EU planning to place crypto firms under the AML authority’s oversight
An EU diplomat said that the plan to include crypto firms under the AML watchdog’s oversight is aimed at providing more explicit coverage of crypto transactions.
Sat, 26 Feb 2022, 13:46 pm UTC
The European Commission is planning to set up strict oversight of crypto firms to combat the illicit use of digital currencies. A group of member states is now seeking to give the task of overseeing crypto firms to the EU’s new anti-money laundering watchdog.
The group of European Union member states is led by Germany and includes Spain, Italy, Austria, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands, according to a report by Bloomberg citing an unnamed EU diplomat as its source. The group plans to include crypto firms under the supervision of the new AML authority.
“They want the EU watchdog’s remit to cover the riskiest cross-border entities among banks, financial institutions, and crypto-assets service providers,” the diplomat told the publication.
In July 2021, the European Commission proposed the establishment of an AML authority, which will have direct and indirect AML supervision across the EU’s 27 member states, according to Coindesk. The authority will reportedly start its operations in 2024 and is expected to be fully functional by 2025.
The unnamed source said that the plan to include crypto firms under the AML watchdog’s oversight is aimed at providing more explicit coverage of crypto transactions, Cointelegraph reported. the unidentified EU diplomat said that the group’s focus is on high-risk cross-border transactions facilitated by VASPs, banks, and other financial institutions. At the moment, the plan is yet to be discussed by the bloc’s member states.
“It is key that the scope of the new EU authority explicitly includes crypto-assets, given that this is one of the fields more prone to money laundering activities,” European Parliament member Luis Garicano said.
If the AML authority is enacted, it will become one of the first regulatory bodies authorized to oversee compliance across EU member nations. Money laundering activities that involved crypto rose to $8.6 billion in 2021, a 25 percent increase from the previous year’s figure, according to a Chainalysis report.
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