EU Legislators: Exchanges Must Identify Customers

On December 15, the European Parliament and the European Council agreed to a series of measures aimed at bolstering know-your-customer and anti-money laundering efforts, including a rule that would impact cryptocurrency exchanges.

Under the agreed-upon terms, these marketplaces, as well as providers of virtual asset wallets, would be required to identify their users.

The measures would also grant national investigators increased access to information such as national bank accounts registers; require the owners of companies and trusts to abide by more stringent transparency practices; and entitle “persons who can demonstrate a legitimate interest” to retrieve data relating to the beneficiaries of trusts. They also place certain limitations on the use of pre-paid payment cards, which offer users a significant degree of anonymity.

The move represents a revision of the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which was enacted in June of 2015 with a two-year window during which member states were expected to become

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