UK Authorities Empowered to Freeze Crypto: Are You Affected?

The UK is granting law enforcement new powers to freeze and seize cryptocurrencies linked to criminal activity.

Man angry holding cash frozen in ice
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin
  • The UK has granted law enforcement agencies the power to freeze suspicious crypto assets without a conviction.
  • These regulations have been aimed at deterring criminal activity and are not expected to affect legitimate users.
  • The UK has planned to introduce broader crypto regulations in the next six months.

The United Kingdom is taking a significant step towards regulating cryptocurrencies by introducing new powers for law enforcement agencies to freeze suspicious crypto assets. This move comes as part of a broader effort to combat the use of cryptocurrencies in criminal activities and bring more clarity to the industry.

UK Tightens Grip on Crypto

The new regulations, outlined in a document released on February 29th, amend the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023. This grants law enforcement, specifically the National Crime Agency, the authority to freeze cryptocurrencies suspected of being linked to illegal activities without requiring a conviction. 

This eliminates the need for lengthy legal proceedings, allowing authorities to act swiftly and effectively in suspected crypto-related crimes like cybercrime, scams, and drug trafficking.


The new amendments also empower law enforcement to retrieve frozen cryptocurrencies from exchanges and custodian wallet providers directly. Additionally, they have the authority to destroy these assets if deemed necessary. 

This demonstrates a strong stance against the misuse of cryptocurrencies and an intent to deter criminal activity within the space. Notably, these regulations primarily target criminal activity and are not expected to impact individuals using cryptocurrencies for legitimate purposes. 

UK Announces New Regulatory Plans

The UK’s move towards stricter crypto regulation aligns with its wider vision of establishing a more comprehensive regulatory framework for the industry. 


This includes plans to introduce clearer regulations for stablecoins and crypto staking within the next six months. These steps aim to create a more transparent and secure environment for businesses and individuals engaging with cryptocurrencies.

On the Flipside

  • The ability to seize and potentially destroy crypto assets raises questions about user privacy and the potential for unintended consequences.
  • Effectively tracking and freezing crypto assets across different platforms and jurisdictions remains a challenge, raising questions about the real-world impact of these regulations.

Why This Matters

The UK’s ability to freeze and seize crypto assets without a conviction sets a precedent for other countries and highlights a growing global trend towards stricter crypto regulation. This could impact the broader market by increasing scrutiny and potentially hindering future adoption.

To learn more about the UK Law Commission’s recommendations regarding crypto assets, read here:
UK Crypto Bill Seeks to Classify Digital Assets as Property

To learn more about the UK’s plan to regulate stablecoins and crypto staking, read here:
UK Eyes Stablecoin and Crypto Staking Regulations

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.