February 1, 2023

ECB explores AML anonymity and compliance issues in issuing digital currencies

ECB explores AML anonymity and compliance issues in issuing digital currencies

A new study by the European Central Bank points to the possibility of creating a simplified payment system through the use ofCentral Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). This step will help protect user privacy when conducting transactions for small amounts, while ensuring compliance with AML requirements for larger transfers.

Thus, the EUROchain Eurosystem research network, with the support of Accenture and R3, has developed a new payment model based on distributed ledger technology.

Blockchain is able to solve the problem of anonymity intransactions with digital currencies and, in particular, find a balance between allowing a certain degree of confidentiality of electronic payments while ensuring compliance with the rules aimed at combating money laundering.

According to this model, the central bank orthe intermediary will not see either the user's identity or transaction history, except for those to which access was granted directly by the user. Instead, the application of restrictions on anonymous electronic transactions will be automated. This is achieved through so-called “anonymity vouchers” that allow users to anonymously transfer a limited amount of digital currency for a fixed period of time.

Although at the moment the regulator does not seethe need to take concrete steps to issue their own digital currency in the Eurozone, confirmation of the concept will help evaluate the operation of digital currencies in practice.

The ECB emphasizes that ongoing work does notfocused on practical implementation and does not imply a transition to CBDC. In particular, the study aims to study the benefits of new technologies for European citizens so that they are ready to act if necessary.