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EBA Consults on Crypto Travel Rule Implementation

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has embarked on a critical journey to fortify cryptocurrency transactions against potential misuse. This venture centers on a new consultation process that delves into implementing the much-discussed Travel Rule for these digital dealings.

The EBA’s drive seeks comprehensive feedback on the operational procedures to be adhered to by crypto asset service providers (CASPs). Specifically, they aim to secure essential transactional information required for compliance with the travel rule, while also outlining the steps to follow if procuring this data becomes a challenge.

EBA’s consultation zeroes in on refining measures to curb the exploitation of funds and crypto asset transfers for purposes related to money laundering and terrorist financing. This initiative acts as a complementary effort to the institution’s prior consultation on due diligence protocols for anti-money laundering processes back in June.

The recent EBA Opinion highlighted grave concerns shared by European authorities regarding the substantial risks linked to CASPs. These risks stem from various factors, including the pseudonymous nature of transactions, connections to the dark web, involvement in cybercrime, complex fraud, investment scams, money laundering, and evading sanctions.

The proposed guidelines outline specific scenarios for the application of the travel rule, notably focusing on transactions involving wallets hosted by CASPs. Notably, these guidelines exclude unhosted wallet-to-wallet transactions, given their lack of involvement with CASPs. However, inbound transactions from unhosted wallets to CASP-hosted wallets above 1,000 euros necessitate compliance with the travel rule.

To ascertain user control over transactions, the guidelines present a series of meticulous procedures for CASPs. These include employing sophisticated analytical tools, capturing visual data of users, executing specific transactions, and obtaining digital signatures, among other stringent measures.

While the guidelines recommend at least two procedures to gather requisite transactional data, they stress the need for alternative approaches if initial methods fail to secure this information.

The consultation period extends until February 26, 2024, emphasizing the EBA’s commitment to fostering a secure and compliant landscape for crypto transactions within the European banking sphere.

It is worth noting that to resolve the challenge posed by differing travel rule standards, companies in regions lacking compliance often set a minimum threshold. For example, in the UAE, this threshold stands at 3,500 AED, while FATF regulations mandate compliance for amounts surpassing 1,000 EUR. In instances where a jurisdiction doesn’t comply with the travel rule, businesses tend to avoid transactions with entities from that area, essentially establishing a barrier.

Some entities even create distinct structures—one regulated and the other unregulated. Yet, as evidenced in the SEC’s case against Binance, segregating regulated and unregulated entities can introduce uncertainty. Experts suggest the need to adapt existing rules more efficiently and develop new ones to address this complexity.

News Desk

Unlock News Desk, is a group of Blockchain and Crypto enthusiastic young people, working to keep Unlock readers up to date with the industry news. Connect with the team via email: info(@)unlock-bc.com

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