Another high ranking European bureaucrat is again talking about cryptocurrencies as a tool used by terrorists without presenting any evidence or research on the matter. The European Commission is proposing a number of updates to the rules they want to rush through for the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, only introduced last year, using the recent attacks in Paris to advance this aim.
Under the banner of confronting emerging threats to European national security, the vice president of the commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, says: “We want to improve the oversight of the many financial means used by terrorists, from cash and cultural artifacts to virtual currencies and anonymous pre-paid cards, while avoiding unnecessary obstacles to the functioning of payments and financial markets for ordinary, law-abiding citizens.”
As was widely expected in the industry before, according to the new rules revealed at this time, bitcoin exchanges will have to comply with tougher anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, adhere to know your client (KYC) procedures and no longer support anonymous transactions.
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Assuming the commission actually believes cryptocurrencies are terror funding funnels, further steps might be coming as people can simply trade off-exchange for nefarious or other reasons. However last week, the commission’s Olivier Salles indicated that the EU executive body prefers not to create new regulations specifically for the field as it might hurt innovation.