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Cyprus to bring crypto assets under EU money laundering rules

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is requesting to bring the European Union’s (EU) Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) into the national law, in an effort to include cryptocurrencies under local regulation.

The intention is to include the crypto industry under the law, avoiding the vagueness of current local regulations. Many stakeholders in the industry have serious doubts regarding which laws do apply to it.

The EU directive, in force since 9th July 2018, provides a legal framework to monitor the crypto industry and protect against money laundering and terrorism financing; it includes regulatory oversight to crypto exchanges and wallet providers, transparency requirements for anonymous payments. Members of the UE must incorporate this into their national laws by 2020.

It is contemplated by CySEC to extend the span of AMLD5 to include more aspects of the crypto market. The objective is to keep the integrity of the market and the “provision of financial services related to the sale of a crypto asset.”

This is already being considered in other countries around the globe, such as the UK and Australia. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has previously expressed its concern of the possibility of Malta’s financial system permitting money laundering and financing terrorism, due to the growth of the local crypto industry.

With this initiative, CySEC is supporting the country’s intention of becoming a blockchain destination. Invest Cyprus has signed an MoU with the VeCHain Foundation in order for this to happen.

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