In The United Kingdom Seizing Crypto Just Got Easier

New ways to counter money laundering and cyber crime

The United Kingdom has just seen a new bill introduced in parliament yesterday. The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill has been introduced and extends the powers of the police over cryptocurrencies in more attempts to counteract the growing number of cyber crimes which include money launderings and the movement of “foreign kleptocrats.”

The bill does not specifically call out crypto but it would make it much easier for law enforcement agencies to seize, freeze, and then recover cryptoassets. This act seeks to strengthen the “Proceeds of Crime Act” established in 2002 which was created to counter money laundering.

In a statement made by Graeme Biggar, Director General of the National Crime Agency the sentiment towards the new laws and what they can enable was clear:

“Domestic and international criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by abusing UK company structures, and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies. These reforms,- long awaited and much welcomed- will help us crack down on both”

Seizing Crypto

Crypto has been given a warm reception in the United Kingdom for the most part, many citizens see the technology as a potentially revolutionary new way to pay and build The former British government seemed very keen on the technology,staing plans for the United Kingdom to become a “global crypto asset technology hub.”

At that time a Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak stated that it was his ambition to make the UK a global hub for crypto asset technology. Rishi went on to run for the position of Prime minister only to lose out to Liz Truss who at this moment seems very crypto-positive though she has been known to flip narratives often.

Sunak’s main proposal was toward crypto regulation involving the regulation of stablecoins, the intended for the technology to be a recognized form of payment in the future. At that time the British government also announced working with the Royal Mint to produce an NFT but to date there have been no updates on that project.

Crime on the blockchian is an issue everywhere, multiple hacks and attacks have caused many to feel the space is just not safe enough , some even calling crypto a dying technology. The Economic Crime Command unit of Britains Metropolitan police ( The Met) seized hundreds of millions worth of crypto in two separate raids this past summer, totalling $408 million, all due to an investigation on a string of money laundering offenses.

Read More: Crypto Friendly Prime Minister?

The British government is serious about protecting  consumers from crypto fraud. Back in January the government published its plans to protect consumers from misleading crypto commercials. The government stated that all crypto advertising would be brought in line with existing financial promotions legislations thus increasing consumer protecting’s while allowing innovation to take place. What this translated to was a requirement that all crypto-based ads meet the approval of the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority or any firm license by one of the two.

A “red alert” status was issued by the Advertising Standards Authority to over 50 Crypto companies including warning them to get their advertising in line with the guidelines set by the new regulations.

There is no confirmation whether these new regulations are part of Liz Truss’ plans for crypto or if they were already planned before she came into her position. The new Prime Minister has been stated to be crypto-friendly but she believes in having crypto be safe for everyone while not dampening its ability to innovate.

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