Europe moves towards strict surveillance of bitcoin transactions

Last Updated: 30 June 2022

Bitcoin is facing more control and surveillance in Europe. The European Parliament and the European Council want more control.

Under the new rules, companies in the industry must always ask for personal data, even for small transactions. Transactions of more than 1,000 euros that you make yourself with your own wallet should also be covered by these rules. However, for the time being, this only concerns transactions that you send to an exchange or broker. Person-to-person transactions are not yet covered.

A preliminary agreement has been reached on the introduction of these new rules. Collecting data is one thing, but you also have to share it properly when asked. Therefore, the industry and users will face more control, even more surveillance, and risks as well.

Today (Thursday 30 June) the ‘Markets in Crypto Assets’ or MiCA rules will be discussed again.

27 countries

In the Netherlands the sector is supervised by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). Our central bank has the responsibility to monitor the industry. However, the policy in each member state will have to take into account what comes out of the European Union.

It is still a very ambitious plan: regulate bitcoin in 27 countries at once. Bitcoin is an open network that can be used anywhere in the world. It is difficult to capture that in a rulebook.

The next steps are actually a continuation of what we have been seeing for a long time: more controls. Think of an identification requirement for buying/selling bitcoin through an exchange or broker. Issuers of stablecoins will also be tackled.

Spanish politician Ernest Urtasun has a remarkable quote: “We are putting an end to the anonymity of crypto transactions, which are a huge loophole in the fight against money laundering and crime.”

The ambitions are (unfortunately?) clear. Whether this will be the case in practice remains to be seen.

The bill now has to pass several stops, including various committees and the European Parliament.

Author

  • I first came into contact with Bitcoin in 2017 - and since then, the topic of cryptocurrencies has never left me. For this reason, I have also made BTC & Co. part of my profession and write as a freelance author for crypto publications.

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