Reuters reported that the European Union states on Friday decided to execute stricter regulations on the use of cryptocurrencies to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism using bitcoin exchange platforms.
Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer, stated that the decision taken by EU to implement strict regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges is primarily intended to protect the interests of big banks.
With the launch of Bitcoin futures trading, cryptocurrencies have garnered the attention of the mainstream financial institutions. Though the credit for coming up with the first ever futures marketplace for Bitcoin is attributed to Chicago Board Options Exchange and Chicago Mercantile Exchange, major decisions are to be taken by government and organizations globally.
Reuters reported that the European Union states on Friday decided to execute stricter regulations on the use of cryptocurrencies to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism using bitcoin exchange platforms. The investigators believe that the digital currency could be used to fund attacks by militants and with these regulations, anonymous transactions on virtual currency platforms and with pre-paid payment cards will come to an end.
Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said,
“Today’s agreement will bring more transparency to improve the prevention of money laundering and to cut off terrorist financing.”
The crackdown on money laundering and tax evasion is intended to bring more transparency from exchange operators. Annie Machon, former MI5 intelligence officer, in an interview with RT stated that the decision taken by EU to implement strict regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges is primarily intended to protect the interests of big banks.
“I think we have a situation where any new form of technology on the internet, we’ve seen this for the last 30 years, that challenges the business models of established businesses is going to be cracked down on by governments, by international organizations to try and protect the old business models.”
“And we have seen it again in the attack on the old business model of the old media where piracy became the new threat and they tried to use laws to stamp that out. I think that is inevitable, if we have something that decentralizes the money supply and threatens the business model of the banks, of course, there’s going to be pushback against it,” he added.
The European Parliament and the European Council passed the new rules concerning cryptocurrency on Friday, which also targeted prepaid cards and trust funds. Machon believes that criminals would still use cryptocurrencies, in addition to using banks and this is simply an excuse to violate people’s privacy.
“Any crackdown on our rights of privacy on the internet always has an excuse that it is trying to stop money laundering or trying to stop terrorism or pedophiles or whatever. I think, probably the vast majority of users of Bitcoin are doing it legitimately, they just have a legitimate concern to uphold their right to privacy as well,” opines the former MI5 official.
Adding on, he said,
“Yes, sure, criminals are going to use this, but criminals already use banks. So many banks have been caught out money laundering on vast scales and have received vast fines for laundering gray and black money from particularly the drug trade. Perhaps, we should say that the EU should close down our banks, too.”
The EU financial transparency agreement came after a year of negotiations and is part of a broader set of measures to deal with financial crimes and tax evasion.
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