Ireland to curb crypto money laundering

The new AML bill approved by the cabinet will lead to stricter rules and make it easier for police to access bank accounts.

The Irish Cabinet has approved a bill that aims to toughen laws to tackle money laundering and puts the use of cryptocurrencies at the forefront for their alleged role in financing terrorist activities.

At the heart of the new legislation is the adoption of the EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive, published in July 2018, into Irish law by amending the country’s existing laws in this area. This new EU policy widened the scope of existing rules – unsurprisingly, the EU’s Fourth Money Laundering Directive of 2015 – on combating money laundering (AML) to cover virtual currencies, wallet providers and exchanges. This means that from now on, any such operation in the country must either fully comply with its requirements or be subject to prosecution.

The speed at which the legislation has been updated again, of course, reflects the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies during this era – and the threat they are now perceived to be by authorities seeking to track criminal activity.

In addition to targeting cryptocurrency-related activities, the laws also look at the number of prepaid debit cards, as well as sellers of high-value items and artwork. According to Irish weather, banks and other financial institutions will also be “required to exercise more stringent due diligence before accepting new customers.” Credit and financial institutions will also be prevented from creating anonymous safes. “

He also says the bill gives increased powers to the Garda and the Criminal Assets Bureau of Ireland to access bank accounts during money laundering investigations.

While the legislation will not be enacted in the UK after Brexit, at least not in such an obvious transposition as this, Jonas Karlberg – the boss of the crypto consultancy firm, Amazix – believes that such reinforced regulation will attract more players to the market.

“The continued development of crypto-related regulations on a global scale will mean that more traditional areas of businesses and financial institutions will adapt to expand their services into crypto. 2019 will also see the full implementation of the 5th AML Directive in the EU – allowing the entire range of cryptocurrencies and possibly token offerings to operate in full compliance, ”he said. .

“This new trend will challenge traditional consultants to think about adequate control measures to comply with applicable laws and regulations. All the usual integrity risk and compliance constraints concerns of a conventional financial institution will now apply to crypto companies: money laundering, terrorist financing, tax evasion, sanctions and cybercrime ”.