Last Monday, the Council of the European Union announced that the Council and the Parliament had struck a deal, a provisional agreement, on stricter anti-money laundering rules. The reason for the new regulations, so they claim, is to combat “terrorist financing,” a goal which has been fast-tracked since the 7 October Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.
As well as “enhanced due diligence” for crypto-asset service providers, the new rules set an EU-wide maximum limit of €10,000 for cash payments. In addition, according to the provisional agreement, obliged entities will need to identify and verify the identity of a person who carries out an occasional transaction in cash between €3,000 and €10,000.
As very few persons are terrorists – who are, in any case, individually monitored by other means – the reality is the EU is not countering terrorism; they are targeting anonymous methods of payment so they can track all citizens’ financial transactions. It would seem the EU’s new anti-money laundering regulation is part of the preparation for the implementation of central bank digital currencies (“CBDC”).
Following Hamas’ attack on Israel on 7 October 2023, lawmakers rushed to stop terrorist organisations from using crypto to finance their operations, especially in light of reports that the Palestinian group was using digital assets to help fund its militants.
In November 2023, the European Parliament proposed adding extra due diligence measures for firms handling crypto transactions under €1,000. Other forms of payments wouldn’t need those extra measures.
The reasoning was that terror groups often use low-value transactions to conceal their funding practices.
On Monday 18 January 2024, policymakers in the European Union (“EU”) reached a provisional deal on parts of a comprehensive regulatory package to combat money laundering that will force all crypto firms to run due diligence on their customers.
This means strong, consistent rules across the EU in the fight against dirty money: a game changer.
— Mairead McGuinness (@McGuinnessEU) January 18, 2024