UK Gov't Plans Bitcoin Crackdown

05 December, 2017, 02:33 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Bitcoins and a ten pound note are seen in this illustration

"The UK government is now negotiating amendments to the anti-money laundering directive that will bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation, which will result in these firms' activities being overseen by national competent authorities for these areas".

Government plans for a crackdown on bitcoin will be ineffective in preventing the use of the cryptocurrency for organised crime, experts said yesterday. The value of the cryptocurrency soared from $1,000 a unit to $10,000 last week, before dipping. However, experts said the decentralised way that bitcoin was traded around the world meant there would always be loopholes.

"I think these announcements have a powerful signalling effect and put the industry on notice that the "cop on the beat" is concerned and watching crypto-currencies more closely now", he said of the Treasury news.

At a press briefing, Scotland Yard warned about the currencies' popularity among criminals. It was followed by European Central Bank (ECB) executive board director Yves Mersch, who said that banks should speed up the introduction of instant payments to counter the rise of digital currencies such as bitcoin. This has been implemented since the allure of anonymity in holding these currencies have become an attractive way for criminals to store value.

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According to The Telegraph the Treasury has plans to start regulating Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to ensure they're in line with existing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial legislation.

Bitcoin suffered big price falls last week but recovered over the weekend, reportedly due to the announcement that the CME Group is to launch its bitcoin futures on December 18.

"People need to be clear this is not an official currency".

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cautioned against its use, informing users, holders, investors and traders dealing with virtual currencies that they are doing so at their own risk.

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