UK Could Soon Legalise Freezing, Seizure of Crypto Assets Linked to Criminal Activities: Report

To foster a safe crypto ecosystem, the UK government wants to ensure that legal repercussions for crypto criminals are clear.

UK Could Soon Legalise Freezing, Seizure of Crypto Assets Linked to Criminal Activities: Report

Photo Credit: Reuters

The UK made crypto a regulated financial sector on July 1

  • More crypto-focussed laws to be introduced in the UK
  • UK aims to make itself a crypto hotspot
  • The country aims to clarify the dos and don'ts around crypto

Marking another clarification to its set of crypto-related legal provisions, the UK Lords have reportedly passed the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill. This gives UK's law enforcement agencies the authority to freeze and confiscate crypto assets linked to busted crimes. Under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the UK has been pacing briskly towards making the nation lucrative for the Web3 ecosystem to thrive in. The decision comes days after the UK officially recognised cryptocurrencies as a regulated financial sector under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023.

Despite its volatile nature, cryptocurrencies have managed to onboard millions of community members from around the world. Crypto-related employment in 2022 hit the mark of 82,200, representing a spike of about 351 percent from 2019's figure of 18,200, data by Block Research had claimed last year. This massive requirement for employees in the sector is too big an opportunity to oversee for the UK.

In order to foster a safe crypto ecosystem, the UK government wants to ensure that legal repercussions for crypto criminals are clear along with adding clarity in the roles of the law enforcement authorities.

According to a CoinDesk report, the UK government has designed a three-year economic crime agenda, under which, combating criminal abuse of crypto is among top priorities.

Units of crypto tactical advisors have been established across the UK to assist police departments identify and seize digital assets linked to crime.

For this bill, the approval by the Lords means that it is ready to be extended to the House of Commons next. The approval from both of UK's Houses will make the bill eligible to be signed into a law with the signature of King Charles attesting it.

It could be a while before this bill is passed in the UK.

In the meantime, UK is working to put a protection plan for victims of Authorised Push Payment scams, which would safeguard investors against financial risks.

British consumers buying cryptoassets have also been granted a 24-hour ‘cooling-off' period for the first time from October under tougher marketing rules unveiled by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in June this year.

The UK's FCA had earlier said that estimated crypto ownership has more than doubled from 2021 to 2022, with 10 percent of 2,000 people surveyed in the country stating they own cryptoassets. Protecting these community members is what the UK is aiming at.

When the UK legalised crypto activities on July 1, it mandated crypto firms to carry warnings such as: "Don't invest unless you're prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong."

From the Nothing Phone 2 to the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, several new smartphones are expected to make their debut in July. We discuss all of the most exciting smartphones coming this month and more on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at More
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