U.K. to Apply AML Regs to Digital Currency, Fund Research (March 23, 2015)
Following a November 2014 request for information, the U.K. government plans to apply anti-money laundering regulation to digital currency exchanges, which it says will support innovation and deter crime. But first, the government must determine how AML laws should be applied to digital currency, the scope of the regulations and which federal regulator will oversee the new rules. The government also plans to work with industry stakeholders to develop voluntary consumer protections without imposing a disproportionate regulatory burden on the industry.
U.K. officials are earmarking £10 million (US$14.9 million) to research opportunities and challenges for digital currency technology, which “offers considerable promise, making it possible for users to transfer value or other information quickly, efficiently and securely, providing a permanent record” without the need of third parties.
“The government’s proposal to apply anti-money laundering laws is logical and is of no surprise, given the widespread perception that cryptocurrency can be used anonymously to move funds around the world,” Robert Courtneidge, global head of cards and payments at law firm Locke Lord LLP, tells Paybefore. “It’s positive to hear that the government proposes to work with the digital currency community in shaping voluntary rules for this sector focusing on consumer protection and funding research into this innovative technology,” says Courtneidge, who was named a Paybefore Top 10 Payments Lawyer last month.
See related stories: