UK Crypto Seizure Bill One Step Closer

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  • A crime bill encompassing cryptocurrencies is closer to becoming law in the UK
  • The House of Lords approved the bill with minor changes
  • The bill will give UK authorities more power to seize crypto proceeds of crime

The UK’s Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, which is aimed at facilitating the seizure of cryptocurrencies used for criminal activities, is one step closer to becoming law after receiving approval from the upper chamber of Parliament on Tuesday. Certain amendments were made during earlier deliberations which will ensure that the measures encompass cases involving terrorism while additional provisions were included to assist authorities in confiscating assets that could aid in identifying cryptocurrencies associated with criminal behavior.

Russia War Prompted Action

The Economic Crime Bill has been a topic of discussion with lawmakers for some time, but the Russia-Ukraine conflict brought it forward given London’s Russian connections. In March last year ministers proposed what then Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told Sky News represents “a rolling programme of sanctions . . . targeting oligarchs’ private jets…properties and other possessions they have” adding that “There will be nowhere to hide”.

This includes cryptocurrency holdings, which it has been claimed Russians are using to hide their money.

Final Stages Beckon for Bill

The endorsement by the House of Lords means that the bill will now proceed to the House of Commons for the final stages before it can be enacted as law. Once both houses reach a consensus on the legislation, it will require the king’s signature to be officially enacted. The bill has the potential to undergo several rounds of review and revision between the two chambers of Parliament until a mutually agreeable version is achieved.

While the House of Lords did not propose any changes to the provisions concerning cryptocurrencies in the bill, certain amendments were implemented to ensure its coverage of essential aspects.