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.

Top Cryptocurrency Coin Mixer Seized; Grayscale Investments 'Big News' Today; More Records for CME's Bitcoin Futures

Major crypto headlines from the past 24 hours: European authorities enforce a world-first seizure of a leading cryptocurrency coin mixer; New York-headquartered Grayscale Investment set to drop "big news" today; and the all-time highs continue for CME Group's bitcoin futures contracts.

The cryptocurrency market has endured some significant selling over the past day. At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $7,588.2 and $234.5; a 4.3% and 8.6% decline over the past 24 hours, respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 3,594.3 (-2.2%).

‘First Law Enforcement Action of its Kind’ Sees Top Crypto Coin Mixer Shutdown

The Dutch Financial Criminal Investigative Service (FIOD) – with the assistance of Europol and Luxembourg authorities – announced the seizure and closure of one of the three largest cryptocurrency mixer services in the world, Bestmixer.io.

This marked the “first law enforcement action of its kind against” a cryptocurrency mixer service, according to a press release from Europol. “A cryptocurrency tumbler or cryptocurrency mixing service is a service offered to mix potentially identifiable or ‘tainted’ cryptocurrency funds with others, so as to obscure the trail back to the fund’s original source,” the statement explained.

Despite the apparent victory for law enforcement, “authorities will come to regret the chain reaction that they are starting here,” according to Cornell associate professor of computer science, Emin Gün Sirer. Explaining his rational, Sirer tweeted “this kind of shutdown creates selective pressure for tumblers that cannot be shutdown. And we know, from the research world, that it’s possible to build much better ones.”

CEO of Cryptoasset Investment Giant Teases ‘Big News’ Today

Grayscale Investments – one of the world’s leading cryptoasset management firms – will be dropping some “big news” at 13:00 (UTC), its founder and chief executive Barry Silbert teased on Twitter.

Grayscale - a Digital Currency Group subsidiary - has been noticeably active on the publicity front in recent times. On May 1, it launched the largest mass media campaign the industry has ever seen and, in the time since, Silbert has been doing the rounds on the media circuit, appearing for interviews on the likes of Bloomberg, FOX Business, and Yahoo Finance.

Records Continue for CME Group’s Bitcoin Futures

CME Group – a world-leading derivatives marketplaces that also offers bitcoin futures contracts – revealed “May is shaping up to be the strongest month ever for CME Bitcoin Futures” in a client email sent on Tuesday.

According to the Chicago-based CME Group, they facilitated the trading of a staggering 33,677 bitcoin futures contracts on May 13; a new daily record. In U.S. dollar terms, this roughly equates to $1.3 billion. The firm also told clients the number of accounts trading its bitcoin futures contracts has risen to over 2,500 – also a new record high.