The European Union is to propose a new body with the remit to crackdown on the use of digital currency for money laundering, according to reports.
Documents published by the EU show plans are already at a developed stage for the body, which would seek to enforce new rules on the transparency of digital currency asset transfers, Reuters reported. It comes as the bloc comes under increasing pressure to step up action against dirty money, and the use of digital currencies for disguising criminal behavior in the region.
According to the documents, the EU considers money laundering and criminal financing to remain a significant problem with the Union. “Money laundering, terrorist financing and organised crime remain significant problems which should be addressed at Union level,” it stated, according to reports.
Executive body the European Commission is proposing the creation of a new agency, the Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA), which will work with national authorities to stamp out illegal uses of digital currency.
“By directly supervising and taking decisions towards some of the riskiest cross-border financial sector obliged entities, the Authority will contribute directly to preventing incidents of money laundering/terrorist financing in the Union.”
“At the same time, it will coordinate national supervisory authorities and assist them to increase their effectiveness in enforcing the single rulebook and ensuring homogenous and high quality supervisory standards, approaches and risk assessment methodologies.”
Transfers of digital assets are currently outside of anti-money laundering rules in force in the bloc, which the EU documents suggest is facilitating illegal money flows.
“The lack of such rules leaves holders of crypto-assets exposed to money laundering and financing of terrorism risks, as flows of illicit money can be done through transfers of crypto-assets.”
“With uniform standards and more centralised supervision, the EU Commission is introducing important improvements to enable consistent action against financial crime.”
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