EU members plan anti-money laundering watchdog to oversee cryptocurrencies in 2024

The European Commission, in coordination with other authorities, apparently plans for its financial watchdog group to potentially monitor illicit transactions by crypto companies.

According to a Tuesday report from Bloomberg, a group of European Union member countries, led by Germany and including the Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Italy and Luxembourg, plan include cryptocurrency companies in the purview of the anti-money laundering-focused group, purportedly the European Commission’s Anti-Money Laundering Authority, which was first proposed in July 2021. Reportedly, the group will start operations in 2024 and will be “fully functional” in 2026.

An EU diplomat reportedly said that the inclusion of cryptocurrency companies on the anti-money laundering watchdog’s agenda was intended to provide more explicit coverage of cryptocurrency transactions under the anti-money laundering regulations. the EU on financial services. The media reported that the anonymous official wanted the group to focus on high-risk cross-border transactions facilitated by cryptocurrency service providers, in addition to banks and other financial institutions. However, the proposed framework still needs to be discussed by EU member countries.

β€œIt is key that the scope of the new EU authority explicitly includes crypto assets, given that it is one of the fields most prone to money laundering activities,” said Luis Garicano, a member of the European Parliament.

If enacted, the anti-money laundering watchdog would be one of the first regulatory institutions with the authority to oversee money laundering in large regions of Europe. A Chainalysis report from January showed that individuals laundered $8.6 billion worth of crypto during 2021, which is a 25% increase from 2020.

In the United States, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced on February 17 that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would form a “specialized team dedicated to cryptocurrency,” called the Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit (lit. “Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit”) ), to potentially trace and seize illicitly used funds. The creation of the team came more than four months after the launch of the Justice Department’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, led by former Deputy Attorney General Eun Young Choi.

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