Yesterday, in a series of shocking statements, regulators Commission officials have said they are "banning anonymous cryptocurrency wallets " as part of a money laundering crackdown. This naturally brought crypto markets down - but they recovered quickly, apparently as it became clear that the EU had terribly distorted the substance of the proposed regulation.
The crypto provisions (PDF) were part of a package of four proposals intended to combat money laundering 'silver. In a tweet thread summarizing the proposed rules, Mairead McGuinness, the EU Commissioner for Financial Services, wrote that the measure "will ban anonymous crypto wallets and ensure that transfers of crypto assets are traceable ".
If this sets your hair on fire, take a deep breath. I try not to use the F word, this being a family post, but this is one of the few appropriate cases: McGuinness's statement is purely FUD. Rather than a ban on wearingcrypto sheets, the EU. the rules would impose stricter but defensible rules on providers of money services , such as exchange or custody services. Either McGuinness and his communications team were mistaken out of sheer ignorance when issuing the new rules to the public, or they knowingly clouded public perception.
Like Tim Copeland at The Block stressed , the new rules would be very similar to the guidelines on 'travel rules' of the Multinational Financial Action Task Force. The rules prohibit providing anonymous services, such as custody or crypto exchange accounts provided by a third party, not the fourniture of self-guarding software.
In summary, the ban would have an impact on the crypto equivalent of Swiss bank accounts, and not on the currency. use of crypto as cash. So if you are ready and able to self-guard (which you should really do anyway ), you can still hold and spend crypto anonymously (unless you are committing a crime then this anonymity probably won't last long ).
"Banning anonymous wallets" would be a really terrifying goal, as almost every cryptocurrency wallet is anonymous by default , in the same sense that every web browser is anonymous by default. Harborsheet s like MyCrypto , Exodus and Electrum are downloadable software around the world. In other words, the notion of "ban on anonymous crypto wallets " implies a quite draconian crackdown involving raids on server farms hosting wallet code, SWAT teams breaking down the doors of DeFi degens basement apartments and developers found to have helped people move data around. Read more: EU decision makers propose regulationStricter Crypto Transfers
Unsurprisingly, many Mc news organizations have reported Guinness statements without examining them. Some have further distorted the essence of the new rules, like the ridiculous Irish Times statement that the EU. would be "Ban cryptocurrency anonymity, period.
In the Face of such gullible headlines, crypto prices briefly trended passed out, Bitcoin falling below $ 30,000. But the ship recovered quickly and BTC jumped back above $ 31.5,000 this morning. This could have been for a number of reasons, but it is reasonable to assume that the resurgenceIt came about when traders realized that the EU did not, in fact, ban anonymous crypto wallets.
It 'sa mix that highlights evidence that cryptocurrency regulation is too often created by people who know next to nothing about technology. (McGuinness also justified the new regulations by relying heavily on the idea that cryptocurrency is a huge new money laundering threat, which this is just not true. )
At the same time, it seems unlikely that a high-ranking EU Commissioner, with a staff (mostly) of adult professionals, could achieve anything like this basic evil. So here is the alternative explanation of the realpolitik crowd: the EU. knows he can't "forbidanonymous crypto wallets ". But by obscuring the difference between safekeeping wallets and auto-safekeeping software, they can hope they can fool a section of the public into believing that custodial accounts are the only type that exists.