Ireland Mandates Registration of Crypto Firms Under AML Laws

  • Edward lilly
  • April 27, 2021
  • 3 minutes read
  • 170

Ireland has taken new measures to regulate crypto businesses under the AML law for the first time. It is now considered a criminal offence for the crypto exchanges to operate in the jurisdiction without registering with the country’s Central Bank. 

The crypto businesses in Ireland have been highlighted for not neglecting their regulatory requirements for the first time. The local virtual currency businesses must now observe anti-money laundering regulations recommended by the European Union. 

5AMLD or the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive is EU regulatory measure and it has been included in Ireland’s law through the Criminal Justice Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Amendment Act of 2021.

According to the law, the firms that work with crypto assets, custodial wallet providers or Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), and companies that service VASPs must observe the same regulatory guidelines that were followed by the majority of the financial firms.

“It is important to note that it is a criminal offence not to comply with the obligations set out under Part 4 of the CJA 2010 to 2021 and that a failure to do so may result in a fine, imprisonment, or both,” the Irish regulator warned.

Now the Irish Virtual Asset Service Providers are obligated to register with the country’s Central Bank with a deadline of three months and they are also directed to perform due diligence on all their customers. The due diligence includes accounting for the origin, identification, destination of their digital assets, and reporting of any suspicious activity. 

Due to the lack of regulatory measures in Ireland’s crypto industry previously, the crypto asset investors were able to invest anonymously.

This may very well be the start of the crypto regulations in Ireland. All Virtual Asset Service Providers from around the world that provide service to European countries have to comply with the European Union’s Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive by the first week of June. The Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive has more strict reporting requirements and obligates all Virtual Asset Service Providers to register with the European Union authorities. 

Another thing that lacked in the 5th AMLD was ranting the authorities in Europe to punish the companies neglecting their legal duties. This has been updated in the 6th AMLD and the European authorities can now punish non-compliant companies, legal entities, any VASPs and rogue employees by enforcing hefty fines and closure of their business.