UK Treasury Wants to Regulate Bitcoin Against Money Laundering and Terrorism
Dec 04 2017 by Kathy Alvarado
The UK government is now negotiating amendments to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive that will bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing regulation, which will result in these firms' activities being overseen by national competent authorities for these areas.
Britain is one such country that wants to increase regulation of bitcoin and other digital currencies and this it wants to achieve by expanding the reach of European Union anti-money-laundering rules that force traders to disclose their identities and report suspicious activity. In the case of Coinbase, it is required by law to hand over data when any USA citizen sent, received, or traded $20,000 worth of these currencies.
A Treasury spokesperson said: "We are working to address concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies, by negotiating to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and some wallet providers within Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing regulation". Under an EU-wide plan, online platforms where currencies are traded will be made to carry out due diligence on buyers.
Nicholas Gregory, CEO of CommerceBlock, said in an email to Business Insider: "What some will bill as censure, the cryptocurrency community will deem as a stamp of approval that finally recognises the pivotal role that digital currencies will ultimately hold for the global economy".
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"It would be timely to have a proper look at what this means". But after falling from $11,725 to $10,940 yesterday, it has recovered most of that ground and is now trading at $11,291. It hit a fresh record high of $11,800 on Sunday but fell to $10,554 on news of the regulatory crackdown.
The Treasury's economic secretary, Stephen Barclay, teased the upcoming plans in a parliamentary response to Labour MP Chris Evans, published in early November. The government supports the intention behind these amendments.
But the Treasury has now said it intends to begin regulating the virtual currency, which has a total value of £145 billion, to bring it in line with rules on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial legislation.