European governments are pushing for more stringent regulation on Bitcoins as it has been believed that this currency is being used by terrorists, drug traffickers and money launderers.
It all started with the terrorist attacks in Paris, in 2015. At that time, The European Parliament and European Council agreed on a set of rules for clampdown on cryptocurrency which as been believed to be used to finance terrorism. Further, the attack in Brussels in 2016, made the officials approve a bitcoin and blockchain centric taskforce to seek out the risks. In 2017, the Parliament made the claim that these exchanges made the transfer of money easy for terrorists.
This led to Bitcoin Debit Cards services being halted to Non- european residents. Just 3 months has passed and EU has again come up with another shocking news. That’s right!
European governments are going to put more stringent regulations on Bitcoins.
“I don’t like it; it can hide activities such as drug trafficking and terrorism. There is an obvious speculative risk, we need to look at it, study it” – Le Maire,
the French Finance Minister has been caught saying on LCI television.
As per EU’s plan, the online platforms where the bitcoins are traded will have to perform due diligence on their customers and transactions that are suspicious.
The Treasury has also responded on this:
“We are working to address concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies by negotiating to bring virtual currency exchange platforms and some wallet providers within anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation.”
These changes have been put forward by the European Commision in the wake of attacks in Brussels and Paris. It has been said by many officials that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are being used to finance the terrorists. The negotiations took about a year for the new measures to be approved resulting in these changes.
As Visa ended its ties with a large cryptocurrency card provider, it resulted in thousands of transactions to be declined and leaving people scrambled as how to get access to their money.
WaveCrest, the card provider confirmed CNBC through email that they were required to close all the visa cards immediately.
The statement read:
“As a licensed E-Money Institution, WaveCrest is required to safeguard funds to cover all of its issued electronic money and we can confirm that these funds are safe and available for redemption through other channels”.
“It recently terminated a single prepaid card issuer in Europe from our network for violating Visa’s operating regulations. That issuer, WaveCrest, was required to close its Visa card products, some of which were linked to cryptocurrency wallets.”
People who are are into bitcoin for long term, should be aware that this is nothing new. The rules have to followed by the EU’s members but it seems very much likely that majority of these card issuers will be able to resume their services soon. Though, given this incident people would be a little wary to put their trust in one crypto card.
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I am an associate content producer for the news section of Coingape. I have previously worked as a freelancer for numerous sites and have covered a dynamic range of topics from sports, finance to economics and politics.