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UK drafts collaborative plan to crack down on cryptocurrency crime

Meet the 'Economic Crime Plan'

UK government cryptocurrency

The UK government is seeking to crack down on the use of crypto assets for money laundering or other illicit activities.

To do so, the government has published the Economic Crime Plan, agreed between the Chancellor Philip Hammond, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, and heads of law enforcement, major financial institutions and legal, accountancy and property organisations.

The plan seeks to tackle the scourge of ‘dirty money’ in the UK by bringing together public and private sectors and establishing a better information sharing system.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:

The UK has one of the toughest systems for combatting money laundering, but too many people are still falling victim to fraud.

This crime fuels everything from drug dealing to modern slavery, fundamentally undermining people’s faith in our financial system and impacting economic growth.

As part of the new measures, the government wants to establish a new crypto assets regime with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the UK’s financial watchdog – “going beyond international standards to create one of the most comprehensive global responses to the use of crypto assets in illicit activity.”

The plans come after the FCA proposed a ban on cryptocurrency-related investment products in a bid to safeguard retail investors several weeks ago. 

At the time, the FCA said cryptocurrency-based derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) were “ill-suited to retail consumers who cannot reliably assess the value and risks.”

The news also follows on from a report which stated that investors in the UK lost more than £15 million ($19 million) to Bitcoin related scams.

Published July 15, 2019 — 11:54 UTC