Wednesday, 17 January 2018

EU civil war: Bitcoin will NOT be regulated fume financial chiefs

THE European Union will not regulate Bitcoin, bloc chiefs have claimed amid clashes over how to deal with the cryptocurrency.
Infighting has broken out as the EU struggles to put on a united front in the wake of the bitcoin bubble.
In a recent interview with broadcast Bloomberg Surveillance, Pierre Moscovici, EU’s financial commissioner, dismissed bitcoin as an alternative currency.

He said: “No we are not having those conversations right now.

“At this stage, we do not consider bitcoin as an alternative currency, not like the euro. We see that there is quite a lot of speculation about that.

“Sometimes speculation is overactive or exuberant — We look at that and analysed the phenomenon, but we don’t think we have to react to bitcoin as a political and technical body.”

But others have called for the bloc to clampdown on bitcoin amid concerns over cryptocurrencies links to terrorist financing, money laundering and tax evasion.

And European legislators added digital currencies to the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which considers bitcoin to be a “monetary instrument.”

The EU is also considering a database of bitcoin owners in Europe to crack down of the use of bitcoin funding illegal activities, which will fall under the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Věra Jourová, commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, said: "The Panama Papers and the recent terrorist attacks have shown that we urgently need better Anti-Money Laundering rules.”

MEPs will consider setting up a central cache of people who use the online exchanges where bitcoin is bought and sold.

Updates made to money laundering regulations state that exchanges must now adhere to strict customer identity requirements and to report any suspicious activity.

Former MI5 intelligence officer Annie Machon believes the EU decision to tighten up rules surrounding cryptocurrencies exchanges is being implemented to protect big banks.

Ms Machon said: “I think we have a situation where any new form of technology on the internet, we’ve seen this for the last 30 years, that challenges the business models of established businesses is going to be cracked down on by governments, by international organisations to try and protect the old business models.”

source: express.co.uk

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