EU members imposing stricter requirements on crypto than Brussels

Pedro Gonçalves
EU members imposing stricter requirements on crypto than Brussels

Countries across Europe are enforcing stricter oversight of cryptocurrencies than that required by the European Union's bloc-wide Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) regulatory regime. 

The Czech Republic's transposition of the EU)'s Fifth AML Directive (AMLD5) imposes a hefty fine — up to half a million koruna or roughly $20,000 — on cryptocurrency firms should they fail to register their operations with the national Trade Licensing Office.

Germany has approved new anti-money laundering regulations that will enter into force next year that will make mandatory for digital asset exchanges as well as providers of crypto payment and custodian services to apply for licenses from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin). They have to do so by the end of 2019, as the new pan-European legislation is supposed to be implemented in January 2020.

In France the law introduces compulsory registration with the  Financial Markets Authority (AMF) for providers of crypto custodian services as well as optional licensing for all service providers including cryptocurrency brokers, dealers and exchange operators.

 In Britain, the Treasury is looking to over-broaden the scope of the United Kingdom's AML/CFT rules in its transposition of the EU directive.

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission has similarly proposed to bring several additional areas of crypto-related activity under AML/CFT obligations, which are notably not included in the provisions of AMLD5.

Such measures go well beyond that which is required by the EU's Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which came into force in July 2018 and established a revised legal framework for EU financial watchdogs to regulate cryptocurrencies and better mitigate the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing (CFT).


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