At a glance.
- EU’s proposed anti-money laundering legislation and its impact on the crypto market.
- NIST RFI seeks international opinion.
- US State Department launches Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy.
EU’s proposed anti-money laundering legislation and its impact on the crypto market.
As we noted recently, European Parliament has approved draft legislation aimed at curbing money laundering and terrorism by increasing the transparency of cryptocurrency transactions. “Under the new requirements agreed by MEPs, all transfers of crypto-assets will have to include information on the source of the asset and its beneficiary, information that is to be made available to the competent authorities,” reads the Parliament’s announcement. The law would do away with previous transaction thresholds, which allowed transactions of €1000 or less without any details about the sender or recipient. Ernest Urtasun of the Greens Party explained, “As illustrated by all the recent money-laundering scandals, from the Panama Papers to the Pandora Papers, criminals thrive where rules allowing for confidentiality allow for secrecy and anonymity. With this proposal for a regulation, the EU will close this loophole.” As well, all entities considered “high-risk” will be put on a register subjecting their transactions to special restrictions before the assets will be released.
Proponents say the legislation undercuts the very nature of cryptocurrency, as the appeal of the digital asset market is that it’s decentralized and anonymous. Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer told Bleeping Computer: “Banning anonymous cryptocurrency payments altogether would not significantly affect crime but would deprive law-abiding citizens of their financial freedom. With the creeping abolition of real and virtual cash, there is the threat of negative interest rates and the shutting off of the money supply at any time. We should have a right to be able to pay and donate online without our financial transactions being recorded in a personalized way.” MEPs will now negotiate the proposal’s final draft, which will then be discussed at the EU Council in May or June before a final vote.
NIST RFI seeks international opinion.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a request for information (RFI) on “Evaluating and Improving NIST Cybersecurity Resources: The Cybersecurity Framework and Cybersecurity Supply Chain Risk Management.” The RFI’s purpose is to gather international input on updating the Framework – how it has been adapted in other countries, how it can be better integrated with other frameworks, and how to increase international use, and how it better prioritize supply chain-related cybersecurity. The deadline for comment is April 25.
US State Department launches Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy.
The US Department of State yesterday announced that it has formally launched the new Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy (CDP) with the goal of bringing focus to digital rights issues in US foreign policy in order to better defend against threats from RIVALS like Russia and China. "As what's happening in Ukraine and Russia illustrates, we're in a contest over the rules, infrastructure, and standards that will define our digital future," stated Secretary of State Antony Blinken. CNN explains that the move is an effort to reverse then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's 2017 effective downgrade of the cybersecurity office. The Washington Post adds that the CDP bureau currently has a staff of sixty and is expected to grow to nearly one hundred personnel by the end of 2022, focused on issues like digital freedom and cybersecurity technologies. Jennifer Bachus will serve as the interim bureau chief until a Senate-confirmed "ambassador-at-large" is nominated. "I will work hard to make sure the bureau is appropriately structured and staffed for its mission: to elevate cyber and digital diplomacy globally, and to prioritize this work here in Washington and at our embassies and consulates," Bachus stated. Representative Jim Langevin, co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, added, “The State Department has taken a huge step toward making cybersecurity a core priority of US foreign policy. As the threat of cyber incidents escalates in severity and frequency, we need a strong diplomatic presence on the world stage to develop and implement norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace.”