After numerous government studies have been carried out upon bitcoin criminality, law enforcement agencies have chosen to remain vigilant, to foresee any events before they happen.
With this in mind, recent reports indicate that European officials believe that bitcoin can be and is used to fund terrorist groups, due to the currency’s anonymous state. Based on this, the European Commission (EC) wants to put an end to anonymous trading with digital currencies.
In fact, the EC recently published an action plan, meant to strengthen their fight against various forms of terrorist financing. As criminals are often known to look for ways to move money with low risks of detection, bitcoin and other digital currencies seem like some of the best picks. While the plan does not offer any support to the clause, as there’s no evidence showing that bitcoin is used for terrorism financing, the move represents an ongoing effort, meant to stop money laundering, and implicitly, terror attacks.
However, even if this plan would be put into action, the long-term changes wouldn’t be too invasive. The only difference would be that exchanges would have to report who used their services, the transaction numbers, and when transactions were carried out.
A department of the EC will also analyse whether digital currency wallet providers should be regulated, and kept under close watch to avoid terror funding.
At this moment in time, it seems like Bitcoin users will not be the only ones to be affected by the EC’s plan. In fact, the plan calls for ways to identify the users of prepaid credit and debit cards, as transactions made via this technology is often hard to access by the authorities.
Another part of the Action plan is meant to keep a close eye on transactions carried out between EU-member countries and other states, where money laundering is a common practice.
If applied, the plan will likely affect the privacy that bitcoin and other digital currencies are well-known for, which may discourage cryptocurrency adoption. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that, as Bitcoin.org believes: "To protect your privacy, you should use a new Bitcoin address each time you receive a new payment. Additionally, you can use multiple wallets for different purposes. Doing so allows you to isolate each of your transactions in such a way that it is not possible to associate them all together. People who send you money cannot see what other Bitcoin addresses you own and what you do with them."
Regardless of whether the plan is applied or not, terrorists and criminals won’t really have a hard time in finding a less-risky way to get their hands on more cash, and when this happens, chances are that the circumstances will call for yet another action plan.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about the EC’s action plan? Will it affect the adoption of Bitcoin in Europe? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.