New EU proposal looks to tighten regulations for sending cryptocurrency

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The European Commission looks to block large anonymous transfers of cryptocurrency in an effort to limit money laundering activity.

The European Commission has submitted a new proposal that would require crypto-asset service providers to collect additional Anti-Money Laundering information from those who utilize cryptocurrency for money transfers. The stated purpose of this proposal is to prevent the further propagation of money laundering activity within the European Union.

Under this proposal, service providers conducting transfers must have the name of the originator of the transfer, the account number, where the account exists and where it is used to process the transaction. The originator’s address, official personal document number, customer ID number, or date and place of birth would also be required under the proposal. Service providers would similarly need to ensure that the name and account number of the beneficiary are included with the transfer, along with information about where that account exists. The beneficiary’s crypto-asset provider would also need procedures in place to detect whether the information for the originator of the transfer is included or is missing.

Related: French government pushes for one agency to regulate crypto across the EU

These additional information requirements would kick in when a transfer exceeds 1,000 euros or when a series of payments appears to be linked and the total exceeds 1,000 euros, “in order not to impair the efficiency of payment systems and crypto-asset transfer services and in order to balance the risk of driving transactions underground as a result of overly strict identification requirements against the potential terrorist threat posed by small transfers of funds, ” the commission says in the proposal.

In cases where there is a series of payments exceeding 1,000 euros that do not appear to be connected, the payment service provider would not need to verify the information unless it “effects the pay-out of the funds in cash or in anonymous electronic money” or the provider “has reasonable grounds for suspecting money laundering or terrorist financing.”

Related: EU eyes new money laundering regulator and stricter crypto reporting requirements

The updated requirements were part of four legislative proposals put forth by the European Commission on Tuesday. All of the proposals were aimed toward the goal of improving the detection of suspicious transactions and stopping money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities. The European Parliament will have the final say on the proposals, and it could take up to two years before the proposals become law.

Ronnie Huss

Ronnie Huss

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