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UK Treasury plans tighter regulation of Bitcoin

The UK Government is launching a clampdown on Bitcoin amid concerns that the technology may be being used for criminal purposes.

The Treasury has announced it will be looking into tighter regulation of Bitcoin in order to bring the platform into line with legislation that deals with money laundering and other financial crimes.

It plans to ensure that online platforms where Bitcoin is traded across the EU will be have to carry out due diligence on their customers and report any suspicious transactions.

The Government is reportedly worried that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could be used by criminals to carry out money laundering, and that the technology could also be used by terrorists to anonymously further their activities without being traced.

"We have clear tax rules for people who use cryptocurrencies, and like all tax rules, these are kept under review," a Treasury spokesperson said.

"We also intend to update regulation to bring virtual currency exchange platforms into anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulation."

If new regulations are brought in, it bring the UK in line with several other nations which have brought in rules to monitor cryptocurrency trading. Back in September, the Chinese government announced it would be banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) which are typically used to launch new forms of cryptocurrency, following fears they could be used to finance illegal activities.

Vietnam also announced similar rules the following month, with the country's national bank ruling that Bitcoin was not a legal method of payment.

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is News and Features Editor working across both ITProPortal and TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a technology journalist for more than five years, including spells at one of the UK's leading national newspapers. He is interested in hearing about all the latest news and developments across the Business IT world, and how companies are using new technology to help push forward their work and make their customer's lives easier.