Council of the EU calls for swift virtual currency legislation
The Council of the European Union - comprising ministers from all 28 member states - has called for legislation on virtual currencies to be tabled by the end of June 2016.
The meeting, held in Brussels on 12 February 2016, was attended by finance ministers from 27 member states and included Germany's Wolfgang Schäuble, Michel Sapin from France, and the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
Reflecting the importance placed on them by member state governments, virtual currencies came top of the list of areas targeted for rapid progress.
The urgency was highlighted in a statement after the meeting by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Council and Dutch Minister for Finance:
"We committed to proceeding swiftly with implementation of a number of measures set out in the action plan"
The Council wants, in effect, to license and supervise virtual currency exchanges and wallet providers in the EU. It calls on the European Commission to have legislation ready within 4 months by drafting amendments to the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive and the 2nd Payment Services Directive.
The Council will return to virtual currencies when it meets again on 17 June 2016.
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