During the last couple of months, the position of the European Commission concerning digital currencies has gradually changed. To fulfil their goal of preventing terrorism financing and money laundering, the legislative body has decided to create a database of digital currency users and record bitcoin transactions.
Not only is this against the principles of anonymity and transparency that bitcoin and other digital currencies strive for, but many believe that the decision is also morally wrong. According to recent reports, the Commission believes that a regulatory framework for digital currency platforms must be formed as soon as possible, as they aren’t monitored nor observed by the European authorities.
In a recent proposal, it was stated that: “For that purpose, obliged entities need to collect, process and record personal data, and sometimes to share such data with public authorities (such as FIUs) or with private entities within the same group”. The actual framework may require digital currency processors and startups to collect sensitive information on their users. This data base is set to be fully established by June of 2019.
The Commission continued by saying that: “Appropriate proposals, including, where appropriate, with respect to virtual currencies, empowerments to set up and maintain a central database registering users’ identities and wallet addresses accessible to FIUs, as well as self-declaration forms for the use of virtual currency users.”
It is believed that the European Commissions’ plan will face two large issues- poor quality of cyber security strategies and a strong violation of personal data.
The private data base will likely record the transactions carried out and the names of millions of bitcoin users throughout users, for the sole purpose of determining whether any of them is a terrorist. What the European Commission doesn’t seem to notice, however, is the fact that cash has been the preferred method of payment for most illegal purchases and terrorism financing, as all in all, cash is truly untraceable.
This isn’t the first time that agencies take advantage of the transparent and decentralized state of bitcoin and other digital currency. Earlier in 2016, the EUROPOL closely monitored the bitcoin network in order to track down Silk Road traders.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about the proposal in question? Will it end the era of digital currencies, or will bitcoin still thrive? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.