Paris Attackers Used Prepaid Bank Cards, so EU Cracks Down on Bitcoin

Regulators wish to further curtail anonymity on European cryptocurrency exchanges.

Following the Paris attacks last year, the European Union (EU) regulators planned a crackdown on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in an effort to tackle the financing of terror. Now French investigators say they have proved that prepaid bank cards were used by the terrorists and the EU is seizing on that to push forward its plans.

The idea is that European cryptocurrency exchanges will be forced to increase client identification efforts to effectively end anonymity on their platforms. While these measures could potentially help curb some tax avoidance, another supposedly pressing matter in the EU, it is not clear how this could possibly stop any terror attack.

There is absolutely no evidence so far that terrorists used any bitcoin in financing their actions or why would they not simply use cash if the purpose is just to rent a getaway car, mobile phones or anything else they don’t want tracked. Considering that they’ve already proved they can smuggle assault weapons into Paris, cash does not seem beyond their capabilities to carry.

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The Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, needs to maintain no costly operations on EU soil as it mainly relies on local radicals it simply calls to action over the internet. It is believed to finance itself via oil sales in Turkey, taxing the population under its control and receiving ransom from international captives. Moreover, if the Islamic State needed to finance itself with donations it can rely on the traditional underground money transferring in the Middle East – Hawala.

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