EU Set to Toughen Stance on Cryptocurrency Transactions

European Union lawmakers prepare to support tougher regulations on cryptocurrency transfers in the latest effort for regulators worldwide tightening up on the $2.1 trillion market.

Two committees in the European Parliament have gone forward with cross-party compromises to be voted on. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is concerned that tightening regulations could stifle innovation.

The $2.1 trillion market is still under varying regulations across the globe. Regulators and lawmakers worry that cryptocurrencies could disrupt financial stability and be used for criminal activities.

The European Commission, EU’s executive arm, has put forward a proposal last year requiring crypto exchange platforms to obtain, hold and submit information of those involved in the transfers. The Commission thinks this would make identifying and reporting suspicious transactions easier.

The Commission had proposed applying the rule to transfers worth €1,000 or more. However, under the current cross-party agreement that will be voted on, this minimum amount has been scrapped, which means all transfers would be under surveillance. The parliamentary committees think a minimum value is not appropriate as crypto users could avoid the rules by creating an almost unlimited number of transfers.

The committees also agreed on new provisions on crypto wallets held by individuals and to create a list of high risk or non compliant service providers.

A final version of the law will have to approved by the EU states and the EU parliament, but countries have already agreed among themselves there should be no minimum transaction amount.

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