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Dutch ministers decide for cryptocurrency regulation to fight money laundering

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Dutch ministers want to regulate cryptocurrencies as part of a wider effort to fight down money laundering in the country.

Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra and Ferdinand Grapperhaus, Minister of Justice and Security, according to a note sent to parliament on Monday,  want to limit the risks associated with cryptocurrencies and make the Netherlands a leader in the fight against money laundering.

The draft also asks to increase the enforcement capacities of financial regulators and relevant authorities and watchdogs groups such as the Financial Intelligence Unit, the police, the Fiscal Information, and Investigation Service and the Public Prosecution Service.

If the bill is approved, banks will also reportedly be encouraged to share information concerning suspicious clients. The Netherlands will also advocate for the creation of a European Union regulator dedicated to fighting cross-border money laundering. Grapperhaus commented:

“Crime cannot pay. Not in the Netherlands, not in Europe, and not globally. This makes it possible for criminals to stay out of the reach of the government and to enjoy those proceeds undisturbed. These illegal proceeds can also be used to finance the same or new criminal activities.”

” […] Criminals who use the financial system to disguise their criminal proceeds seriously compromise the integrity and security of the financial system. Money laundering is an immense and complex problem and it is therefore very important that combating money laundering in a joint and effective way,” it continues.

The officials said that the government should ban cash payments over 3,000 euros, regulate cryptocurrencies and ban 500 euro banknotes, as these instruments can purportedly facilitate money laundering.

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