A bill to remove privacy protections from cryptocurrency was approved by two committees in the European Union Parliament. Axios reported that the bill “would ban transactions that state authorities can’t readily tie to a person or an organization.”
“Under the new requirements agreed by MEPs, all transfers of crypto-assets will have to include information on the source of the asset and its beneficiary, information that is to be made available to the competent authorities,” the European Parliament’s statement read.
The bill does not cover person-to–person transactions.
The legislation could open the door for “debanking” in the future, as a company or organization could cancel a transaction or account if the asset source or beneficiary had personal beliefs the company disagreed with.
While the committees argued the legislation would help deter criminal transactions, the insistence on “traceability” concerned to privacy advocates and companies in the cryptocurrency industry.
“Among the worst of the proposed provisions are new obligations on exchanges to collect, verify and report information on non-customers using self-hosted wallets,” Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer, wrote.
Users were asked to voice their disapproval of the law.
“If you care about protecting the privacy of individuals, and focusing the law on solutions that actually address legitimate concerns about the illicit use of digital assets, now is the time to speak up and be heard. We must speak with one, strong voice against this proposal before it’s too late.”
Other financial institutions have been willing to “debank” accounts based on the personal beliefs of the customer.
Newsbusters reported that GoFundMe suspended a fundraiser for the “Freedom Convoy” earlier in the year after unverified reports of violence at the demonstrations surfaced. They protested the imposition of vaccine mandates.
“We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity,” GoFundMe said.
Chase Bank wrote an account cancellation letter last year to Michael Flynn of Retired General, who is known for being a passionate defender and supporter of Donald Trump. The letter said that doing business with the Flynn household was a “reputational risk to [Chase].” The bank later claimed it “made an error” when it sent the cancellation letter.
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