The European Parliament has recently voted to enact stronger regulation of cryptocurrency companies, including exchanges and wallet providers. The move comes in the wake of a December 2017 agreement with the European Council to enact new measures to combat the potential use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering, tax evasion, and other criminal activity. Once the EU Parliament’s new directives go into effect, EU member states will have 18 months to enact the new provisions into their own country’s national laws.
Since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are still seen as offering users the ability to make anonymous transactions, the new directives will require cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet providers, and other similar companies to register with government authorities and engage in due diligence, to include compliance with know your customer regulations. The prime focus of the new legislation seems to targeted at tax evaders and money launderers, as those who wish to evade taxation are seen as depriving the government of money it seeks to use to provide public services. Thus, completely anonymous transactions (if they ever really existed) will soon be a thing of the past.
The new measures come shortly after the news that Malta, an EU member state, has recently become a popular new headquarters for a number of cryptocurrency exchanges seeking to do business in the European Union. The new legislation shouldn’t affect those operations, as exchanges should have known that enhanced regulation of this type would eventually go into effect and should have been prepared to enact those regulations.
Bitcoin IRA investors shouldn’t fear this news either, as this enhanced regulation will move Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies further into the financial mainstream. For many investors and consumers, it will also result in their increased ability to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. That increase in demand will put upward pressure on Bitcoin’s price, benefiting those investors who currently hold Bitcoin.