The UK and EU countries mull over a crackdown on the crypto market with the aim to bring digital currency in line with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial legislation. The UK government is reportedly negotiating amendments to the anti-money-laundering directive.
The crypto currencies, notably Bitcoin, are believed to be used for money laundering and tax evasion. The Treasury plans to end the anonymity that has made the currency attractive for illegal activities.
A Treasury spokesperson said that the use of crypto currencies is being looked at, as it could be used as an instrument to enable and facilitate cybercrime. However, there is a little evidence of them being used to launder money, although the risk is expected to grow. The department is working on bringing virtual currency exchange platforms and the wallet services within anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.
The regulations on digital currency trading are expected in the next few months. Once new regulations come to effect, the online platforms dealing in crypto currencies will have to carry out due diligence on users and report suspicious transactions. The UK government expect these negotiations to conclude at EU level by early 2018.
Bitcoin has hit a fresh record high of $11,800 on Sunday. After the news of the regulatory crackdown, it did go down. As of now, the crypto currency is trading at $11,684. Currently, Bitcoin is the world’s sixth most valuable circulating currency. Riding on the back of the meteoric rise in Bitcoin value and other crypto currencies, the crypto market cap has reached $345.8 billion.
Last week, the announcement from Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) to begin trading Bitcoin futures at the start of global trading hours has given credibility to the digital currency. The first full day of trading would be December 11. Likewise, the Nasdaq is also planning to introduce futures trading in the first half of 2018.