Crypto-asset: new rules to stop illicit flows in the EU | News

MEPs from the Economic and Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties Committees on Thursday adopted their position on the bill to strengthen EU rules against money laundering and terrorist financing by 93 votes in favor, 14 against and 14 abstentions.

Traceability of cryptocurrency transfers

Under the new requirements approved by parliamentarians, all cryptocurrency transfers will need to be accompanied by information about sources and recipients. Such information should be made available upon request of the competent authorities. The rules would also cover transactions made by so-called non-hosted wallets (a cryptocurrency wallet address owned by a private user). Technology solutions should ensure that cryptocurrency transfers can be identified individually.

The goal is to ensure the traceability of cryptocurrency transfers and block suspicious transactions. The rules should not apply to person-to-person transfers of cryptocurrencies made without a supplier, such as bitcoin exchanges, or between suppliers acting on their own behalf.

No minimum threshold

Due to their speed and virtual nature, cryptocurrency transactions can easily bypass existing rules based on transaction thresholds. MEPs decided to remove minimum thresholds and exemptions for low-value cryptocurrency transfers.

Public register of high-risk entities

MEPs want the European Banking Authority (EBA) to create a public register of cryptocurrency entities and services at high risk of money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities, including a non-exhaustive list of non-compliant providers.

Before making cryptocurrencies available to beneficiaries, providers should check whether the source they come from is not subject to restrictive measures or that there is no risk of money laundering or terrorism.


Ernest Urtasun (Greens / ALE, ES), co-rapporteur of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, said: “Illicit flows of cryptocurrencies go largely unnoticed in the EU and around the world, making them ideal tools for securing anonymity As money laundering scandals ranging from Panama Papers to Pandora Papers have shown in the past, criminals multiply where anonymity is guaranteed by the rules of confidentiality. This legislative proposal, the EU will fill this gap. “

Assita Kanko (ECR, BE), co-rapporteur of the Committee on Civil Liberties, stressed: “Our report reflects two objectives: to protect and normalize. All people of good will should be encouraged to use cryptocurrencies correctly and safely, so how they should be protected against the use of cryptocurrencies for terrorist financing, extortion, child pornography or money laundering. – businesses as they evolve, building rules that build trust. It’s been more than a decade since it’s Bitcoin was created. It is time to have taken these important steps for our citizens “.

Next steps

The adopted text is the draft mandate for MEPs to start negotiations with EU governments on the final form of the legislation. The EP is expected to vote on this dossier at the April plenary session.


The regulation is part of the new anti-money laundering package which includes measures to strengthen EU rules in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. It develops solutions to the shortcomings of the existing framework, which testify to ineffective implementation, incorrect monitoring and insufficient detection of suspicious transactions.

For the time being, in the EU, there are no rules that allow cryptocurrency transfers to be traced or to provide information about the initiator / beneficiary of such transfers.

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