will be reduced from 250 to 150 Euros.
Other modifications included in this fifth reform of the directive is the right of any citizen to access information on the actual owners of companies operating in the blockchain technology and/or offer crypto-related services.
The aim of this measure is to eliminate the opacity of so-called ‘mailbox companies’, which are often used to launder money, hide funds and evade taxes.
The directive also includes stricter crypto regulations criteria for assessing whether countries outside the EU pose a risk of money laundering and closer monitoring of transactions involving countries at risk. It also includes provisions to enhance the protection of persons who disclose information on money-laundering, such as the right to anonymity.