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Author Topic: 2016-02-03 Tom's Hardware - European Commission Targets Bitcoin For Regulation  (Read 326 times)
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February 04, 2016, 07:30:34 AM
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European Commission Targets "Bitcoin Anonymity" For Regulation

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/european-commission-bitcoin-anonymity-regulation,31123.html

The European Commission published an "action plan" (pdf) for stricter regulations against methods that help terrorists get financed. The paper showed prepaid cards and Bitcoin as two payment methods that would be impacted by these regulations if they are approved by the European Parliament by June. In Bitcoin's case, the rules will force the verification of users whenever they want to convert their Bitcoins into real currencies.

EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said:

"We must cut off terrorists’ access to funds and enable authorities to better track financial flows to prevent devastating attacks such as those in Paris."

However, in a post published by the European Union's own website two weeks ago, experts were warning MEPs that they shouldn't overstate the risk of Bitcoin, especially when cash is even more anonymous than Bitcoin:

"In fact cash is likely to be a much more anonymous means of transferring value," said Sean Ennis, a senior economist from the OECD. "The ownership string for virtual currency is public and that allows a tremendous amount of analysis of transactions."

This is backed by the EU's own law enforcement bodies such as Europol, who so far haven't found any reason to be worried about terrorists being funded through Bitcoin:

"Despite third party reporting suggesting the use of anonymous currencies like Bitcoin by terrorists to finance their activities, this has not been confirmed by law enforcement."

Bitcoin isn't anonymous by default, but it is pseudonymous. All transactions from a Bitcoin address are permanently logged into the Bitcoin blockchain, and anyone can see which addresses exchanged money.

Source: Tom's Hardware

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