End for Electrum, Wasabi and Co.? EU draft wants to ban anonymous crypto wallets

Headquarters of the EU Commission in Brussels (Photo: symbiot / Shutterstock)

There is resistance to cryptocurrencies within the EU Commission. More precisely: Against their anonymous use.

BTC-Echo has a draft, according to which the provision and use of anonymous wallets should be prohibited. The whole thing is to take place within the framework of a larger regulation in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. If the plans are actually implemented, all users of anonymous wallets such as Electrum, Wasabi or the browser extension MetaMask could be affected.

This is not yet a cause for panic. For one thing, it is currently only an unofficial draft. In order for this to become a regulation, it must first be submitted by the EU Commission to the Council and Parliament, which then evaluate it and either adopt or reject the regulation. This process is not only tedious, but usually drafts are weakened again or entire clauses are removed within the process. On the other hand, it is still completely unclear what consequences or penalties this could have for the provider or the users. Or how one could prohibit the use of such wallets at all.

Nevertheless, the draft shows that, at least in parts of the EU Commission, a front against crypto currencies is forming. The draft should read: “The anonymity of crypto assets exposes them to the risk of being misused for criminal purposes.” So the authors move to anonymous wallets or Privacy Coins wie Monero in the criminal corner – an argument on how to get out of the Debate about the ban on encryption knows. Only wallets that are subject to regulations such as KYC (Know Your Customer), such as Coinbase and other large market and trading venues that require their users to be identified, may then be permitted.

New EU authority against money laundering is to come

That fits in with the latest developments. The EU announced on Thursday that it wanted to set up a new authority called the Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) to deal with the fight against money laundering, which would also affect the trade in crypto currencies. How Reuters reports, a proposal is intended to specifically target trading in crypto assets. According to this, service providers should provide more information about the senders and recipients of crypto assets.

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Recently, several countries have restricted trading in cryptocurrencies. In April, Turkey issued a nationwide ban on crypto, payments with Bitcoin or Ether have been prohibited since then. Had in June Thailand Dogecoin and NFTs banned. And in the UK, the UK financial regulator recently warned against transactions on the Binance and crypto exchange limited the activities of the subsidiary Binance Markets Ltd. a.

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