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European Parliament votes for closer regulation of cryptocurrencies

The European Parliament has supported a move to bring the regulation closer to cryptocurrencies.

Members of the parliament voted by a large majority on Thursday to support a December 2013 agreement with the European Council on measures aimed, in part, at preventing the use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and terrorist financing.

Members of the parliament approved the move with 574 votes in favor of 13 without votes, with 60 abstentions, according to a press release.

The new legislation seeks to address the anonymity of financial technology by implementing rules for the exchange of cryptocurrencies, platforms and portfolio providers. Under the measures, these entities must be registered with the authorities and must apply due diligence procedures, including customer verification.

According to the press release, the updated directive will come into force three days after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Subsequently, the member countries of the EU will have 18 months to bring the new rules into national legislation.

The Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and the co-rapporteur Krisjanis Karins stated in the statement:

"Criminal behavior has not changed, criminals use anonymity to recycle their illicit proceeds or fund terrorism.This legislation helps address threats to our citizens and the financial sector, allowing greater access to information on people behind businesses and strengthening the rules governing virtual currencies and anonymous prepaid cards ".

Another co-rapporteur and MEP, Judith Sargentini, said that "billions of euros" are lost every year for money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion and evasion, adding that that money "should go to finance our hospitals , schools and infrastructures. "

Sargentini continued:

"With this new legislation, we introduce more stringent measures, expanding the financial entities' duty to undertake customer due diligence."

The December European Council consent agreement also proposed a series of new EU sanctions for those convicted of money laundering. The measure marked "an important milestone in the fight against organized crime at European level", said a rapporteur at the time.

Image of the European Parliament building via Shutterstock

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