New UK Crypto Bill Aims to Tackle ‘Profits From Fraud, Drugs, and Cybercrime’

Updated by Kyle Baird
In Brief
  • The U.K. government has introduced the The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill to tackle money laundering and fraud.
  • Under the bill, law enforcement will be able to seize, freeze, and recover crypto.
  • The U.K. has ramped up its regulation of the crypto market in the past 18 months.
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The U.K. government has introduced a new bill to prevent money laundering and fraud. The bill also covers some aspects related to crypto.

The United Kingdom has introduced a new bill that will focus on removing dirty money from its economy. The bill is an effort to crackdown on fraudulent activity and money laundering, something that the country has been focusing on for some time.

The bill aims to seize and recover “digital currency increasingly used by organised criminals to launder profits from fraud, drugs and cybercrime.”

Called The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, it makes multiple changes to how a business must set up in the U.K. Those who register a company in the U.K. will have to verify their identities, among other changes.

One of those changes is the fact that the Companies House will have more powers with which to supervise company creation. This includes being able to cross-check data with public and private partners, as well as reporting suspicious activity to security agencies and law enforcement.

With respect to crypto, the bill will allow law enforcement to seize, freeze, and recover crypto assets. The U.K. has been seizing more crypto assets over the years as crypto regulation in the U.K. ramps up.

UK authorities determined to control crypto market

The U.K. has been paying more attention to illicit activity involving crypto. It has also been keen on ensuring that companies follow every letter of the law and to that end has taken many actions against companies in the space.

Most recently, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning to consumers that exchange FTX had not registered with it. As such, it warned users to be careful. The FCA has issued similar warnings in the past.

In other developments, companies have also been shut down in recent months. Crypto companies must also report sanction breaches and freeze accounts.

European Union focusing on stronger regulation so far

The European Union is also hard at work trying to create a broad framework for the crypto market. The EU has the MiCA bill, which is moving ever closer to adoption. The bill emphasizes consumer protection and stablecoin regulation, though it also covers NFTs to a degree.

The EU has been working on the bill a lot longer on the crypto regulation bill, so it’s unsurprising that it covers more. The region has also been far more focused on consumer protection in general, not just in the crypto space.

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