EU bans unverified self-hosted crypto wallets

Monday 25 March 2024 10:13 CET | News

The European Union has decided to issue a ban on cryptocurrency transactions that involve unverified non-custodial wallets.


The decision, which is part of a broader Anti-Money Laundering (AML) directive, was approved by a majority of the European Parliament's leading commission on 19 March 2024 and signifies a unified stance against anonymous transactions.  

Specifically, the regulation targets transactions through self-custody wallets without proper identification, including those facilitated by mobile, desktop, or browser applications. It aims to address the gap allowing for anonymous fund movement, which is often exploited for illicit activities according to It's also worth noting that the ban applies to cash transactions above EUR 10,000 and anonymous cryptocurrency payments exceeding EUR 3,000. 

Scheduled for full implementation within three years of promulgation, the legislation may see faster adoption according to forecasts by Irish law firm Dillon Eustace. The tightening regulations are expected to bring significant changes to the cryptocurrency market, introducing specific rules on cash and anonymous crypto transactions within the EU.


The European Union has decided to issue a ban on cryptocurrency transactions that involve unverified non-custodial wallets.


Reception and pushback

Resistance to the legislation has been notable, with German MEP Patrick Breyer and Gunnar Beck of the Alternative for Germany party voting against the regulation. They cited concerns over violations of financial privacy and autonomy, arguing against limitations on engaging in anonymous transactions. Coingape reports that this dissent reflects divergent views on the balance between safety and individual liberties. 

Moreover, the cryptocurrency sector has voiced apprehensions regarding the new regulatory measures. Representatives of the Sound Money Bitcoin Podcast, for instance, highlighted practical challenges introduced by the legislation, particularly its potential impact on personal financial privacy and broader cryptocurrency usage within the EU. Concerns focus on the effects on donations and general cryptocurrency usage. 

At the time of writing, self-custody to self-custody transactions remain outside the scope of the regulations, which could be indicative of a nuanced regulatory approach. While acknowledging the necessity of AML laws, the crypto community's response varies, with some recognising the need for regulation and others fearing potential overreach affecting privacy and economic liberties.

The drawbacks self-custodial wallets 

According to blockchain,com, Self-custody allows individuals to safeguard the private key to their crypto wallet without relying on a custodian to do it for them. While self-custody offers users complete autonomy over their funds, it also requires them to take complete responsibility for the security of their holdings.

Aside from responsibility, another drawback of self-custody wallets is complexity, as self-custody can involve a greater degree of complexity compared to using a custodial service. For example, an individual may need to set up and manage their own hardware or software wallet, which can be time-consuming and require specific technical knowledge. Moreover, self-custody wallets may offer only some of the features and functionality of custodial wallets, such as quickly buying and selling cryptocurrency or accessing advanced trading features.

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Keywords: cryptocurrency, regulation, digital wallet, transactions
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Companies: European Union
Countries: Europe
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