Blockchain

Bitcoin to fall under scrutiny by European Commission

EPA / Jerome Favre

Bitcoin as a virtual currency will be much more closely followed by the European Commission after a proposal was adopted on Tuesday, which aims at preventing cryptocurrencies being used for money laundering and terrorist funding, and establishing stronger control over them.

Although the European Union’s law enforcement agency, Europol, published a report in January that stated there was no evidence that bitcoin was used in financing the Paris terrorist attacks back in November 2015, the Commission has made it one of its priorities to end malpractice connected to tax avoidance, money laundering and terrorist funding, especially after the recent Panama Papers revelations.

The Commission proposed the use of virtual currencies to be brought under the Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which will apply customer due diligence procedures to virtual transactions and put to an end to the anonymity associated with them. Also, the proposal includes increasing customer verification requirements and decreasing thresholds for identification from $250 to $150 for pre-paid cards.

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