The United Kingdom says it would increase enforcement and regulation of the cryptocurrency industry.
This is as contained in its Economic Crime Plan 2 (2023- 2026).
The three-year plan seeks to strengthen regulation, monitoring, and enforcement of digital assets, in line with a mandate to combat economic crime.
According to the report, “intelligence demonstrates growing criminal acquisition and abuse of cryptoassets linked to a wide range of predicate offenses, alongside their widespread adoption by money launderers and International Controller Networks (ICN).
“Cryptoassets provide a near-instant and low-cost way to transfer value across borders. Whilst the vast majority of cryptoasset transfers are conducted for
valid purposes, they are an attractive technological enabler for criminal activity.
“Determining the proportion of illicit crypto addresses and transactions is difficult due to a number of factors including the pseudo-anonymous and transnational
nature of cryptoassets and services, and the under-reporting of crimes involving cryptoassets,”
Quoting the NCA’s National Assessment Centre, it said that illicit cryptoasset transactions linked to the UK in 2021 likely equated to at least £1.24 billion (~1% of total transaction value) with a realistic possibility they were significantly higher.
The report noted that tackling such organized crime now calls for inter-agency collaboration.
“A staged and proportionate approach to regulation recognizes that, challenging as it is, effective cryptoasset regulation benefits everyone, including consumers and firms.
“That is why, following ongoing consultation, the government will set out ambitious plans to protect consumers and grow the economy by robustly regulating cryptoasset activities providing confidence and clarity to consumers and businesses alike,” it said.