Members of the European Parliament voted 574 to 13 with 60 abstentions to approve new anti-money laundering measures, which envisage closer control on virtual currencies.
The new rules address risks linked to prepaid cards and virtual currencies and require customer verification for cryptocurrency owners.
“In a bid to end the anonymity associated with virtual currencies, virtual currency exchange platforms and custodian wallet providers will, like banks, have to apply customer due diligence controls, including customer verification requirements,” the European Parliament said in a press release.
These platforms and providers will also have to be registered, as will currency exchanges and cheque cashing offices, and trust or company services providers.
The directive will enter into force three days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member states will then have 18 months to transpose the new rules into national law.
The measures are part of a December agreement reached with the European Council, which also proposed closer regulation for virtual currencies, like Bitcoin (EXANTE: Bitcoin), to prevent them being used for money laundering and terrorism financing.
By Siranush Ghazanchyan