Regulation

New UK Bill Could Seize And Freeze Crypto

New UK Bill Could Seize And Freeze Crypto

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The UK parliament has passed a bill that could help the authorities to seize and freeze cryptocurrencies that have been used for crime. 

Cryptos Can Be Seized Under New Bill?

In a significant move to combat cryptocurrency-related crime, the UK House of Lords has passed a bill that empowers authorities to seize and freeze digital assets involved in illegal activities. The legislation aims to address the growing concern of cryptocurrencies being exploited by criminals for money laundering, fraud, and other illicit purposes. The bill, titled “Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill,” received overwhelming support from the House of Lords on Tuesday. 

Under the provisions of the bill, authorities will have the power to freeze and seize cryptocurrencies suspected to be linked to criminal enterprises. The bill had been previously amended to include terrorism cases. The legislation also mandates exchanges and custodian services to cooperate with law enforcement agencies, providing them with access to relevant transactional information.

How Is The Bill Becoming A Law?

The bill was first introduced in September 2022, when Director General of the National Crime Agency, Graeme Biggar, said, 

"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."

Later in March, the government revealed its three-year economic crime agenda which including the fight against criminal abuse of crypto. As a part of the agenda to help identify digital assets linked to criminal activities, crypto tactical advisers have been incorporated into nationwide police departments.

In the next step, the bill will now proceed to the House of Commons for further review and debate. It will be passed back and forth between the chambers of Parliament until the House of Lords and the House of Commons both sign off on the document. Once an agreement is reached, it will be presented before the king, who can then sign it into law. 

UK Continues Its Crypto Stride

The UK government has recognized the need to adapt its legal framework to keep pace with technological advancements and emerging threats in the digital realm. Most recently, the House of Lords passed the Financial Services and Markets Bill to regulate Bitcoin and crypto in the UK. 

By bringing cryptocurrencies under the purview of existing anti-money laundering and asset forfeiture regulations, the bill aims to close existing loopholes and strengthen the country's financial integrity.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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