Europe still plans to regulate the cryptocurrency market, with a new bill that is not unanimous.
It is within the framework of its fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism that the EU wants to toughen its tone against cryptocurrencies. After having considered a limitation of the mining of crypto-assets, a new text is currently under study by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) of the European Parliament. If passed, it would ensure regulators monitor all cryptocurrency transactions made by regulated entities, regardless of the amount.
Cryptos are currencies like any other, says Europe
At the heart of this new bill, is the idea that, like the rest of conventional funds, cryptocurrency must also be officially regulated. If it had so far been spared, the European Union is now wielding the link between crypto and terrorism to tip the scales in favor of drastic control.
In the bill submitted to Parliament, we can thus read that “the global scope, the speed at which transactions can be processed, and the possibilities of anonymity offered by crypto-asset transactions make them particularly suitable for criminals who wish to make illicit transfers […] and operate across national borders”. In reality, estimates by the analysis firm Chainalysis, illicit transactions represent only 0.15% of the total volume of crypto transactions.
Collect and monitor, systematically
Among the main points of the bill, Europe thus plans to systematically collect transfer information as part of a crypto transaction, regardless of its amount. As a reminder, the EU already provides for this type of device for traditional transfers, but only when these exceed €1,000. In this case, precise information on the sender and the recipient of the transfer is collected. Concretely, any crypto transaction could now be subject to increased surveillance, the information collected from which would then be made available to law enforcement if necessary.
Finally, and this is a point that particularly worries the crypto community, self-hosted wallets could now be subject to very extensive surveillance, which would automatically slow down the development of crypto in Europe.