Crimes pertaining to money laundering and tax evasion have become synonymous with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins creating a major cause of concern amongst regulatory bodies worldwide. The British government for example is planning to bring forth strict cryptocurrency regulations for getting an upper hand over the same. This effort shall be lead by the UK Treasury for bringing the same under the legislative radar of counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering cells.
A Treasury spokesperson was quoted as saying on Monday that:
“We have clear tax rules for people who use cryptocurrencies, and like all tax rules, these are kept under review. We also intend to update regulation to bring virtual currency exchange platforms into anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.”
Mainstream media was splashed with these remarks which were termed as a ‘crackdown’ on cryptocurrencies although the reality is in line with the expected regulatory acceptance course of decentralized cryptocurrencies by ensuring that the trading platforms abide by regulators’ rules.
The recent intent of the Treasury to bring about crypto regulation is triggered by news reports of cash laundering by certain drug dealers in London who are raiding the Bitcoin ATM’s of the city. Detective Inspector Tim Court working with the London Metropolitan Police was quoted as saying that:
“If you’re a local drug dealer [cryptocurrency ATMs] are a great opportunity to quickly dispose of cash.”
Detective chief inspector Gary Miles, the head of London Met Police’s counter-fraud operation pointed out that:
“The reason for Bitcoin being created was genuine, was honest. But it would appear to have been hijacked and exploited by some people in the criminal underworld.”
The Bitcoin regulation plan was foremost revealed by the nation’s economic secretary to the Treasury,Stephen Barclay, in late October of 2017. Barclay voiced his opinion in regards to the same while addressing the UK Parliament about the Department’s stand for bringing upon crypto regulation. He was quoted as saying:
“The UK government is currently negotiating amendments to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive that will bring virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers into Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing regulation, which will result in these firms’ activities being overseen by national competent authorities for these areas. The government supports the intention behind these amendments. We expect these negotiations to conclude at EU level in late 2017/early 2018.”
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Tarunima Ghosh Laha is a Finance Post Grad from St. Xaviers who believes Finance is more than just Balance Sheets and Ledger creation. This filmy bookworm who believes she was a sloth in past life also nourishes a penchant of owning a private zoo someday. Equipped with a laptop and online Lexicon she is all set to give finance a glamorous makeover in the form of exciting writeups with bang on info and flashy new words.
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