Legislators in the United Kingdom have approved a bill that permits the confiscation of cryptocurrencies used for crime. With the new legislation, authorities in the UK can now seize and freeze crypto assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many others used for illicit activities.
As revealed, the development surfaced through the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill which aims to tackle the use of crypto for illicit activities. According to the UK’s Parliamentary Acts website, the bill is scheduled to receive royal assent on October 26, 2023. More so, the bill empowers local authorities to curb the use of crypto in illicit activities like scams, drug trafficking, and cybercrime.
Also, the legislation kicks against the use of crypto for terrorism financing and other similar activities. Recall that the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill was first introduced in September 2022. The bill emanated as part of the United Kingdom’s economic crime plan from 2023 to 2026. As part of its economic crime plan, the UK has vowed to stop the use of crypto for illicit activities.
The Relevance of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill to the Crypto UK Market
The bill will allow law enforcement agencies to swiftly freeze assets connected to crimes. Consequently, authorities can stop the movement of crime-stained assets even when a case is under investigation and yet to receive a court ruling. Similarly, the bill will aid prosecutors to skip legal hurdles before they can seize assets connected to crimes.
Before the bill, law enforcement agencies in the UK could not seize stained assets without an arrest or conviction. Likewise, it takes a while for enforcement agencies to get court approval to freeze assets connected to crimes. Criminals often leverage the loophole to move stained assets before enforcement agencies can freeze them.
However, the passage of the bill didn’t surface on time despite how it aligns with the economic crime plan of the UK government. In March, legislators promised to approve the bill before the end of the fourth quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, it is understandable that the UK government has now turned huge attention to combating the use of cryptocurrency for illicit activities.
Recently, the adoption of cryptocurrency in the UK has attained a landmark height. This is due to how the country is gradually becoming a prominent hub for cryptocurrency. During the month, Chainalysis, a popular blockchain analytical firm reported that the UK has recorded more raw crypto transactions than any countries in Central, Northern, and Western Europe.