Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Ireland Approves Anti-Money Laundering Bill Regarding Cryptocurrency

The Irish Cabinet has passed a bill to govern the use of virtual currencies especially in the area of money laundering and financing terrorism. This bill is said to be an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. The country’s local media outlet revealed this on January 3.

To Bring About a Fifth EU Anti-money Laundering Directive

The purpose of the bill is to bring about a fifth EU Anti-money Laundering Directive and give more power to the country’s legislation. Most specifically, it limits the way cryptocurrencies are used to fund terrorist activities. The bill will also help to set limitations as to how prepaid cards are used and closely monitor transactions moving to and fro high-risk third world countries.

Reports hold that if the bill is passed, banks will be unable to create deposit boxes whose owners are not identified. The same can be said about financial institutions who may want to register new clients but will now have to follow stricter processes to ensure there are no cases of money laundering.

Federal Authorities to Have Access to Bank Records

More light into the proposed bill reveals that it will give the federal authorities (Garda and the Criminal Assets Bureau) the power to access bank records when investigating issues relating to money laundering.

While commenting on the bill, Charlie Flanagan, the country’s Minister for Justice Charlie said that money laundering is a crime which allows terrorists and other criminals to thrive. On the other hand, it is capable of destroying lives in the end. The minister also added that the European Union’s borders were always sought by criminals and as such, there was a need to set up precautionary measures.

He also said;

My message to criminals is clear: those engaging in corruption or money laundering in Ireland will not get away with their crimes.

Ireland’s Crypto-Friendly Laws

Ireland can be said to be one of the crypto-friendly nations given that it has created an environment for the companies operating these digital assets to thrive. Nevertheless, the country seeks to still have control and regulate the use of these virtual currencies to ensure that the customers, as well as the market, are protected.

In December 2018, the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum had pointed out the potentials Blockchain technology could have. Here, it was said that creating a digital version of fiat money which is stored on the Blockchain could allow parties transact with ease while also bypassing having to use cryptocurrency.

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