Business

Admir Aljic

Czech Republic to impose Europe’s strictest crypto regulation

On Thursday, it was reported that the Czech Republic is expected to enforce far stricter oversight of cryptocurrencies than is required according to laws created by the European Union. These new laws would go far beyond what is required according to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) law that is currently accepted by member nations.

According to Hospodářské Novinylocal newspaper in the Czech Republic, the new regulations will give law enforcement and agency regulators the ability to impose hefty fines, as much as half a million koruna or about $20,000. Cryptocurrency firms that fail to register their operations with the National Trade Licensing Office would face these fines.

This goes way beyond the requirement that the AML directive spelled out in July 2018, establishing a new legal framework and set of regulations for agencies within the European Union that monitor and regulate cryptocurrencies. The focus of these new laws is to decrease the potential for money laundering and terrorism financing, something that has become common practice through the use of cryptocurrencies.

The new EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) gave much greater regulatory oversight of crypto exchanges and wallet providers. This required far greater transparency, especially towards transactions where anonymous payments were made either through the exchanges or a prepaid card.

The AMLD5 is required to be implemented by all member nations by January 20, 2020. However, while the Czech government did not specify exactly when their new law would come into effect, it is expected that it will be enforced prior to that deadline.

This is the first time that a member nation has opted to create laws that are stricter than those set forth by the EU. The United Kingdom had considered imposing stricter penalties, but the Coin Center, a research and advocacy center that works to help create public policy related to crypto issues, urged the government to not extend the scope of the country’s AML/CFT laws.

Cyprus had also considered imposing stricter penalties on those found to be breaking the law. These new guidelines are still being considered and may wind up being a part of their own AML/CFT regulations.

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