Is Crypto Doomed in the EU? New MiCA Rules Explained

The European Parliament tightens regulations to combat money laundering in the cryptocurrency space with stricter KYC rules for CASPs.

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  • The European Parliament has tightened its grip on crypto money laundering with stricter rules for service providers.
  • A new enforcement body has been created to tackle financial crime, signaling a shift to a more regulated landscape.
  • While a total ban on crypto seems off the table, we can anticipate stricter identification checks for transactions.

The European Parliament has taken a significant step towards combating money laundering within the cryptocurrency space. New regulations approved on April 24 establish stricter measures, including mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures for Crypto-Asset Service Providers (CASPs).

These developments come amidst growing concerns about illicit activities involving cryptocurrency. The new rules will specifically target CASPs, which encompass centralized exchanges already regulated under the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) framework introduced in 2023.

Focus on AML Compliance, Not a Ban on Crypto

A critical aspect of the regulations is the creation of a dedicated enforcement body – the Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AMLA). This agency underlines that the focus lies on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) compliance, not a blanket ban on cryptocurrency transactions.


Industry experts like Patrick Hansen, Director of EU Strategy & Policy at Circle, emphasize this distinction. He clarifies that the new regulations, referred to as the Anti-Money Laundering Regulation (AMLR), are not specifically targeted at cryptocurrency.

The AMLR mandates compliance for obligated entities (OEs), a category that includes financial institutions and CASPs. Interestingly, non-financial entities like football clubs and gambling services also fall under this classification. 

It’s important to note that the AMLR only applies to OEs and service providers, excluding individual users with hardware/software wallets or those practicing self-custody without intermediary control over their crypto assets.

Stricter KYC Procedures for CASPs

The new regulations outline enhanced due diligence measures for CASPs. This translates to stricter KYC procedures for customer identification, aiming to prevent money laundering activities. Obligated entities will also be required to report suspicious transactions to the relevant authorities.


While these measures are intended to strengthen AML compliance, industry voices like Hansen point out that they aren’t entirely groundbreaking. Existing regulations under the AML Directive 5 (AMLD5) already mandate similar KYC obligations for crypto exchanges and custodial wallet providers within the EU.

What Now?

The new regulations garnered significant support during the vote, with 479 votes in favor. The Council of the EU is expected to formally adopt them soon. Notably, the final version shows a scaling back of proposals that initially caused concern within the crypto sector. These included limitations on self-custody payments and imposing AML obligations on DAOs and DeFi platforms. 

The EU’s latest regulations prioritize AML/CFT compliance across various sectors, with cryptocurrency service providers playing a central role. While these rules introduce stricter KYC requirements for CASPs, they largely echo existing AMLD5 provisions and avoid imposing undue restrictions on the crypto sector itself.

On the Flipside

  • The new regulations only apply within the European Union. A lack of global consistency in AML/CFT rules could create loopholes for criminals to exploit.
  • The creation of a new enforcement body (AMLA) might lead to increased bureaucracy within the cryptocurrency industry.

Why This Matters

This legislation marks a pivotal moment for cryptocurrency’s integration with traditional finance. By establishing a dedicated AML authority and stricter KYC procedures for crypto service providers, the EU sets a precedent for enhanced transparency and combats the stigma of crypto as a haven for illicit activity.

If you liked this article’s discussion on regulations impacting DeFi, then this next piece might interest you:
MiCA Interpretation Threatens to Limit DeFi for Regular Users

This article explored the potential limitations that MiCA regulations could pose for DeFi users. If you’re interested in a deeper dive into DeFi regulations, this piece might be for you:
Will MiCA Force USD Stablecoins Out of the European Union?

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Kyle Calvert

Kyle Calvert is a cryptocurrency news reporter for DailyCoin, specializing in Ripple, stablecoins, as well as price and market analysis news. Before his current role, Kyle worked as a student researcher in the cryptocurrency industry, gaining an understanding of how digital currencies work, their potential uses, and their impact on the economy and society. He completed his Masters and Honors degrees in Blockchain Technology within Esports and Business and Event management within Esports at Staffordshire University.