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.

Cryptocurrency ATM Operator Gives Hong Kong Protestors Water Paid With BCH Donations

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto ATM provider Genesis Block gave water bottles and umbrellas to protestors in Hong Kong. 
  • Supplies were paid for with international donations made in bitcoin cash. 

Cryptocurrency hub Genesis Block has taken an active role in the ongoing Hong Kong protests, by providing water bottles and umbrellas to demonstrators funded with Bitcoin Cash. 

Hong Kong Protests

According to a report by Forbes, the items were paid for with international donations made in bitcoin cash. Genesis Block, which operates cryptocurrency ATMs in the region, included BCH QR codes on the supplies to allow protestors to further contribute. The umbrellas were given as a symbolic nod to the 2014 ‘Umbrella Revolution’ in Hong Kong, during which hundreds of thousands of residents took to the streets in protest. 

The current movement has extended into its eleventh week of protest, with an estimated 1.7 million people--roughly 25% of the population of Hong Kong--participating in the demonstrations over the weekend. 

Cryptocurrency advocates have been taking an interest in the region’s struggle for autonomy against China, with many seeing a connection to using decentralized currencies in lieu of national fiat. Data from P2P bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins shows that citizens of Hong Kong are paying an average of $300 or more in premium to purchase bitcoin. 

The ongoing struggle in Hong Kong has also contributed to the brewing atmosphere of distrust in centralized systems, which some analysts are predicting will help adoption for crypto.

A report from Delphi Digital at the beginning of the month called these global economic factors a potential “perfect storm” for the price of bitcoin leading into the second half of the year.