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The UK government has approved a bill to grant power to the authorities to seize cryptocurrency platforms involved in criminal activities, such as money laundering, fraud, shell companies and terrorist financing.
According to UK lawmakers, the bill was introduced in September 2022 to enhance the security to regulate virtual asset service providers and stabilise the dignity of the digital asset industry, it has now come into effect after receiving royal assent. Before enforcement, the bill underwent various amendments and reforms to comply with CFT and AML measures. This empowers law enforcement agencies to block cryptocurrency service providers’ assets during investigations without arresting individual owners for a criminal offence. The bill also introduces a new licensing framework for cryptocurrency companies, requiring them to adhere to strict regulations. These new measures will help to protect consumers from fraud and money laundering.
The UK accounting company, Swindell Accounting, stated that “the bill will also strengthen anti-money laundering powers and help facilitate better information sharing about suspected offences. In certain situations, businesses can share information more easily to prevent, investigate, or detect economic crime. Civil liability will not apply to breaches of confidentiality for businesses supplying information about economic criminal offences.”
The approval signals the crypto service providers that the UK is strengthening AML regulations for virtual assets to combat crypto-related money laundering crimes. This bill is a part of the ongoing regulations against the crypto industry. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently introduced various regulations to guide investors about the potential risk and enhance risk assessment procedures in financial institutes. Before implementing this bill, the FCA warned the crypto assets platforms that imminent actions would be taken against violators. They also stressed that several crypto firms are not complying with the latest AML derivatives. These regulations empower law enforcement agencies to force hefty fines on illegal companies and even imprison the firm owners. The FCA also announced that it is taking measures to ensure that the crypto assets platforms implement the same standards as traditional financial institutions. This includes increased scrutiny and rigid enforcement of regulations. The FCA coordinates with other government agencies to ensure the crypto assets industry remains compliant and secure.
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