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.

Treasury Secreatary: Libra Association Weakens Due to Failure to Meet Regulations

Neil Dennis

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that the Libra Association was crumbling because it is failing to meet regulatory standards, and played down the role of recent warnings from members of Congress.

On Friday, key members of the Libra Association Visa, Mastercard and Stripe - all of whom received letters expressing "deep concerns" from Senators Brian Schatz and Sherrod Brown - announced, along with eBay, that they were withdrawing their membership. A week earlier, PayPal had also stepped down from the alliance.

Threatening

When questioned on CNBC's flagship programme Squawk Box whether he thought the letters to Visa, Mastercard and Stripe from Schatz and Brown had been "threatening", Mnuchin replied:

I wouldn't give them too much credit as we at Treasury sent them letters as well. I've met with representatives of Libra multiple times [...] and made it clear to them that if they don't meet our standards with money laundering that we would take enforcement actions against them.

He added that the companies which have dropped out appear to have realised that the project's compliance with the necessary regulatory standards has not been met. He concluded:

I think they realised they are not ready and I assume some of the partners got concerned and dropped out until they meet those standards.

 

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