Monday, November 28, 2022

UK Floats New Crypto Bill, Moves to Curb Illicit Crypto Activities

The U.K. has introduced a new crypto bill that seeks to bolster the efforts of law enforcement agencies even as they attempt to crack down on the illicit uses of crypto.

According to a Thursday announcement by the government, the bill will ensure that authorities may now seize, freeze and recover crypto assets that have been identified to be linked to criminal activities. These activities may include money laundering, tax evasion, drugs, cybercrime, as well as terrorism funding.

U.K to build on existing law in new crypto bill

Meanwhile, it might be worth noting that the new bill is being brought forward as an addition to the 250-page Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency bill that was initially proposed in May. This means that the bill will be covering fields beyond cryptocurrency alone. Although the bill got its first reading in the House of Commons on Thursday, the second reading is slated for October 13.

Speaking about the new crypto bill, however, Graeme Biggar, director general of the National Crime Agency lauds the reform. Bigger acknowledges that domestic and international criminality has plagued the U.K company structure for years. He also points out that more recently, the use of crypto in these bad acts is rapidly increasing. Nonetheless, he believes that the new bill will bolster the chances for authorities to crack down on all such illegalities.

It also appears that the bill is being built on the momentum established from the earlier Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act. Recall that it was that Act that helped U.K regulators to effect sanctions against Russia and freeze linked assets in the country.

For what it’s worth, the U.K. hasn’t exactly been toothless in its fight against crypto crime. As of July 2021, London’s Metropolitan Police seized a record 180 million British pounds (US$200 million) worth of crypto assets. According to a BBC report, that seizure came about a month after another 114 million-pound haul was carried out in June.

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