The EU is Increasing Penalties for Cryptocurrency Crimes

Last updated: Mar 30, 2023
2 Min Read

The EU is trying to take an active stance against cyber crime that is monetised via cryptocurrencies. In a press release yesterday, the European Commission gave an overview of their intention to introduce new laws that would be focused on "digital crimes".

These digital crimes include those such as Ransomware attacks which saw a 300% increase since 2015. In order to be effective in the field, the directive would come with a EU cyber security agency which will assist the member states in dealing with these crimes. They also want to introduce common penalties for violations of the laws. According to the statement

The proposed directive will strengthen the ability of law enforcement authorities to tackle this form of crime by expanding the scope of the offences related to information systems to all payment transactions, including transactions through virtual currencies.

The EU also wants to make moves to "combat fraud and the counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment". Whether the EU will use this directive as an excuse to view all non-cash payments as suspicious remains to be seen. The EU has previously attempted to regulate cryptocurrency start-ups with regards to customer activity.

The goal of the regulators in this previous draft law was to identify the Bitcoin users and limit any anonymity. This was despite the fact that in February last year, Europol saw no evidence that linked cryptocurrency use to terrorist activities.

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