The anonymity of virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. enables their potential misuse for criminal purposes. For example, Europol recently helped Spain break up a criminal organization that supplied cryptocurrencies against dirty cash through the use of crypto-ATMs. Until recently, service providers in connection with virtual currencies were not obliged to identify their customers as well as the suspicious activities on their platforms.

The Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council from 30 May 2018 amending the Directive (EU) 2015/849 aimed at the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering and terrorist financing - in short: the 5th Money Laundering Directive or AML5 - changed that.

In their recent blog article, Margaux Mermin and Leyla Farahmandnia elaborate in a comparative way how the AML5 Directive has been implemented into national laws in France and in Austria, in particular which amendments are crucial for companies active in the cryptocurrency sector (German only).

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