The European Parliament includes the confiscation of bitcoin in its sanctions law

The European Union Parliament approved new rules that directly affect companies and users of bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. So, amid concerns that the financial sanctions imposed will be respected, legislators voted in favor of rules that contemplate the possibility of freezing and confiscating assets, including digital currencies, such as bitcoin (BTC).

With 543 votes in favor, 45 against and 27 abstentions, the approval of this legislation shows strong support from European parliamentarians. They say that, by doing so, they strengthen the EU’s capacity to combat money laundering and other illicit activities.

Recently, the narrative has been gaining strength that Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, allow financial sanctions to be avoided and carry out illegal transactions, although there are studies that show the opposite.

However, European policymakers insist that weaknesses and loopholes created by divergent national approaches to enforcing sanctions, such as those imposed by the European Union on Russia during the invasion of Ukraine, must be addressed. It was a war that, in fact, moved to cryptocurrency wallets, as CriptoNoticias reported at the time.

So to address the loopholes and prevent violation of sanctions, The proposed regulations will establish it as a crime for cryptocurrency companies or services not to freeze funds or allow funds to be transferred to persons subject to sanctions. Likewise, it will be a punishable offense to do business with state entities of sanctioned countries. The provision of financial services or legal advice in violation of the sanctions will also be a punishable offense, as detailed in a statement from the European Parliament.

“We need this legislation because divergent national approaches have created weaknesses and loopholes,” said Dutch lawmaker Sophie in ‘T Veld, for whom it is imperative that frozen assets be confiscated.

“Violation and evasion of sanctions will be penalized in all Member States. There is no escape. A modest degree of harmonization of sanctions has been achieved and law enforcement cooperation between Member States, the Commission and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office will be structured,” added Sophie in ‘ T Veld.

For the regulations to become law It needs to be approved by the Council of the European Parliamentwhich brings together senior government officials from member states.

And once the regulations are approved by the Council, EU member states will be tasked with enforcing the rules and everything from the “definitions of sanctions violation” and the “associated penalties.”

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