EU Targets Bitcoin, Prepaid To Curb Terrorism Financing

The European Commission isn’t warming up to bitcoin. Or prepaid cards, for that matter.

The EU is proposing regulations to crack down on digital currency transaction rules, as well as for prepaid cards, Reuters reported. This is in efforts to curb anonymous payments that may be related to funding terrorism efforts, according to documents released yesterday (Feb. 2).

This follows the terrorist attacks in Paris last November, which have also encouraged the EU to consider implementing stricter regulations over bank transfers within the EU in order to better monitor how money is flowing into and out of the region. Bank transfers within the EU are not currently part of the EU-US Terrorist Financing Tracking Program.

“We must cut off terrorists’ access to funds and enable authorities to better track financial flows to prevent devastating attacks such as those in Paris,” EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Bitcoin and prepaid cards are being specifically targeted for their obvious nature of being linked to somewhat anonymous payments and money transfers. Prepaid cards have similar issues to bitcoin since the originator of the transaction is not always known; they were also believed to have been used by the Paris attackers.

“There seems to be a risk that virtual currencies may be used by terrorist organizations to conceal financial transactions, as these can be carried out more anonymously,” reads an EU document.

The EU plans to prepare its new set of rules by the summer.


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