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European Union Limits Cash Purchases and Increases Scrutiny on Crypto Transactions

2 mins
Updated by Paolo Besabella
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In Brief

  • The EU will ensure more scrutiny on crypto transactions above €1,000. 
  • EU will use FATF recommendations to determine the risk of money laundering in each member country.
  • There are concerns that the new rule could impact decentralized finance (DeFi)
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The European Union has decided to limit cash purchases to €10,000 and ensure more scrutiny on crypto transactions above €1,000. 

Members of the bloc announced this on December 7, stating that it was part of efforts to prevent money laundering.

New Rule Designed to Close Crypto Loopholes

Czech minister for Finance Zbyněk Stanjura said their “intention is to close these loopholes further and to apply even stricter rules in all EU member states. Large cash payments beyond €10.000 will become impossible. Trying to stay anonymous when buying or selling crypto-assets will become much more difficult.”

EU regulation crypto europe

The new AML/CFT rules require crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) to conduct due diligence on customers conducting transactions above €1000. Self-hosted wallets are expected to increase their risk mitigation measures due to the advent of CASPs.

EU is also using the country classification system based on the  Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations to determine the risk of money laundering in each member country.

How Will This Impact DeFi?

It is unclear how the new requirements will be implemented because anonymity is integral to the existence of the DeFi space, but they are expected to affect it.

Regulators may likely target DeFi platform developers. However, that may have no impact if the entity is not based in Europe and chooses not to comply.

It could even be more difficult if a central entity does not control the DeFi protocol or if it is impossible to identify the crypto firm behind it.

EU Commissioned Report on DeFi

The risks of DeFi and how to regulate the sector are one that regulators are currently considering in Europe. A few months ago, the European Central Bank commissioned a study.

The study recommended that DeFi regulation cover DAOs, platform developers, and governance token holders.

Such a move could affect the DeFi sector growth in Europe. But centralized crypto platforms will have no problem complying since they already implement AML/CFT standards.

Regulators in Europe are also questioning whether the MiCA regulations set to become operative in 2024 can prevent a repeat of FTX collapse. FTX was licensed in Cyprus.

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Oluwapelumi Adejumo
Oluwapelumi believes Bitcoin and blockchain technology have the potential to change the world for the better. He is an avid reader and began writing about crypto in 2020.