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UK proposes new law to ‘seize, freeze and restore’ crypto assets easier and faster

The UK government has tabled the Financial Crime and Business Transparency Bill in Parliament, which will make it “easier and quicker for law enforcement to seize, freeze and recover crypto assets.” The government stressed, “We need to ensure law enforcement agencies have the right legal framework to recover criminals’ crypto assets.”

UK’s new bill to help authorities seize, freeze and recover crypto

The UK government presented the White Collar Crime and Corporate Transparency Act in the House of Commons on Thursday. The bill “aims to strengthen the UK’s fight against white-collar crime,” the Government said, noting that “it will also support efforts to tackle terrorist financing”.

The government stated:

The new law will make it easier and faster for law enforcement agencies like the National Crime Agency to seize, freeze and recover crypto assets – the digital currency increasingly used by organized criminals to launder profits from fraud, drugs and cybercrime.

In addition, the bill includes amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) to help recover crypto assets.

“We need to ensure law enforcement has the right legal framework in place to recover criminals’ crypto assets, to ensure crime does not pay off and prevent these assets from being used to fund further crime and terrorist activity,” continued the government. “The use of this digital currency has increased significantly in recent years, with the Metropolitan Police reporting a sharp increase in cryptocurrency seizures over the past year.”

The Director-General of the National Crime Agency, Graeme Biggar, commented:

Domestic and international criminals have laundered the proceeds of their crimes and corruption for years by abusing British corporate structures and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies.

Crypto regulation may see changes in the UK under new Prime Minister Liz Truss. Several key officials who had previously worked on the country’s crypto policy resigned from the government ahead of taking office, including former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Treasury Department Business Secretary John Glen.

In May, the UK government outlined its plans to support crypto adoption and reiterated its commitment to stablecoin regulation.

Sunak said in April: “My aim is to make the UK a global hub for crypto asset technology and the actions we have outlined today will help companies invest, innovate and scale in this country Glen similarly said, “We want this country to be a global hub — the very best place in the world to start and scale crypto businesses.”

What do you think of the UK Financial Crime and Business Transparency Act? Let us know in the comment section below.

Kevin Helms

As an Austrian economics student, Kevin discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects and the interface between economics and cryptography.

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