Tonight, the ECON and LIBE committees of the European Parliament will vote on a complete ban on anonymous crypto payments. The latest agreement between the European Parliament and the European Council goes even further than the original European Commission’s proposal which was setting the limit at the equivalent of €1000. The new rules will impose an identification requirement for crypto-asset transactions in all amounts. Moreover, all users of hosted wallets will now have to identify themselves, as well as all users who send non-hosted funds to hosted crypto wallets.
Patrick Breyer, MEP for the Pirate Party Germany and member of the LIBE committee, comments:
„These rules will deprive law-abiding citizens of their financial freedom. For example, opposition leaders like Alexei Navalny are increasingly reliant on anonymous donations in virtual currencies. Banks have also blocked donations to Wikileaks in the past. The creeping abolition of real and virtual cash threatens negative interest rates and a shutdown of the money supply at any time. We should have a right to be able to pay and donate online without having our financial transactions recorded in a personalised way.
There is no justification for this de facto abolition of anonymous virtual payments: Where virtual assets have previously been used for criminal activity, prosecution has been possible based on current applicable regulations. A complete ban on anonymous crypto payments will not have a significant impact on crime. The stated goal of combating money laundering and terrorism is just a pretext to gain more and more control over our private transactions.”
Mikuláš Peksa, MEP, Chairperson of the European Pirate Party, comments:
“In these times of war, it is absolutely crucial to still be able to make anonymous payments to support those that are the most at risk of being persecuted. Today’s decision by some Members in this house is one based on fear and misunderstanding of what cryptocurrencies really are and the ground breaking innovations they can bring to society. We should be allowed to do online what we are allowed to do offline. These double standards are outdated. I believe that a ban on anonymous payments in cryptocurrencies simply violates our core privacy rights and, therefore, this type of regulation has no place in our democratic European Union.”