New Crypto Laws in the UK Allow Law Enforcement Authorities to Seize Crypto Assets without Arrest

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act has been passed and added to the UK constitution. This act is part of the government’s to contain the spread of suspicious cryptocurrency activities and bring more regulatory clarity to the region.

UK government recently approved a bill concerning cryptocurrency legislators that grants law enforcement agencies the power to confiscate virtual currencies that are connected to illegal financial activities such as money laundering, ransomware attacks, and fraudulent schemes.

Latest updates are posted on the official website of the UK legislators after acquiring Royal assent on 26th October.

By the decree of this bill, the law enforcement agencies in the UK are allowed to confiscate cryptocurrencies that are linked with any type of suspicious financial activities. However, the authorities are not allowed to make arrests without getting the proper approval and conducting investigation into the matter.

The bill was introduced in September last year and since then it has added various amendments and edits. The main focus of the bill is to stop illegal virtual currency related activities such as money laundering and terror financing.

UK-based accounting firm Swindell noted in a recent blog post that the bill is directed towards containing unlawful crypto trading activities.

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The New Cryptocurrency Bill and Its Impact on the Local Market

Swindell stated that the bill in question is going to grant anti-money laundering powers to the authorities. At the same time, it paves the way for better communication and information sharing among government agencies. The firm noted that businesses will be able to share information for the purposes of blockchain or investigating economic crimes.

The firm further noted that civil liability is also applicable for breach of confidentiality among commercial entities and obligates them to share information amongst each other as a security measure against economic criminal offenses.

The approval of the bill in question is an indication of empowerment for UK authorities and grants them greater autonomy in combating crypto-related crimes. CryptoSlate reported recently that Metropolitan Police seized millions of crypto units that were traced back to dubious origins.

The bill also reveals the increasing zeal among UK legislators to introduce crypto-related regulations. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently introduced stricter regulator obligations for crypto trading platforms to inform their account holders about risks associated with losing crypto investments.

FCA to Implement Strict Crypto Regulations

The FCA officials recently issued stringent policies for cryptocurrency firms recently. The regulatory agency aired concerns regarding the non-compliant cryptocurrency companies.

On this front, the regulatory agency warned regarding the consequences for the virtual currency services providers that are found in violation of its policies. The FCA retains that the firms found in violation of its policies could face unlimited financial penalties and also possible jail time for the executive brass of the firms in question.   

On the other hand, FCA has also issued a 21-page document regarding stablecoin regulations in the region. The regulatory agency intends to implement new regulatory clarity on stablecoin issuers during the first quarter of 2024.

In June, legislators approved the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 which allows cryptocurrencies to be regulated as financial instruments. With the introduction of the stablecoin bill, FCA is placed at the helm of fiat-backed stablecoin projects.

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