Last Updated: 12 December 2022
Member states of the European Union have drawn up guidelines to restrict access to cash and cryptocurrencies. The idea is particularly to “limit the access of criminals”, but the new rules will impact anyone using cryptocurrencies or physical cash.
Limits on cash flows
Note: it is nothing new and these regulations have been talked about for a long time. But every now and then, news comes out from member states, which again makes it extra relevant. Especially since it thus also concerns crypto-currencies.
It has been agreed to limit anonymous cash transfers to a maximum of €10,000. However, individual countries have the option to lower the limit even further.
It is known that Spain’s tax authorities will make use of this. They have implemented the lowest limit for the use of cash, namely an upper limit of €1,000. The European Central Bank does have concerns that this will impact the euro’s role as ‘legal tender’.
In Germany, there is currently disagreement over the exact amount and whether it should be lower than €10,000. In Italy, the limit has been raised from €1,000 to €5,000 since the arrival of the new prime minister last month.
The Italian government also wants to implement measures that will allow retailers to ban debit card payments below €60. Currently, the limit is €30. “The only legal tender in Italy is paper banknotes issued by the European Central Bank. Electronic money is not legal tender,” Italian Prime Minister Meloni told the Italian parliament.
The Dutch government wants to start banning cash payments above €3,000, Minister Kaag shared with Justice and Security Minister Yesilgoz in October. This is only feasible if enough staff are available for it.
However, it does not only concern cash but also crypto currencies are covered by the new regulations. It also plans to increase oversight of other industries, such as jewellery and gold.
NEW: 🇪🇺 Cryptocurrency transactions over €1,000 will face due diligence inquiries in the EU.
For your protection, of course… 🤨
— Bitcoin Archive (@BTC_Archive) December 11, 2022
According to Czech Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjur:
“Cash payments of more than 10,000 euros will be impossible. Remaining anonymous when buying or selling crypto assets will be much more difficult. Hiding behind different layers of corporate ownership will no longer work. It will become even more difficult to launder money with jewellery or gold.”
The organisation also wants to implement a new method to classify countries based on compliance with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations. There will be a list of black countries and a list of white countries.
Stanjur thus also mentions that cryptocurrencies will be part of these regulations. Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in the European Union must conduct due diligence on crypto transactions over €1,000.
How this will be enforced with peer-to-peer payments is not known.