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Stricter Rules Or Complete Bitcoin Ban In EU Post Paris Attacks?

In the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, it would not come as a surprise if the European Union considers blocking bitcoin and other digital currencies.

According to a draft seen by Reuters, the countries in the common currency area are planning a “crackdown” on virtual currencies and anonymous payments made over the web and via pre-paid cards in order to tackle terrorism financing. EU interior and justice ministers will come together for a crisis meeting in Brussels on Friday.

Reuters said that the officials will urge the European Commission, the EU executive arm, to propose measures to "strengthen controls of non-banking payment methods such as electronic/anonymous payments and virtual currencies and transfers of gold, precious metals, by pre-paid cards," draft conclusions of the meeting said.

Mirror UK said that supporters of the Islamic State are known to use Bitcoin to make anonymous donations to the terror group. Moreover, according to the hackers linked with Anonymous, ISIS has amassed a multi-million pound fortune in Bitcoin - a claim that is nearly impossible to confirm or invalidate.

In this context, one specific name that comes to mind is Ali Shukri Amin, the Virginia teenager who was sentenced to 11 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release and monitoring of his internet activities for conspiring to provide material support and resources to the ISIL. Amin explained to the terrorist group what bitcoins were, how the bitcoin system worked and suggested using Dark Wallet, a new bitcoin wallet, which keeps the user of bitcoins anonymous.

The clampdown of virtual currencies will be a major blow to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, particularly as the news comes within a month of the European Court of Justice declaring that bitcoin transactions are tax exempt.

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