Avv. Silvio Marzari
Avv. Maria Gabriella Maggiora
Avv. Roberto Nicolini
Avv. Stefania Gioco
Avv. Stefania Brugnoli
Avv. Stefano Carrara
Avv. Alessio Albertini

6 luglio 2020 - Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, anti-money laundering

It’s Monday, I’m here again! My talk today is about the blockchain, cryptocurrency and anti-money laundering.
Blockchain is a distributed and decentralized public ledger, an innovative technology with many practical applications in various areas of business and everyday life, which is currently having a fast development. To define it in simple words, blockchain is like a huge transactions keeper shared by all, to which new data of various operations and transactions (grouped into blocks) are added in chronological order. Agid, the Italian Agency for Digital Development, is about to set the technical standards for the blockchain and the smart contracts, - the most important application of the blockchain - in a manner consistent with other national and European dispositions. In the coming months, therefore, we are expected to see a strong increase in new blockchain applications, in the form of new products and services.
In the meantime, the most well-known application are the cryptocurrencies, first and foremost the bitcoin. Facebook’s attempt to launch its crypto currency, Libra, is well known. Very recent is the news that Sweden is working on the creation of its own virtual currency, the e-krona. Cryptocurrencies are therefore destined to establish themselves as an increasingly common means of payment.
To counteract money laundering using cryptocurrencies, the European Union intervened first, with the so-called Fifth directive, Nr. 843/ 2018 and more recently in Italy has adopted the recent D. Legislative Decree 125 of 3.10.2019. These measures establish - among other things - the prohibition of the issue and use of anonymous electronic money products. In addition, they oblige service providers, whose activity consists in the exchange of services between virtual and legal tender currencies and providers of digital portfolio services, the so-called custodial wallets, to comply with all relevant regulatory obligations. This mainly means they must identify their customers, - and in particular the beneficial owner - report any suspicious transactions, and keep a record of the transactions carried out. This also involves compliance with privacy regulations and mainly the GDPR.
It can therefore be said that today in Europe it is no longer permitted to use anonymous crypto values legitimately. A regulatory framework is therefore progressively emerging, to be taken into account both from final consumers who want to use cryptocurrencies from now on, and from commercial operators who work with cryptocurrencies.





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