Britain's House of Lords Passes Bill to Seize and Freeze Crypto Used for Crime

Britain’s House of Lords Passes Bill to Seize and Freeze Crypto Used for Crime

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 2 min read
Britain’s House of Lords Passes Bill to Seize and Freeze Crypto Used for Crime
Photo: Depositphotos

Having passed through UK’s upper chamber, the new bill is close to law. The bill seeks to allow authorities to seize cryptocurrencies used for criminal activities.

On Tuesday, July 4, the UK’s Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, entered its final stages thereby becoming law, after being passed by the House of Lords. Basically, this bill seeks to empower British agencies to seize and freeze cryptocurrencies used for criminal activities such as money laundering or terror financing.

Additionally, the bill has introduced an amendment to ensure that courts can also ask the authorities to take action on crypto used for crime. In order to identify cryptocurrencies linked to criminal activities, Britain has introduced crypto tactical advisers and police departments nationwide.

In March 2023, the British government said that they would be combating the criminal use of crypto under the three-year economic agenda.

The new bill has passed through the UK’s upper chamber, bringing it closer to becoming a law. There are a few more steps remaining: a review by the lower chamber called the House of Commons, agreement on any further changes by both chambers and approval by King Charles III.

Over the past months, UK lawmakers included various additions to the bill. In November, they introduced provisions that allow public authorities to seize digital assets associated with terrorism and take control of properties that can help identify cryptocurrencies linked to criminal activities.

Britain first introduced the UK’s Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill back in September 2022. Back then, Graeme Biggar, director general of the National Crime Agency, said:

“Domestic and international criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by abusing UK company structures, and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies. These reforms – long awaited and much welcomed – will help us crack down on both.”

The Purpose of the Bill Passed by the House of Lords

In a statement released in September, the government mentioned that the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill will enhance the UK’s reputation as a favorable place for lawful businesses to flourish while also eliminating illicit money from the country. The reforms will require everyone registering a company in the UK to confirm their identity, addressing the misuse of companies for criminal purposes or by corrupt foreign officials.

The United Kingdom has initiated several measures to legitimize the use of digital assets. Recently, the UK Law Commission submitted a proposal to the government to provide a comprehensive legal foundation for cryptocurrencies. Last month, the UK government also passed legislation to promote the safe adoption of cryptocurrencies.

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