The European Commission has submitted a new proposal which would require crypto-asset service providers to collect additional anti-money laundering, or AML, information from users who utilize cryptocurrency for money transfers. The stated purpose of this proposal is to prevent the further propagation of money laundering activity within the EU.
Under this proposal, service providers conducting transfers must have the name of the originator of the transfer, account number, where the account exists and is used to process the transaction. The originator’s address, official personal document number, customer ID number, or date and place of birth would also be required under the proposal. Service providers would similarly need to ensure the name and account number of the beneficiary are included with the transfer, along with information about where that account exists. The beneficiary’s crypto asset provider would also need procedures in place to detect whether the information for the originator of the transfer is included or is missing.
These additional information requirements would kick in when a transfer exceeds EUR 1000 or when a series of payments appears to be linked and the total exceeds EUR 1000. The commission said in the proposal:
“In order not to impair the efficiency of payment systems and crypto- asset transfer services and in order to balance the risk of driving transactions underground as a result of overly strict identification requirements against the potential terrorist threat posed by small transfers of funds.”
In cases where there is a series of payments exceeding EUR 1000 but they do not appear to be connected, the payment service provider would not need to verify the information unless “effects the pay-out of the funds in cash or in anonymous electronic money,” or “has reasonable grounds for suspecting money laundering or terrorist financing.”
The updated requirements were part of four legislative proposals put forth by the European Commission on July 20. All of the proposals were aimed toward the goal of improving the detection of suspicious transactions, stopping money laundering, and the financing of terrorist activities. The European Parliament will have final say on the proposals, and it could take up to two years before the proposals to become law.