New Irish AML Bill Could Impact Crypto Adoption

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The Irish government has approved a bill which targets money laundering in the Irish Republic and makes reference to cryptocurrency as a source of terrorist funding.

The European Union’s (EU) directive on money laundering effectively gives Ireland the rights as one of its 28 members to enact amendments to existing Irish Law to counter money laundering and terrorist activity.
Despite extensive research demonstrating that cash is the major source of funding for terrorist activity, the Irish government bill proposes the EU addition to its AML laws.

The law will restrict any use of “virtual currencies for terrorist financing and limiting the use of prepaid cards” and also give the Irish police (Garda) the right to access personal bank records during any money laundering investigations. Minister of Justice, Charlie Flanagan, referred to the EU add-on but made no reference to cryptocurrency being used for illegal activity:

“The reality is that money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function, destroying lives in the process… Criminals seek to exploit the EU’s open borders and EU-wide measures are vital for that reason. Ireland strongly supports the provisions in the fifth EU money laundering directive.”

If the bill goes through there may be an impact on new cryptocurrency adopters in the Republic due to banks’ tighter KYC controls. The amended legislation is a reflection of the EU’s new stance on money laundering which gives member states rights to tighten controls and include cryptocurrency exchanges in AML regulations.


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