19 June 2023
The Regulation n. 2023/1113 has now been published in the Official Journal of the EU.
It aims at providing a clear legal framework for the development of the crypto assets and the safe transfer of funds within the EU.
As a matter of fact, flows of illicit money through transfers of funds and virtual assets can damage the integrity, stability and reputation of the financial sector, and threaten the internal market of the Union as well as international development.
Money laundering, terrorist financing and organised crime remain significant problems which should be addressed at Union level.
The soundness, integrity and stability of the system of transfers of funds and virtual assets, and confidence in the financial system as a whole, could be seriously jeopardised by the efforts of criminals and their associates to disguise the origin of criminal proceeds or to transfer funds or virtual assets for criminal activities or terrorist purposes.
Their global reach, the speed at which transactions can be carried out and the possible anonymity offered by their transfer make virtual assets particularly susceptible to criminal misuse, including in cross-border situations.
In order to effectively address the risks posed by the misuse of virtual assets for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes, the Union should promote the application at global level of the standards implemented by this Regulation and the development of the international and cross-jurisdictional dimension of the regulatory and supervisory framework for transfers of virtual assets in relation to money laundering and terrorist financing.
In order to facilitate their criminal activities, money launderers and financers of terrorism are likely to take advantage of the freedom of capital movements within the Union’s integrated financial area unless certain coordinating measures are adopted at Union level.
The traceability of transfers of funds and crypto-assets can be a particularly important and valuable tool in the prevention, detection and investigation of money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as in the implementation of restrictive measures, in particular those imposed by Regulations (EC) No 2580/2001, (EC) No 881/2002 and (EU) No 356/2010.
It is therefore appropriate, in order to ensure the transmission of information throughout the payment chain or the transfer of crypto-assets chain, to provide for a system imposing the obligation on payment service providers to accompany transfers of funds with information on the payer and the payee and the obligation on crypto-asset service providers to accompany transfers of crypto-assets with information on the originator and the beneficiary.
Certain transfers of crypto-assets entail specific high-risk factors for money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal activities, in particular transfers related to products, transactions or technologies designed to enhance anonymity, including privacy wallets, mixers or tumblers.