UK passes bill aimed to help law enforcement seize crypto

The bill expands the power of law enforcement to both freeze and seize crypto connected to criminal conduct

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The United Kingdom passed the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency bill Thursday.

The bill — which moved to the final stages of the process in September — will expand the abilities of authorities to freeze and seize crypto suspected of being used in crimes such as money laundering and drug trafficking.

It’s tied to an earlier piece of legislation, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, which aims to “out the legislative scheme for the recovery of criminal assets with criminal confiscation being the most commonly used power.”

The bill now awaits the Royal Assent — also expected to take place Thursday —which is when King Charles agrees to make it law.

Read more: FCA issues ‘final warning’ to crypto firms ahead of Oct. 3 marketing regulation rollout

The passing of the bill is the latest act by the UK to regulate crypto. Earlier this month, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority officially enacted new rules around crypto ads

Additionally, the FCA, as of Wednesday has sent out over 220 warnings to crypto companies. Even companies trying to comply with the stricter rules have had to make adjustments. 

Binance, for example, temporarily paused UK services after its UK partner, Rebuilding Society, was restricted from approving ads

The FCA warned firms on Wednesday about the risk warnings being “hard to read” and “not being visible enough.”

The UK is working on both being more crypto-friendly and also imposing new regulations. 

Back in June, the Law Commission found that English and Wales laws were “sufficiently resilient” for crypto, though they’d need some tweaking. The Commission penned the paper on digital assets in the hope of securing the “UK’s position as a global crypto hub.”


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