At this moment in time, one of the main arguments expressed by governments against Bitcoin is that the digital currency can be used for terrorism financing and money laundering purposes, due to its trait of anonymity.
According to recent reports, members of the European Parliament, also referred to as the MEP have just published a draft legislation that discusses various strategies meant to regulate bitcoin and other digital currencies, in order to prevent them from being used to launder money or finance terrorism. To put things better into perspective, the MEP is considering the idea of employing financial watchdogs that would go ahead and collect information on hundreds of thousands of digital currency users.
The report noted that: “To combat the risks related to the anonymity, national Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) should be able to associate virtual currency addresses to the identity of the owner of virtual currencies. In addition, the possibility to allow users to self-declare to the designated authorities on a voluntary basis should be further assessed.”
Not only this, but the report also urges the states of the European Union to consider the idea of implementing a more coordinated approach that would include financial investigations, focused especially on dealing with those which misuse cryptocurrencies.
Therefore, if the legislation is finalized, and then approved, it would also facilitate the sharing of information between financial intelligence units across the European Union, but also within the institutions of each specific country that would coordinate the analysis.
It’s worth pointing out that not long ago, the European Parliament was just about to set up a task force, meant to monitor the use of digital currency, and hence prevent misuse for terrorism financing and money laundering. While this did not happen, later on, a proposal meant to reinforce the European anti-money laundering laws was approved and adopted by the MEP.
While digital currency users who do not use bitcoin and other currencies for the purpose outlined above should have nothing to worry about, the exercise itself represents an attack to the privacy of those using bitcoin for their own, private, yet legal purposes.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about this draft legislation? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.