France: Know Your Anonymous Digital Currency Customers

December 14, 2020

I think this is a fine idea. France has many fine ideas. Do not say PC; say micro ordinature. Do not feed that chicken this; feed that chicken this. Do not confuse the right and left side of the Rhone.

France Declares War on Crypto Anonymity, Cites ‘Terrorism’ in KYC Mandate” explains that the land of more than 200 cheese and a silky method of making friends in England wants crypto currency to be different. You know. Just not anonymous.

The write up states:

All virtual asset service providers must immediately begin checking their customers’ identities, verifying “beneficial owners” and prohibit anonymous crypto accounts, according to the press release from Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. He called the action a necessary step in France’s fight against terrorism. The press release invoked a terrorist cell that apparently financed itself with crypto until its dismantling in September 2019. “We must drain the euro from all terrorist financing channels,” Le Maire declared in a tweet.

Yes, very French.

I must admit, however, that the French posture regarding crypto currency is one that seems okay with me. My research assistants remind me that more than half of anonymous Bitcoin transactions appear to be related to illegal activities.

The Dark Web would not have functioning markets for contraband without the now ubiquitous anonymous digital currency.

My hunch is that France’s announcement is a harbinger of similar actions from other nation states. The more quickly one of the lubricants of a range of illegal activities is linked to actual and verifiable identities certain types of crime will become closer to the long arm of the law.

Stephen E Arnold, December 14, 2020


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