Ireland to Implement New AML/KYC Measures Affecting Crypto

Colin Muller

The cabinet of the Irish government has approved a law to implement a new regime of financial regulations, which in large part outline new regulations for the cryptoasset industry operating in Ireland. The new measures must still be passed by Ireland’s legislative body.

The new bill is the Irish implementation of the so-called Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5MLD), a Europe-wide law mandated by the European Commission to go into effect across the EU by January 2020. According to the legal blog RegulationTomorrow, it is "part of the [European] Commission’s Action Plan of February 2016 to strengthen the EU‘s fight against terrorist financing.”

5MLD brings more robust Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money-Laundering (KYC/AML) requirements to all financial activities within the zone, meaning more scrutiny on transactions going through eurozone financial channels, and less anonymity overall for those conducting transactions.

Critically, cryptoasset transactions and business will now fall firmly within the purview of the new regulatory regime. CryptoGlobe recently reported on the same set of new laws being proposed in the Netherlands, and in the coming year we may expect this story to be repeated across Europe and the eurozone financial area.

UK Goes Above and Beyond

A stone’s throw from Ireland, the UK has recently said it will go “significantly beyond” the 5MLD. As CryptoGlobe recently reported, these sentiments came in response to a recent UK report on the state of cryptoasset regulation on the island nation, on the part of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In this regard, the FCA may end up “supervising [cryptoasset] firms in fulfilling their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing obligations.” No further elaboration was given in the responses, however, as to how far "beyond" 5MLD the UK government would go.