The European Union plans to equip its planned watchdog to combat money laundering and terrorist financing with powers related to the supervision of cryptoasset companies, according to “people familiar with the matter.” The planned authority should be launched in 2024 and be fully operational two years later.
As part of the ongoing discussions on relevant laws, Germany is leading a group of states that want to make the inclusion of crypto companies in the watchdog’s field of activity more explicit, an EU diplomat is quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
In addition to Germany, the group also includes Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and the Netherlands.
The six member states are trying to cover crypto asset service providers with the activities of the supervisory authority, which is to be called the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Authority (AMLA).
In the meantime, the proposal of the European Commission, published by Brussels last July, briefly refers to “virtual assets.”
“The authority’s responsibilities in the field of virtual assets are in line with the digital financial package published by the Commission on 24 September 2020,” the proposal states.
The legislative amendments presented by the group have yet to be formally discussed by the member states of the bloc, with the European Parliament playing a role in this. “It is important that the scope of the new EU authority explicitly includes crypto assets, as this is one of the areas that is more vulnerable to money laundering activities,” said Luis Garicano, an EU lawmaker for Spain’s liberal Ciudadanos (citizens) party.
Meanwhile, Jesse Powell, CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, and Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX, recently exchanged their perspectives on the state of relations between regulators and their companies in a discussion on Twitter. Bankman-Fried tweeted that relations between the crypto industry and regulators were “not great for a long time” and that “the negative interactions and frustrations outweighed the productive discussions”, which, among other things, led to a “really negative impression” of crypto in Washington. “But things are starting to change, at least in the US,” he said.
- Partly it’s just natural progress, and partly it’s competition from other countries (for example, the Bahamas).
But also for the first time, the crypto industry has come to the table to work constructively with legislators and regulators.
— SBF (@SBF_FTX) February 23, 2022
This statement provoked a reaction from Powell, who commented that he “could understand why Newbie 2019 attendees might have this perspective,” adding”no offense.” He argued that:
“US crypto-boomers, who have been cooperating with legislators, regulators and law enforcement agencies since