EU Lawmakers to Vote on Limited Ban on Self-Hosted Crypto Payments

Anti-money laundering plans seen by CoinDesk have slightly liberalized, but would ban anonymous crypto transfers of more than 1,000 euros.

AccessTimeIconMar 27, 2023 at 2:41 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 27, 2023 at 5:27 p.m. UTC

Large crypto-asset transfers from anonymous self-hosted wallets would be banned under plans set to be voted on by European Union lawmakers on March 28, according to documents seen by CoinDesk.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament’s Economics and Civil Liberties Committees are set to vote on new anti-money laundering (AML) plans after wrangling for months about how to stop cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFT) and the metaverse being used for financial crime.

Under the current proposal, traders would be forbidden from making or accepting anonymous crypto transfers over 1,000 euros (US$1,080). If the customer's identity can be verified or if a regulated crypto provider is involved, the transaction would be allowed. The initial draft of the law was even harsher, but the text was liberalized at a March 22 internal meeting, CoinDesk understands.

Crypto transfers among private individuals – such as large payments between two friends – would still be allowed.

The legislation also bans businesses from accepting more than 7,000 euros in cash, and creates a new EU anti-money laundering agency, the AMLA.

To become law, the measures would need to be agreed upon by both the EU Parliament and the European Council, which represents the bloc's member states. The Council last year sought to ban banks and crypto providers from dealing in privacy-enhancing coins, putting the likes of zcash, monero and dash on a par with anonymous financial instruments such as bearer shares.

The parliament’s draft doesn’t appear to go that far, but it forbids anonymous crypto accounts and regards the use of privacy coins, mixers and tumblers as extra factors to take into account when assessing laundering risks.

Under the parliament’s plans, EU crypto providers would be forbidden from having a correspondent relationship with any foreign provider that is not registered or licensed anywhere. The proposals also bring NFT platforms under the scope of money laundering rules, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) to the extent they are controlled by an identified person.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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