Bottle Pay Shuts Down as EU Regulations Chase out Crypto Firms

The announcement cites, in particular, measures stem from EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5).

Social media bitcoin tipping service Bottle Pay today said it ceases operations as Europe is gradually tightening the rules for the crypto space.

Bottle Pay said a wave of new regulations is introducing stricter requirements for companies operating in the cryptocurrency industry. The announcement cites, in particular, measures stemming from EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5), which takes effect next month.

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“The amount and type of extra personal information we would be required to collect from our users would alter the current user experience so radically, and so negatively, that we are not willing to force this onto our community,” Bottle Pay explains.

The company’s UK based custodial bitcoin wallet will continue to be functional, but users are required to withdraw all funds from the platform by December 31. Failing to do so may result in forfeiture of their funds, which will be collected and donated to The Human Rights Foundation, Bottle Pay warned.

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In the meantime, new sign-ups and deposits to wallets go offline with immediate effect while its social accounts have already been taken offline. Bottle Pay is available on Twitter, GitHub, Telegram, Reddit, and Instagram, among other platforms. Funds that have already been sent using these channels will not be claimed and will be returned to the sender within seven days.

EU adopts tougher crypto rules

Bottle Pay, which launched back in June 2019, shuts down barely three months after it secured a $2 million seed funding round. The move also comes at a time when the Lightning Network, the second layer bitcoin payment network leveraged by Bottle Pay, continues to enjoy steady growth.

Published in June 2018, the AMLD5 is a pan-European anti-money laundering directive that member states will have until January 2020 to implement it into their national laws. The legislation is notable because it represents the EU’s first attempt to regulate cryptocurrency activities at EU-level expressly.

Under AMLD5, crypto exchanges and custodian wallet providers will be brought within the scope of EU anti-money laundering rules for the first time. The law imposes registration and customer due to diligence requirements that force operators to disclose their traders’ identities and report suspicious activity.

Extending AML regulations to cryptocurrency activities is being considered in several countries around the world, such as Australia and the UK, and already tracks the EU’s recent push to regulate Bitcoin.

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