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EU bans unidentified self-hosted crypto wallets

The European Union Parliament has recently made a notable decision to prohibit the use of unregistered self-custody cryptocurrency wallets for transactions within the region. This action is a component of the EU’s larger efforts to combat money laundering through legislation.

The latest rules prohibit all untraceable cryptocurrency payments and cash transactions that surpass specific thresholds. More precisely, they forbid any cash payments over €10,000 or anonymous cash transactions exceeding €3,000.

Furthermore, the restriction extends to self-custody wallets used on mobile, desktop, or browser platforms.

The law is scheduled to be enforced in three years, but there are indications that it may be implemented earlier.

Despite this, the latest rule is expected to revolutionize the way Europeans interact with digital money. This has also raised concerns about the protection of user privacy and access to financial services, as the rule takes a strict stance against anonymity.

Moreover, it may create obstacles for advancements and hinder the widespread acceptance of cryptocurrencies in the area.

The Influence of a Ban on Law-Abiding Individuals

According to Patrick Breyer, an EU parliament member who opposed the majority view in parliament, the ban may negatively affect law-abiding individuals instead of reducing criminal behavior. He stressed that utilizing anonymous payments has been beneficial for legitimate reasons.

The speaker mentioned instances of providing donations to people like Alexei Navalny and groups such as WikiLeaks. Additionally, they emphasized the significance of maintaining financial confidentiality when conducting personal transactions.

Breyer also expressed that there is concern that increased monitoring of financial transactions may unintentionally aid hackers in their malicious activities and infringe on personal liberties.

We need to find ways to bring the best features of cash into our digital future. We also have the right to be able to pay and donate in cryptocurrencies online without our payment behavior being recorded for no reason and personally. If the EU believes it can regulate virtual currencies on its own, it has not understood the global internet.

Patrick Breyer, EU parliament member

Concerns have been expressed by members of the crypto community regarding the extent of the ban on anonymous payments. A specific user has requested clarification on whether the ban will apply to all types of cryptocurrencies or solely those classified as privacy coins.

In particular, a number of cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance and OKX have removed various privacy-focused tokens from their platforms for users residing in Europe.

Understanding Self-Custody Wallets Clarified

According to Patrick Hansen, the Director of Research and Policy at Circle, self-custody wallets and transactions from these wallets have not been prohibited. Furthermore, the regulation explicitly exempts peer-to-peer transfers.

Moreover, he added that using cryptocurrency to pay merchants with a wallet that does not require Know Your Customer (KYC) verification may be restricted or prohibited based on the merchants’ policies.

This modification, along with the reduced limits for anonymous cash transactions, was unfortunately decided several months ago.

Crypto Payments in Europe – What Lies Ahead?

The decision by the European Union Parliament to prohibit the use of anonymous cryptocurrency wallets for payments is a noteworthy step in the region’s stance towards virtual currencies.

While aimed at tackling money laundering and illicit transactions, the prohibition raises apprehensions about safeguarding user privacy and ensuring equitable access to financial services.

It is important to note that not all cryptocurrency wallets are affected by this ban. Users can still use regulated custodial wallets to make cryptocurrency payments, but they will be required to provide identifying information in order to use the service.

Additionally, the ban only pertains to cryptocurrency payments and not the ownership or trading of digital assets. This decision by the EU is a significant step in regulating digital currencies.

While some may view it as a setback for the cryptocurrency community, it should be acknowledged that the EU’s actions are ultimately for the protection of consumers and investors, as well as the integrity of the financial system.

As the digital currency industry continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see further regulatory measures aimed at promoting transparency and accountability.