EU Regulation of Virtual Currencies

Authored by: Xesús Pérez López

The Routledge Handbook of European Security Law and Policy

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  October  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138609990
eBook ISBN: 9780429465918
Adobe ISBN:


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The path cryptocurrencies have walked to this moment has led to the clarification of some of their more controversial aspects, such as their relation to fiat money. However, some major questions remain open as of yet, such as that of their regulatory perspectives in the EU. Even if some minor steps have been taken before as to the fiscal framing of cryptocurrency-related activities such as mining or exchanging – mostly by courts (both the EUCJ and national courts) and Member States’ administrations – the reform of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD) of May 2018 conveys the first major EU regulatory reaction to the phenomenon. Its dispositions including key actors of the cryptocurrency economy (exchangers, wallet custodians) in its list of “obliged entities” and comprising a long-awaited legal definition of “virtual currencies,” have drawn up a starting point for further statutory developments. However, and other than the limits laid by the subject focus of the reform themselves, the specific extent of its effects will not be fully clear until its transposition to national law.

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