Europol, Interpol and the Basel Institute on Governance have revealed three focus areas for their planned regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Regulations are Definitely Coming
A sure sign that Bitcoin has become more mainstream and accepted than ever is the increase in regulations. Nations are looking for tax revenue from Bitcoin users, and government law enforcement agencies are treating Bitcoin just as they would any other publicly traded currency.
Recently, Europol, Interpol and the Basel Institute on Governance have announced that they are going to be much more active with their oversight and regulation inside of the Bitcoin exchange community in 2017 and beyond.
It might help, first, to explain what these organizations are. Europol is the CIA of the European Union (EU), gaining information access to anything and everything that may affect the EU. Interpol is an international network designed to link national law enforcement agencies together when crime spreads across borders. The Basel Institute is a not-for-profit independent agency that seeks to fight financial crime.
These organizations spent three days together last week at the “Global Conference on Money Laundering and Digital Currencies,” a curious name for a conference, which was held in Qatar. At the meeting, these organizations decided there were three objectives that they need to focus on, related to Bitcoin transactions going forward.
3 Focus Areas
The first is an increase information sharing in the field of money laundering and cryptocurrencies, with particular emphasis on the exchange of suspicious Bitcoin addresses that threaten economic stability.
Next, a desire to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet providers under current anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation in line with obligations already pending with the financial sector.
Finally, to take action against cryptocurrency mixers/tumblers, designed to anonymize transactions, which burdens the work of law enforcement agencies to detect and track suspicious transactions.
Cryptocurrency Use ‘Expected to Increase Exponentially’
“Digital currencies are now undoubtedly part of the payment system,” said Simon Riondet, the Head of Financial Intelligence at Europol. “Their use is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years. And understandably so, since they improve payment efficiency, reduce transaction and fund transfer costs, while facilitating international remittances.
But the other side of this narrative is that they are also a powerful new tool for criminals and terrorist financiers to convert, remit and conceal illicit funds from law enforcement authorities.
How this may effect you may relate to your exact location in the world. Their business model generally revolves the times and crimes in and around Eurasia, as the West has more than enough regulators and law enforcement.
With the increase in scrutiny not just by the European Commission, but also individual nations, it’s now clear that regulations are coming to Bitcoin in the near future. These plans are most likely going to become focused on Europe, initially. Additionally, cryptocurrency use is also growing in southern Asia, so expect to notice their presence more in that area of the world, as well.
What kind of impact will regulations have on cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts below!
Images courtesy of europol.europa.eu, Shutterstock