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EU lawmakers push for stricter rules on anonymous crypto transfers

European Union lawmakers have adopted new draft legislation imposing a 1,000 euro ($1,083) cap on anonymous crypto transfers to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

According to a European Parliament statement published on March 28, the limit would apply to a crypto asset transfer when a customer can’t be identified. Cash transactions will also be capped at 7,000 euros ($7,585). 

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism package is set to be confirmed in a plenary session in April. After that, negotiations on the final shape of the bills will begin, it said.

It was noted that the European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA), formed in June 2022, would eventually enforce the rules.

“For us, it is important the new authority cooperates very closely with national supervisors and that it directly supervises the riskiest crypto asset service providers and companies in the financial sector that operate in several member states,” said Emil Radev, co-rapporteur for the AMLA.

The text relating to anonymous instruments, including crypto assets, was overwhelmingly approved by lawmakers, with 99 votes in favor, eight against and six abstentions.

The newly adopted text indicates that introducing the bill will require greater transparency and compliance, particularly from crypto asset managers. It noted:

“Entities, such as banks, assets and crypto assets managers, real and virtual estate agents and high-level professional football clubs, will be required to verify their customers’ identity, what they own and who controls the company.”

It was also noted that the industries would need to establish specific risks associated with money laundering and terrorist financing within their business area, and relay this relevant information to a centralized registry.

Related: European Commission to ensure ‘healthy competition’ in the metaverse

This comes after the European Banking Federation (EBF) released a paper on March 28, which detailed its vision for the digital money ecosystem of the future and the retail digital euro in particular.

The EBF proposed a three-tiered model for the digital euro: The European Central Bank’s (ECB) role and two industry levels. The ECB’s role will be to interact with the Single Euro Payments Area, with an “Industry Level B” subsequently developed and operated by the private sector.

In related news, the final vote on the European Union’s set of crypto rules — the Markets in Crypto-Assets regulation — was recently deferred to April 2023.

This is not the first time European lawmakers have rescheduled the procedure, having previously pushed it back from November 2022 to February 2023.

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