EU Plans Cryptocurrency Clampdown Following Paris Attacks

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Bitcoin (c) Julia Zakharova, Shutterstock 2014
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Bitcoin could come under scrutiny following concerns about terrorism funding

The European Union (EU) is planning a crackdown on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as it looks to try and prevent anonymous transactions being used to fund terrorist attacks.

A draft document seen by Reuters is proposing that the European Commission (EC) introduce measures to “strengthen controls of non-banking payment methods such as electronic/anonymous payments and virtual currencies and transfers of gold, precious metals, by pre-paid cards.”

EU interior and justice ministers will gather in Brussels on Friday for a crisis meeting called after the attacks in Paris last Friday.

Monitored

bitcoinsCryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have long been regarded with suspicion by law enforcement agencies, as the anonymity provided by the marketplaces and transactions carried out within make them ideal for illicit trade.

Most notably, the Silk Road marketplace had several run-ins with law enforcement services in the past due to its use to buy and sell drugs, weapons and other illegal items.

The Bank of England also raised its suspicions about the use of Bitcoin last year, warning that the digital currency could pose a threat to financial stability in the UK should it see widespread adoption.

However, several major financial institutions have announced plans to work with cyptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as they look for a more digital-friendly approach.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the NASDAQ stock exchange was evaluating the use of blockchain, the underlying technology behind Bitcoin, in order to see if it could be used in trading of shares in private companies.

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