European Commission officials announced on Tuesday, planned legislation to apply a “travel rule” for cryptocurrency assets.
Officials at the European Commission are taking the recommendation of the international watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and are tightening rules on cryptocurrency transfers. Under a new proposed law, any company that transfers cryptocurrency must collect and store details of both sides of the transaction. This includes the identity of both the senders and recipients of funds. The goal is to crackdown on money laundering via crypto assets. The law already applies to wire transfers within Europe.
Another addition to the law will prohibit the issuing of anonymous crypto-wallets, just as opening an anonymous bank account is not allowed. This is a step toward combatting money laundering in the EU according to officials.
Changes coming to EU crypto-traders
Under the proposed law, any company that handles cryptocurrency for an individual will be obliged to provide the customer’s name, home address, date of birth, and any account numbers associated with the customer. The name of the recipient of the crypto-transfer must be disclosed.
Additionally, the recipient’s virtual asset service provider (VASP) must double-check if any information is lacking and request that it be provided. It is important to note that the VASP must only share information on VASP-to-VASP transactions over $1,000.
In the press release, the Commission stated that “The European Commission has today presented an ambitious package of legislative proposals to strengthen the EU’s anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing (AML/CFT) rules.”
The report goes on to say that the proposals put forth have been created to find a true balance between combating threats on the blockchain and not creating a world of over-regulation. The European Commission also states its belief that the proposed laws will not hider the cryptocurrency industry in the EU, but, will in fact benefit all parties involved.
Despite the announcement today, the European Commission has to defer to EU states and EU Parliament before making anything official. That process could take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years.