The European Union’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council will meet on Friday 12 February 2016. At that meeting, the Council will be invited to agree to:

  • Apply the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive to virtual, digital and crypto-currency exchanges; and
  • Bring forward the transposition date for the Directive, so that it begins to apply to all relevant firms from 31 December 2016 (at the latest).

In the meantime, the European Commission is considering whether to amend the second Payment Services Directive, so that its licensing and supervision rules will apply to virtual, digital and crypto-currency exchanges and wallet providers, as well as other payment services providers. If this happens, it would represent a significant step forward in the possible indirect regulation of virtual, digital and crypto-currencies – something which few, if any, European regulators and policymakers have been prepared to contemplate so far; but which many in the #FinTech sector would regard as welcome.