The United Kingdom has introduced a new law that can seize, freeze, and recover cryptocurrencies, to combat criminal activities.
New Crypto Law To Combat Money Laundering
In a bid to crack down on fraud and money laundering in the country, the UK government has finally officially adopted the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency bill, which was first introduced in May 2022. The bill provides guidance for law enforcement agencies to treat crypto as an essential component of evidence in criminal investigations. The legislature has also garnered the support of the UK Home Office, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Serious Fraud Office, and Treasury.
Director General of the National Crime Agency, Graeme Biggar, addressed the matter and the connection between crypto and money laundering activities, saying,
“Domestic and international criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by abusing U.K. company structures and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies. These reforms – long-awaited and much welcomed – will help us crack down on both.”
Supporting Legitimate Operations
The law will also make it easier for legitimate companies and projects to get the necessary visibility and support by weeding out the malignant ones that abuse the sponsorships and patronage available in the industry. It will also tighten registration and heighten transparency requirements for the limited partnerships available across the UK, including Scotland, and prevent their abuse through money laundering and other criminal activities. This will greatly benefit legitimate businesses and investors across the nation to conduct operations and contribute positively to the economy of the UK.
Preventing Identity Theft
In addition, the reforms will also protect small business owners as well as customers from malicious actors committing identity theft.
Addressing the matter, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said,
“The government has taken unprecedented action to prevent kleptocrats and organised criminals from abusing our open economy. Through this Bill we are giving our law enforcement agencies greater powers and intelligence capabilities to stay one step ahead of the criminals intent on keeping their corrupt assets out of reach.”
New Leadership, Same Direction
The previous government was highly focused on making the UK the next global crypto hub. However, with the change in leadership, many were wondering if it spelled good news or bad for the country’s budding crypto industry. The new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, had spoken favorably towards crypto during her days as the Foreign Secretary. Therefore, speculations were rife about the direction that Truss would steer the industry. However, soon after her appointment, Truss’s government announced that it would continue the work towards making the UK a global crypto hub.