Ireland is another country where the government is in a dilemma of cracking down on crypto or not. The government is working on new legislation to halt money laundry and terrorism hence seeing crypto crackdown a solution. The country’s cabinet is expected to pass stringent laws against money laundry and crypto regulation. Reportedly, the bill is not totally against crypto but designed to comply with EU’s fifth money laundering directives. If approved by the cabinet, the European Banking Authority (EBA) explained that the law only would curtail the anonymity of cryptos but preserve the integrity of blockchain. In a statement regarding crypto, the EBA explains that they don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. However, the bill does not target wallet providers, currency exchange, and art dealers. But then, it stops banks from opening anonymous safety-deposit boxes for corporations.

Money laundry in Ireland

As the Ireland government seeks to end money laundry and terrorism through crypto regulation, it must be said that indeed there are a lot of money laundering activities in the country. Reportedly, around 24,000 reports of suspected money laundering or terrorist financing were made to the Irish authorities in 2018. Ireland justice department published that 23,939 reports of suspicious financial transactions were made in 2018 while 23,442, were reported to Revenue. Over 80 percent of cases reported to Revenue concerned tax-related offenses, information which yielded an extra €4.7 million in tax.

Ireland joining cryptoskeptic nations

Previously, there was no serious governmental action against cryptocurrencies in Ireland until the fifth money laundry directives. Ireland remained one of the major European markets for crypto firms. Ireland also supports major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin with crypto ATMs around major cities in the country. However, the narrative is about to change as the government plans stricter regulations for cryptos. This could lead to a reversal in position as regards cryptocurrencies. Ireland would hence join other countries that have or plan to phase out digital coins. China, Russia, Vietnam, Columbia, Ecuador, among others, are some countries that have placed a ban on cryptocurrencies. Any use of digital assets, for example, in Russia, is illegal.