Documents show that EU lawmakers will vote on blocking anonymous cryptocurrency payments

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Documents show that EU lawmakers will vote on blocking anonymous cryptocurrency payments

Documents show that EU lawmakers will vote on blocking anonymous cryptocurrency payments
Source: CoinDesk
1648397073 27 Mar / 16:04

The European Parliament also wants to limit transfers to tax havens and ensure that people's identities are verified even when making payments between unhosted wallets.

At a committee meeting next week, members of the European Parliament are expected to vote to limit the anonymity of even tiny crypto payments, according to papers seen by CoinDesk.

Crypto transfers to self-hosted or private wallets (also known as unhosted wallets) will be included in anti-money laundering (AML) inspections by lawmakers on the Economic Affairs Committee, and crypto transfers between the EU and places such as Turkey and Hong Kong will be prohibited.

Payees must be identified for each bank transfer over EUR 1,000 ($1,099) under current legislation. When it comes to crypto assets, the EU’s national governments have already stated that they want to remove that lower restriction, arguing that large transactions could simply be divided up into smaller ones, a practice known as “smurfing.”

National money laundering officials have pressed lawmakers to demand identification checks for all crypto payments, citing crypto’s involvement in funding terrorism and child abuse. Even those on the right who oppose the plan to de-anonymize transactions appear to recognize that they will lose the vote.

Internal parliament documents obtained by CoinDesk on March 25 reveal that lawmakers would also instruct crypto service providers to desist from conducting or assisting any transfers regarded to be high risk of money laundering or criminal activity.

In fact, this will make it more difficult, if not impossible, to transfer funds from the EU to tax havens such as the US and UK Virgin Islands, Turkey, Russia, or Hong Kong, as well as dirty-money hotspots such as Iran and the Cayman Islands.

Despite the confusion about how transactions between unhosted wallets may be enforced, Assita Kanko, one of the key legislators charged with marshalling the parliament’s views on the law, said Tuesday she wanted to extend the regulations to encompass privately held crypto assets.

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