The European Commission has proposed a ban on anonymous crypto wallets at financial service providers such as exchanges. The committee is doing this as part of a plan to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The European Commission this week presented a package with four legislative proposals to combat financial crime. The EU wants, among other things, a ban on cash transactions of more than 10,000 euros within the member states, and writes that European anti-money laundering rules must also apply to cryptocurrencies in the future. This would, among other things, prohibit ‘offering anonymous crypto wallets’.
In practice, this will mean, for example, that crypto exchanges will no longer be allowed to offer anonymous crypto wallets to their users, just as anonymous bank accounts are already banned in the European Union. The European Commission also wants to achieve that crypto transactions become traceable, just like regular bank transactions. Crypto payment services, such as exchanges, should, for example, record the name, address and date of birth of the payer and the name and account number of the recipient in transactions, according to the proposed legislation.
To implement the plans, the EU wants, among other things, to set up a new European Anti-Money Laundering Authority, which will coordinate national financial authorities to ensure that the rules are followed. This proposed EU body should also improve cooperation between financial intelligence services.
The bills have not yet been approved and will not come into effect for the time being. The European Commission package has yet to be assessed by the European Parliament and the European Council, a process that could take a long time. The European Commission hopes that the Anti-Money Laundering Authority will be operational by 2024.
Update, 21:32: Initially, the article stated that the European Commission wants a ban on anonymous crypto wallets, as the European Commission itself writes in a press release. However, the bill itself states that the European Commission wants a ban on the provision of anonymous crypto wallets by financial service providers. This is comparable to the existing ban on anonymous bank accounts. Also, according to the proposed rules, crypto payment services must record the data of recipients and payers. The article has been adapted accordingly. Thanks to zyphr.