Europe wants super watchdog for crypto

Last Updated: 17 August 2022

The European Union wants to create a new authority that will supervise crypto companies, reports The Block. The aim is to combat money laundering via cryptos. Most member states would embrace the plan to create an Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA).

A new regulator is part of a broad package to get a grip on this new asset class. It started with the AMLD5 directive, which most member states have implemented since 2020. Users must now identify themselves to buy bitcoin. By 2024, the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation should be implemented.

MiCA describes, among other things, the rules that issuers of stablecoins must comply with. Then there is the Transfer of Funds Regulation, which aims to track all transactions, including bitcoin sent to proprietary wallets.

In July, the European Commission released the AMLD6, the successor to the AMLD5. The new super watchdog is a direct consequence of getting an even tighter grip on the money laundering problem. The AMLA will treat ‘risky crypto companies’ as financial institutions, like bank or insurance companies.

This means, among other things, direct supervision of crypto companies without the intervention of the national regulator. It would be a break in the European trend. Because, with the previous AMLD directives (2015 and 2018), Europe left more space and freedom to the member states.

It also means work for the Member States themselves. Once a member state does not abide by the rules or supervision is too lax, the AMLA can take them to task. In the worst case, a trip to the European Court of Justice may follow, says lawyer Tomasz Krawczyk, who spoke to The Block.

When the super watchdog comes into effect is unknown. First, Europe must get the MiCA regulation sorted.

  • Gabriele Spapperi

    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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