European Commission urged to reschedule virtual currency regulation

12 August 2016

European Commission is urged to reschedule its actions on bringing the cryptocurrency and virtual currency exchanging as well as online wallet services to be subject to the amended Anti-Money Laundering bill. As the world suffers terrorist attacks supported by illegal funding, the Commission raised the issue of amending the newly adopted Directive addressing the money-laundering problem.

The EC made a statement last month on its plans to apply the new Directive to the exchange of virtual currency along with the wallet services.

The European Banking Authority expressed its view of the question saying that while it supports the bill, European Commission needs to revise the time schedule. Even though the states in the EC are obliged to implement the Directive by June 26, 2017, they have committed to make it earlier by December this year.

EBA is concerned about the decision of EC to accelerate the implementation of the Directive stating that it could be a mistake in view of the fact that the changes to the legal initiative are slightly untimely as many EU states continue addressing amendments to their legislative and regulatory systems, thus, the early introduction would create some uncertainty in the legal sphere.

EBA notes that the deadline for implementation should remain as early as June 26. Other opinions also support the view that the Directive should so far remain inapplicable to virtual transactions.

Apart from this EBA notes that consumers may be misled about the Directive thinking that anti-money laundering regulations could ensure better consumer protection for them.

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