Crypto Expert Debunks Rumors of EU Banning Anonymous Crypto Wallets

Crypto Expert Debunks Rumors of EU Banning Anonymous Crypto Wallets

After rumors spread across the industry claiming that the European Union had banned anonymous crypto wallets and transactions, industry expert Patrick Hansen stepped in to debunk these claims. He emphasized that the recent anti-money laundering (AML) law passed by the EU does not specifically target cryptocurrencies. Instead, it is a broad framework that applies to all financial institutions, including crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) and services prone to AML risks like gambling services.

Hansen clarified that the AML law will apply to all CASPs, such as exchanges and brokers, regulated under the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA). These CASPs will be required to follow standard KYC/AML procedures like customer due diligence. Contrary to the rumors, the regulation includes provisions for anonymous crypto wallets, but custodial wallets cannot provide services to anonymous users. Additionally, CASPs will not be allowed to provide accounts for privacy coins, which aligns with existing business practices globally.

The Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation already prohibits crypto listings with built-in anonymisation functions, so this is not a new restriction. Hansen noted that the AML law largely reaffirms existing AML rules for CASPs and has an extremely limited impact on the crypto sector in the EU. Importantly, there are no radically new restrictions on self-custody payments, wallets, or peer-to-peer transfers. This means that individuals can still use their self-custody wallets for buying goods and services in the EU without any restrictions.

Final Approval Process

The final text of the AML law was agreed upon by the ECON committee in the EU in March. It now only needs to pass final approval in the EU Parliament’s plenary and the EU Council. This process ensures that the regulation aligns with the broader financial framework in the EU and that it does not unfairly target the crypto industry. Hansen’s clarifications serve as a reminder to rely on credible sources for information on crypto policy, rather than social media or sensationalist headlines.

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