The European Union is at it again! The European Commission is looking forward to put an end to anonymous cryptocurrency trading activities in the region. The intentions of European Commission were made public in the recently published Action Plan for strengthening the fight against terrorist financing. The report is sort of an official communication addressed to the European Parliament and Council.
The fifteen-page report was influenced by the increased threat of terrorism in the European Union following the recent attacks in Paris, France. The European Commission identifies two main course of action to disrupt terrorist activity by tightening the screws around potential funding routes for these terrorist organizations. In order to do so, the European Commission suggests actions that will make tracking of financial movement easier for law enforcement agencies and also help in disruption of revenue sources.
Like many other government bodies, the European Commission has also targeted Bitcoin and digital currencies. It believes that digital currencies like Bitcoin are potential sources of funds for terrorists. The commission addresses its assumption by calling for the implementation of Anti Money Laundering regulations on Bitcoin and digital currency exchanges. However, nowhere in the report has the European Commission attempted to substantiate its assumptions.
The uproar about terrorists using Bitcoin to park their funds rose soon after Paris bombing. It was followed by another unsubstantiated report from a hacktivist group that claimed to have hacked Bitcoin accounts belonging to ISIL to find millions of dollars in digital currency. However, the recent Europol report on the possibility of terrorist groups using Bitcoin has deemed the whole issue unsubstantiated.
If the action plan is accepted by European Parliament, Bitcoin and other virtual currency companies will have to implement stringent AML and KYC regulations. They will also be required to share personal details of their users to government agencies. In other words, if the action plan is accepted, then it will be the BitLicense fiasco all over again, but this time in Europe.