- The bill aims to enhance law enforcement agencies ability to seize and freeze crypto assets linked with money laundering activities.
- The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill will now proceed to the House of Commons for the final stages before becoming law.
In a major development in the fight against financial crime involving cryptocurrencies, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill has received approval from the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the UK Parliament. The bill, originally introduced in September 2022, aims to enhance law enforcement agencies ability to seize and freeze cryptocurrency assets associated with money laundering activities.
During a meeting on July 4, members of the House of Lords conducted a third reading of the bill, which focuses on streamlining law enforcement authority in cracking down on crypto-related financial crime. Notably, no major changes were proposed in relation to crypto enforcement during this reading. The House of Lords described the amendments put forward as “minor” or “tidying up” in nature.
With the approval from the Lords, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill will now proceed to the House of Commons for the final stages before becoming law. Once both houses reach an agreement on the document, it will be presented to the king for royal assent, officially enacting it into law.
The UK government has been committed to combatting the criminal abuse of cryptocurrencies as part of its three-year economic crime agenda, as announced in March. As part of these efforts, the country has already deployed crypto tactical advisers to police departments across the nation, aiding in the identification and seizure of digital assets associated with criminal activities.
Over the past months, UK lawmakers have introduced various provisions to strengthen the bill. In November, provisions were added to allow public authorities to seize digital assets connected to terrorist activities and take control of properties that can assist in identifying cryptocurrencies tied to criminal acts.
In a revised version of the bill on June 27, further amendments were made to existing frameworks to grant authorities greater flexibility in confiscating and recovering crypto assets. Additionally, the legislation clarified the government’s authority over digital assets “intended to be used for the purposes of terrorism” or related reasons.
Before the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill can be enacted, UK lawmakers will carefully consider all proposed amendments. Once finalized, the bill will empower law enforcement agencies with enhanced tools to combat money laundering and other financial crimes involving cryptocurrencies.